Mike and Ike Jelly Beans: Assorted Fruits

Mike and Ike Jelly Beans: Assorted Fruits packaging
Image credit: CandyWarehouse.com

As I noted in the previous review of Just Born Jelly Beans, Mike and Ike candies are actually made by the Just Born company. At the outset of that review, I alluded to the possibility that Mike and Ike Jelly Beans might even be the same product as the beans that bear their parent company’s name. The only obvious and objective difference, prior to tasting, is that Mike and Ike Jelly Beans do not include licorice. The seven fruit flavors of each brand match, though.

So, to proceed with this review, I will quote statements from the Just Born review and see if they hold up as accurate descriptors of the Mike and Ike beans that are the subject of this review.

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.

These statements also describe Mike and Ike Jelly Beans.

3 out of 5 beans

Chewability

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.

These statements also describe Mike and Ike Jelly Beans.

4 out of 5 beans

Texture

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.

These statements also describe Mike and Ike Jelly Beans.

It’s probably also worth mentioning here, that the mouthfeel of these beans is almost identical to regular Mike and Ike candies, just slightly smaller.

5 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

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.

Flavors

  • :pineapple: Pineapple
  • :lemon: Lemon
  • :tennis: Lime
  • :tangerine: Orange
  • :strawberry: Strawberry
  • :cherries: Cherry
  • :grapes: Grape

These statements also describe Mike and Ike Jelly Beans.

To add one more detail: the cherry Mike and Ike flavor is one of my favorite candy flavors of all time, and actually has great acidity. The problem with the acidity of these beans is that the acidity of the flavors that are very acidic in their actual fruits, lemon and lime, are not very acidic at all.

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.

These statements mostly hold true. For some reason, four months on from having reviewed the Just Born beans, I enjoyed the one-of-each experience a little bit more with these Mike and Ike beans. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. I will revise the score of this up from 3 to 4 out of 10 beans.

4 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

Having now tasted Just Born and Mike and Ike jelly beans back to back, I must assert that I believe them to be the exact same product, packaged under different brands, with the sole difference being that licorice-flavored beans are omitted from the Mike and Ike edition.

Having now reached that conclusion by taste alone, I’m going to do a little research (read: five minutes of Googling) to see if I can verify it.

Animation of a cat typing on a computer

No dice. I can’t find any verification of that fact in the first couple pages of results. And we all know if it’s not findable in the first couple pages of Google, it doesn’t exist.

With that said, the scores for Mike and Ike Jelly Beans, identical to the Just Born scores save for the one point bump on the one-of-each test:

Category Score
Size and shape 3/5 beans
Chewability 4/5 beans
Texture 5/5 beans
Taste and flavor 8/10 beans
One-of-each test 4/10 beans
Total 24/35 beans

  1. 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.