Who Makes the Best Jelly Beans? We Tested 10 Brands to Find Out
Getting ready for Easter? Make sure the best jelly beans hop into your shopping cart.
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Who Makes the Best Jelly Beans?
It might seem silly, but at Taste of Home, we get serious about candy. When we’re craving sweets, we want them to hit the spot and we know you do too!
How We Tested Jelly Beans
With Easter on its way, our team hopped to this taste test—and to the grocery store. Our Test Kitchen sourced 10 different brands of beans. Each was judged in these three categories:
- Appearance: Jelly beans should look uniform and shiny. Vibrant colors and seasonal shades are a must!
- Variety: When you reach into a bag of jelly beans, you want some options. A handful of punchy fruit flavors are a must.
- Flavor: The taste of these candies is the deciding factor. Each bean should be tasty and pack a powerful punch of flavor.
Best Classic Jelly Beans
See’s Jelly Beans
If you’re looking for the types of jelly beans grandma would have filling her candy dishes this time of year, go for See’s Jelly Beans.
“These jelly beans make me a little nostalgic,” says the Test Kitchen’s Mark Neufang. He and the team chalk up that old-fashioned feel to the pectin used in the recipe (rather than gelatin). Pectin is derived from fruit and gives these candies their signature chewy texture.
While these candies do have an old-fashioned appeal, our team noted the vibrant colors and powerful flavors. See’s beans come in four flavors: cherry, tangerine, lemon and lime. While it’s not the biggest variety, every option is downright delicious. Eat these solo or use them to garnish your traditional lamb cake.
Best Fruit Flavors
Starburst Jelly Beans
If you ask our Test Kitchen, you can’t go wrong combining a favorite seasonal candy with one of the best fruit candies out there. The result is Starburst Jelly Beans, and we can’t get enough.
Inside each bag, you’ll find classic Starburst flavors like orange, cherry, lemon and strawberry as well as green apple and grape. “These are very bold and have a very lovely fruit flavor,” says Mark.
And these candies also deliver on appearance and texture. “These look and feel like a quintessential jelly bean,” says Deputy Editor Rachel Seis. They are uniformly shaped and the perfect amount of chew—the type of texture that keeps you going back for more and more.
Best Tart Jelly Beans
Skittles Original Jelly Beans
We all love sweet treats, but what if you want a little something extra? Try Skittles Orginal Jelly Beans.
These beans are smaller than most, but “they pack a wallop of flavor and some extreme tartness,” according to Rachel. That touch of tart and sour in addition to the Skittles flavors we all love is what kept our team going back into their baskets (OK, testing dishes) again and again.
If you’re looking for variety, there’s no beating Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. A standard package of these flavored beans contains 49 different flavors ranging from coconut to kiwi and peach to popcorn.
These jelly beans are small and vibrantly colored. You’ll find solid beans, speckled beans and everything in between.
Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products
Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing food, kitchen gadgets and cleaning gear looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.
If you want to fill your pantry and fridge with the best products, check out these tests: