Celebrating the greatest day of the year for candy lovers, here’s a very special Halloween review! (Well, honestly, there’s nothing particularly special about it. I just really wanted to get a review out on Halloween.)
Just Born is one of the classic jelly bean brands. You may not recognize the Just Born name, but you almost certainly know other candy that they produce. Just Born is the parent company of Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, and Marshmallow Peeps.
Jelly bean lovers may be thinking to themselves, “Hey, aren’t there Mike and Ike jelly beans out there, too?” Why, yes! Yes there are. And the next review will discuss those, and compare them to their parent company’s beans. Are they even any different at all? We’ll find out next time, but for now, let’s see how Just Born Jelly Beans rate.
Size and shape
Just Born Jelly Beans have a very consistent size that is right in the sweet spot of jelly bean sizes, to me.
Shape, however, is another matter. It’s a bit of a crapshoot in that department. I’ll give them credit for caring enough to attempt adding a dimple, but the results of that attempt aren’t particularly great. Most of the beans end up with an angular shape to them, resembling a sort of rounded trapezoidal prism, if that makes any sense.
3 out of 5 beans
In the chewability category, the Just Born beans rate very well. The shell is not too hard, and the insides require just the right amount of effort to not feel soft.
The one knock on the chewability here is that the insides can be a bit too sticky, requiring a significant amount of tongue effort – sometimes a toothpick or an immediate flossing – to get all of it off your teeth.
4 out of 5 beans
For my tastes, these beans have a flawless texture. The shell is substantive and breaks apart cleanly, without getting grainy. The insides are very pleasantly smooth.
5 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
Hooray for the return of licorice!
Just Born Jelly Beans may not have the most accurate flavors in the world, but overall, they do a solid job. The flavors are all distinct, and do a decent job in representing their real-world counterparts. (I think. I’m starting to wonder if I’m just recognizing the traditional taste of the artificial flavors for each of these fruits.)
As with the Life Savers beans, a little more acidity wouldn’t hurt.
8 out of 10 beans
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
These disappointed me a bit in this category. On the flavor front, the flavors became indistinct very rapidly, and the resulting monoflavor was very dull, resembling a generic white sugar flavor.
In terms of volume of candy in the mouth, seven beans of this size (though I like the size for single beans or groups of two or three) is pushing the limit a bit.
3 out of 10 beans
|Size and shape||3/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||8/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||3/10 beans|
I expected a bit higher of a rating from these classic jelly beans, but they were really brought down by the disappointing one-of-each test.
In contrast to the Life Savers Jellybeans, which scored the same overall, I will almost certainly buy these beans again, because I still love them in smaller mouthfuls. Plus, licorice!
(And now I begin to wonder if the weighting of the one-of-each test category is too high for how I actually make purchasing decisions. Oh well.)
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. ↩