Well, this is gonna be a weird one. Jelly Belly Sport Beans are unlike any Jelly Belly product that I have reviewed to date.
These “energizing jelly beans” are marketed on the package as providing “quick energy for sports performance” through supplemental carbs, electrolytes, and vitamins B and C. They even claim to be “clinically proven to improve athletic performance”. That seems a bit outlandish to me, but I’m not here to judge.
I mean, I am here to judge, but I’m not going to try to ascertain the truth of these claims. I’ll try to do the standard review, but these are clearly trying to do something different than jelly beans that are just meant to be candy, so we’ll see how it goes.
Size and shape
These beans are definitely larger than a standard jelly bean. Not quite double the volume of a perfectly-sized bean, but probably 75% more.
At a glance, the silhouette is very much a bean shape, but on closer inspection, most of the beans are somewhat angular along their length. Perhaps this is due to overly aggressive efforts at dimpling? But this is a minor issue. Aside from definitely being on the large size, these beans look pretty good.
The chewability of these beans is very good, on average. Some are a little chewier than others, but the range is within the parameters of a pleasant chewing experience.
The texture of these Sport Beans is remarkably similar to standard Jelly Belly jelly beans, but not identical. They have a similarly thin shell that is super smooth on the outside, but the larger size hurts the shell-to-insides ratio. The insides are also a little grittier.
Taste and flavor
- Fruit Punch
- Lemon Lime
- Green Apple
And this is where the review really gets tricky. Put simply, the beans taste like Gatorade. I suppose that’s not really surprising, but it is certainly an odd sensation to taste electrolytes in jelly bean form, rather than a cold, refreshing drink.
It was at this point in writing the review that I decided to remove the scores I had given the previous three categories and refrain from rating these beans at all. The rating scale is meaningless without peers to compare it to, and these beans are just not comparable to other beans I’ve reviewed.
I will say, though, that the fruit flavors are pleasant and recognizable, for the most part. Pear is a bit iffy.
The one-of-each test
Perhaps the ultimate test of a bag of jelly beans is how enjoyable it is to take one of each flavor and eat them all at the same time.1
But I’m going to skip attempting the one-of-each test for this set. I already know that size beans of this size would be difficult. Besides that, I’ve already finished one of the two 1-oz. packets that I procured for this review, and I’m a little bit worried that I’ll be wired for hours if I have too many more.
These were interesting, and I could certainly see enjoying them as a vehicle for energy-boosting supplements before an athletic activity. On the other hand, Gatorade is probably cheaper, and is definitely more thirst-quenching.
This test is specific to fruit flavors only. While non-fruit flavors like licorice or buttered popcorn may be welcome, they are exempt from this test. Because that’s just nasty. ↩