Jelly beans are small bean-shaped sugar candies with soft candy shells and thick gel interiors. The confection comes in a wide variety of colors and flavors, and is primarily made of sugar. It is generally thought that jelly beans first surfaced in 1861, when Boston confectioner William Schrafft urged people to send his jelly beans to soldiers during the American Civil War. It was not until July 5, 1905, that jelly beans were mentioned in the Chicago Daily News.
One of the most epic brands of the candy is Jelly Belly. Most notably, when President Ronald Reagan took office, the public became keenly aware that Jelly Belly was the candy of choice for the President. The company was so taken by the ‘1st Fan’ they started to supply the White House with their jelly bean. Throughout his two terms, President Reagan ensured that where ever he went, Jelly Belly beans were close at hand. Throughout the White House, the residence, and even Air Force One, President Reagan always had a jar of Jelly Belly beans close at hand. He even made it a point to gift foreign dignitaries with a jar of Jelly Belly beans to commemorate their visit. President Reagan even has a jar concealed on the Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-7 in 1983, surprising the astronauts and becoming the first jelly bean in space.
Today the company produces more than 100 different confections. Of the signature Jelly Belly jelly beans, there are over 58 flavors. Most popular Jelly Belly flavors are: Very Cherry, Buttered Popcorn, Licorice, Bubble Gum, Juicy Pear, Watermelon, Green Apple, Sizzling Cinnamon, Cotton Candy and Sunkist Tangerine.
The company operates three manufacturing plants: One in Fairfield, California; North Chicago, Illinois; and Rayong, Thailand. A fourth facility in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, is for distribution. They produce and average of 1,680 beans per second and the number of beans consumed annually would wrap the circumference of the earth 5.5 times. In terms of weight, they produce 362,880 beans per day.
Check out this amazing video from Jelly Belly!