|Herman G Rowland, Sr., Chairman|
|Products||Jelly beans, candy corn, mellocremes, gummies, jells, chocolate confections|
Number of employees
Jelly Belly Candy Company, formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Company and Goelitz Confectionery Company, manufactures Jelly Belly jelly beans and other candy. It is based in Fairfield, California, with a second manufacturing facility in North Chicago, Illinois and a distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. In October 2008, the company opened a 50,000 sq ft (4,645 m2) manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand where it produces confectionery for the international market.
Gustav Goelitz came to the United States in 1866 and in 1869 started the confectionery business Gustav Goelitz in Belleville, Illinois. His younger brothers, Albert and George, emigrated to America soon after and joined him in the business. In 1898, the company began manufacturing mellowcreme candies (also called mellow cream, and butter cream). Candy corn, a type of mellowcreme candy, was likely developed by George Renniger, an employee of Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia. The Goelitz Confectionery Company was successful in selling a variety of mellowcreme candy including candy corn. In 1904, the company relocated to Chicago, and then to North Chicago in 1913.
Herman Goelitz, the son of Gustav, moved to the West Coast to start his own business, Herman Goelitz Candy Company. The company eventually settled in Oakland, California, in 1924. In 1960, the company expanded to jelly beans, gummy bears, and various jells. "One of those new products was a small and very flavorful Mini Jelly Bean [developed in 1965]." The Mini Jelly Bean center had natural flavoring, innovative for the time when only the outer shell was flavored.
Ronald Reagan first tried the Mini Jelly Beans in 1966. "The then California governor had quit smoking years before and turned to popping candy as a...substitute." Reagan wrote to Herman Rowland, Sr. while governor, "It's gotten to the point...where we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around a jar of jelly beans. We owe you a special measure of thanks for helping keep our state government running smoothly."
In 1976, David Klein, a candy and nut distributor, collaborated with Herman Rowland to create a jelly bean using natural purees. Using the Mini Jelly Bean concept, the Jelly Belly jelly bean was created. Klein coined the name "Jelly Belly" as a tribute to blues musician Lead Belly, and was responsible for the design of the product's famous red and yellow trademark.
Klein sold the first Jelly Belly jelly beans in 1976 at an ice cream parlor called Fosselman's in Alhambra, California. The first flavors were Very Cherry, Tangerine, Lemon, Green Apple, Grape, Licorice, Root Beer, and Cream Soda. It was David Klein's idea "...to sell them as separate flavors instead of a variety pack...".
Marinus van Dam, product developer and plant manager for the company, oversaw the development of Jelly Belly jelly beans. By the 1980s, many flavors had been developed. In 1980, Klein sold his interest in the Jelly Belly name. "David Klein sold the Jelly Belly trademark to Rowland for $4.8 million, paid in monthly installments over 20 years, which Klein split with a partner." The Jelly Belly trademark was registered August 3, 1982. The Mr. Jelly Belly character was developed in 1983. Prior to the development of the character David Klein called himself "Mr. Jelly Belly."
After Ronald Reagan became President in 1980, the general public became aware of his preference for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The company supplied Reagan with Jelly Belly jelly beans during his eight years of presidency. Chairman Rowland recalls, "We were thrilled by press reports that President Reagan gave jars of Jelly Belly jelly beans to visiting dignitaries." (Reagan, however, "started to favor M&M's as the official White House candy during his eighth and final year in office.")  Reagan made them the first jelly beans in space, sending them on the Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission in 1983, surprising the astronauts.
In 2001 the company renamed itself to Jelly Belly Candy Company.
The company's signature product, the Jelly Belly jelly bean, comes in more than 50 varieties, ranging from traditional flavors like orange, lemon, lime, and cherry, to more exotic ones like cinnamon, pomegranate, cappuccino, buttered popcorn, and chili-mango.
Jelly Belly Candy Company manufactures numerous specialty Jelly Belly jelly beans with licensed products like Tabasco sauce and uncommon candy tastes like eggnog and pancakes with maple syrup. A few flavors, like lychee and green tea, are sold only in markets outside the United States.
Several flavors have been based on popular alcoholic beverages, beginning with Mai Tai in 1977. Over the years, new additions have included blackberry brandy (now discontinued), strawberry daiquiri, margarita, mojito, and piña colada. Draft beer, a flavor inspired by Hefeweizen ale, was introduced in 2014. All such flavors are entirely alcohol-free.
"Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans" were inspired by the Harry Potter book series and featured intentionally gruesome flavors such as "Vomit", "Earwax", "Skunk Spray", and "Rotten Egg". A similar product pairs lookalike "normal" jelly beans with weird flavors in a product dubbed "BeanBoozled" which has gone through several editions.
"Sport Beans" are jelly beans designed to provide physical energy and enhance athletic performance. They contain carbohydrates, electrolytes (in the form of sodium and potassium), and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. "Extreme Sport Beans" include the additional boost of caffeine.
The Fairfield and Pleasant Prairie locations offer free daily tours. The 1⁄4 mi-long (400 m) self-guided Fairfield tour features interactive exhibits, Jelly Belly bean art, and videos featuring the candy manufacturing process. It was named one of the best factory tours for children by FamilyFun Magazine in 2014. The Pleasant Prairie tour features a train ride through the warehouse with videos and displays about the candy manufacturing process and company history.
Jelly Belly Candy Company factory in Fairfield, CA
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