history-english

Jelly Belly History

1869

At age 24, Gustav Goelitz opens a candy business in Belleville, Illinois, and sets the family on its sweet destiny.

1894

Gustav’s sons continue the family candy making tradition.

1898

The second generation of the Goelitz candy-making family specializes in a new type of candy, mellocremes (also called butter creams), which include candy corn.

1940s

In the midst of sugar rationing during World War II, which limited candy production, the company introduces Mint Wafers.

1960s

The third and fourth generation descendants of Gustav Goelitz, cook candies such as tangerine slices, spice drops and jelly beans.

1965

A flavor breakthrough is made when the Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans are infused with flavor in the center as well as the shell.

1966

Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans are discovered by California Governor Ronald Reagan. “We can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing the jar of jelly beans,” he wrote in a letter to the company in 1973.

1972

Chocolate Dutch Mints® debut. A creamy mint center is covered in dark chocolate and finished with a crisp, candy shell. It’s a classic now and still one of the most popular confections we make.

1976

Building on the flavor innovation of the Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans, the first eight flavors of Jelly Belly® jelly beans, Root Beer, Green Apple, Licorice, Cream Soda, Lemon, Tangerine, Very Cherry, and Grape are introduced.

1980s

More Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors are developed, continuing to push the flavor horizons with an ever-growing variety.

1980

The world discovers President Ronald Reagan eats Jelly Belly jelly beans, and a star is born.

1981-1988

About 3.5 tons of Jelly Belly jelly beans are shipped to Washington D.C. for President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration celebrations.

1982

Though shipping across the Northern border to Canada since 1977, Jelly Belly jelly beans make their first trip overseas to the UK in 1982.

1983

Mr. Jelly Belly, a lovable candy character, makes his first public appearance - and it is love at first sight.

1983

Sent by President Reagan, Jelly Belly jelly beans become the first jelly beans in space!

1986

New company headquarters are built in Fairfield, California, and free factory tours begin soon after.

1989

Buttered Popcorn flavor of Jelly Belly bean is introduced, the world’s first “savory” jelly bean flavor. (It is now among the most popular flavors.)

1993

Jelly Belly Sours are introduced, a novelty at the time that has since become an enduring favorite.

1996

The ultimate sign of good taste - The Jelly Belly name is stamped on every jelly bean.

1999

Jelly Belly becomes a sponsor of a cycling team.

2000

Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans®: inspired by the Harry Potter series are brought to life by the company’s candy makers in wild flavors like Dirt, Bacon and Spinach.

2001

The Company, known for four generations by the family name Goelitz, is renamed Jelly Belly Candy Company, and continues to make more than 100 fine confections.

2001

A second public tour opens in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The Jelly Belly Express takes fans on an indoor train ride to discover fun candy facts.

2005

Sport Beans® debut. A sports performance jelly bean that provides carb replenishment for athletes.

2007

Offering a flavor experience with wild and wacky flavors, Jelly Belly debuted BeanBoozled jelly beans in 2007 with ten lookalike pairs. Will it be Juicy Pear or Booger? Buttered Popcorn or Rotten Eggs? There’s only one way to find out!

2013

Jelly Belly Jewel Collection, featuring Jelly Belly jelly beans with an iridescent sheen, is unveiled.

2015

Jelly Belly launches a USDA-certified Organic line of candy confections.

2016

40th anniversary of the Jelly Belly jelly bean.

2020

Jelly Belly heats things up with the introduction of the Flaming Five jelly beans.