jelly beans

5 Sweet Facts about Jelly Beans for Kids

jelly beans

Fun Jelly Bean History & Trivia

Tiny oval candies in colors reminiscent of springtime flowers take center stage in stores every Easter. People love to talk about their favorites, with especially lively discussions about who actually likes the black ones. Every color of the rainbow is represented in bags filled with a fun variety of flavorful, chewy jelly beans. When these delicious sweets first hit the market, they were only available in eight different flavors. Today there are more than one hundred different types, with some of the most outrageous jelly beans produced more for more of a novelty experience rather than actual good taste. Here are some fun facts about jelly beans that children will find interesting to learn about next time they are enjoying these gummy little candies. Even more trivia can be found in the sweetest picture books about jellybeans.


jelly beans


Jelly beans were a favorite treat for soldiers in the Civil War.

The durability and extremely long shelf life of jellybeans made them the perfect candy for soldiers. The high sugar content provided the perfect energy boost for exhausted soldiers. Advertisements for these candies have been traced to Boston, where they were provided to Union fighters during the Civil War. An entrepreneurial candy maker named William Schrafft encouraged civilians to purchase them in bulk to send to all the soldiers fighting on their behalf.




Jellybeans were the original penny candy.

 Novelty candy stores are all over the place today, selling a variety of treats by the pound. This popular concept has turned the process of buying treats into a fun event for kids from the moment they set foot in a confection boutique. While modern day stores may offer a much larger variety of candies, they cannot be credited with the idea. This idea originated in the early 1900s, where corner markets sold penny candy. Anyone with a sweet tooth could buy individual units of little treats to fill their bags. And, as a matter of fact, the very first candy sold in this format was the jellybean!


bowl of jellybeans


It can take up to three weeks to make jellybeans.

It is no small feat to achieve the shiny outer coating that protects the deliciously chewy inside. A fairly sophisticated panning process is utilized to mix the sticky center and eventually divide each batch into small pieces. There are lots of steps that occur, including the introduction of sugar to the mix as well as cooling down the product. The small ovals are then coated in a syrup made of confectioner sugar to give them their shiny gloss. From start to finish, it can take up to three weeks depending on the technology of the manufacturing plant.




Very Cherry is the most popular flavor in the United States.

Just like other foods and beverages, flavor preferences vary depending on region of the world. Companies that manufacture candy do extensive research to determine the flavors that appeal to people from different countries. It turns out that Very Cherry is the preferred jellybean for people from both North and South America. Europeans love Tutti Frutti, Asians enjoy Lemon Lime, Australians put Bubble Gum on top, and Middle Easterners like Berry Blue.




National Jelly Bean Day is April 22.

It seems like there is a holiday for everything, so why not jellybeans? While the invention of this holiday is a bit murky, it is likely attributed to either a candy manufacturer for promotional purposes. Another possible explanation is that a jellybean fan base named this date on a social media platform and it spread amongst candy lovers. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate, but no matter what you do, make sure there are plenty of bowls overflowing with a rainbow of jellybean flavors.




Enjoy Stories for Kids With a Sweet Tooth

Books for Kids Who Love Cookies

Tasty Donut Stories

Fun Bubble Gum Books


Back to blog