Now and Later Jelly Beans

Now and Later Jelly Beans packaging
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Back to the land of jelly beans inspired by existing candies for this review of Now and Later Jelly Beans!

Now and Laters are definitely something I enjoyed as a kid, but not something I’d call a favorite. Those original fruit chews definitely have a signature taste to them, and it wasn’t always something that sat well with me. I’ll be curious to see if these jelly beans can capture that unusual taste, and if I like it in this context.

Size and shape

As seems to be the most common situation the more reviews I do, the average size of these jelly beans is just about right, but the variance in size is disappointing. The shape is nothing to write home about, but it’s a bit more smooth and consistent than the recently-reviewed Trolli Sour Brites.

3 out of 5 beans


The shell is a bit softer than I prefer, but the insides chew just right.

4 out of 5 beans


Related to the above comment on the softness of the shell, it’s a bit powdery, as well, which I’m not too pleased with. Then on the inside, the texture has a bit of that bubble-gummy thing going on, much like Trolli’s two varieties that I’ve previously reviewed.

Not a great category for Now and Later.

1 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor


  • :green_apple: Apple
  • :cherries: Cherry
  • :strawberry: Strawberry
  • :watermelon: Watermelon
  • :grapes: Grape
  • :banana: Banana

First of all: yes, these jelly beans do have that essence of taste I remember in the classic Now and Later fruit chews. I’m not sure I can put into words what that taste is, but it’s there.

Now, are the flavors good? Mostly, yes. Some are better than others.

Apple, though it is colored green, tastes more like a Red Delicious than a Granny Smith. Strawberry and grape are barely distinguishable as those flavors. There’s no mistaking banana, though it suffers from the same fate as most artificial bananas: it’s too sugary. These are all fine and inoffensive, but not exciting.

Cherry and, surprisingly, watermelon are the standout flavors here. The cherry is a nice tart, sour cherry, and the watermelon has that nice pop of acidity that you get in real life if you’re lucky enough to get a fresh watermelon at peak ripeness.

7 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

For the one-of-each test, Now and Later is pushing the upper limits of physical comfort with six average size beans, but their ease of chewability keeps the task manageable.

Flavor-wise, it’s not bad. It doesn’t transcend the mediocre flavors in the bunch, but it’s not unpleasant. The range between the mild banana and tart cherry and watermelon works to create a nice balance of flavor.

6 out of 10 beans


All in all, a pretty good outing for Now and Later Jelly Beans. Not a package I’m likely to return to in the future, but they admirably represent their namesake candy, they don’t totally screw up the physical attributes, and some of the flavors are quite nice.

Category Score
Size and shape 3/5 beans
Chewability 4/5 beans
Texture 1/5 beans
Taste and flavor 7/10 beans
One-of-each test 6/10 beans
Total 21/35 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.