Sour Patch Jelly Beans

Sour Patch Jelly Beans packaging

This week’s review features yet another one of my favorite candy brands making an appearance in jelly bean form: Sour Patch Kids! I’m a sucker for gummy candy, and sour gummy candy in particular, so Sour Patch Kids have been a mainstay in my candy diet for decades.

Let’s see how their jelly beans fare!

Size and shape

Sour Patch Jelly Beans are a bit on the small side, on average, with a bit too wide a range of sizes. The smallest beans are too small to be satisfying individually.

The shape also leaves a bit to be desired. While they have a nice roundness (with no angular edges), there are no dimples and the overall shape is not oblong enough.

2 out of 5 beans

Chewability

These jelly beans chew very well. When first biting into the shell, it takes slightly more effort than it should, but after that they offer just the right amount of resistance.

4 out of 5 beans

Texture

Sour Patch Jelly Beans are strong in the texture department. The initial impression is a little unusual, because the beans have what I’ll call a “matte” finish, rather than the classic super smooth jelly bean finish, which I assume is the product of whatever it is that creates the sour aspect of their flavor. But you get used to that quickly, and it isn’t bothersome at all after the first few beans.

The shell-to-insides ratio is a little too high, given the smaller average bean size, which hurts the overall balance of texture a little, but it’s not a major problem.

The quality of both the shell texture and the inside texture is above average.

4 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Flavors

  • :heart: Red
  • :tangerine: Orange
  • :green_heart: Green
  • :lemon: Lemon

As a sidenote, a reader has requested that I start commenting on the relative distribution of each flavor. I haven't been paying careful attention to this with each brand, but I will say that in the case of these beans, there is a notable imbalance: there are far fewer yellow beans than any of the other flavors. Red and green have the most, in roughly equal proportion, and orange is somewhere in between.

Just four flavors in the mix of Sour Patch Jelly Beans, true to the four original Sour Patch Kids flavors1. While they are not listed on the packaging, Wikipedia claims the flavors to be raspberry, orange, lime, and lemon, but that information is not cited. Orange and lemon are fairly obvious, but I can’t say that I definitely taste raspberry in the red, and I could just as easily interpret the green as green apple.

I wanted more sour. The sour coating on these beans is not nearly strong enough to live up to the Sour Patch Kids reputation. I am very disappointed in that aspect of the taste.

Secondarily, while the flavors are quite pleasant, they don’t quite nail the original Sour Patch flavors. If you’re going to make a jelly bean branded with a classic candy brand, you have to make sure the flavors really represent their original counterparts.

Good taste and flavor overall, but a moderate disappointment for a long-time Sour Patch Kids fan.

5 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.2

The one of each test is pretty good to Sour Patch Jelly Beans. Having four beans in the mouth simultaneously increases the perceived sourness a fair bit, and it definitely reminds me of picking out one of each flavor from a box of Sour Patch Kids gummies at the movie theater.

That said, just having four beans feels a little strange. It would be nice if they would add the new blue flavor to their jelly bean flavor lineup, as well.

6 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

I had a bit higher hopes for these jelly beans, given my attachment to the classic Sour Patch Kids gummies, but unfortunately the lack of sourness and mediocre representation of the original flavors drag down the score a bit.

I like them, but I probably wouldn’t make them an annual purchase.

Category Score
Size and shape 2/5 beans
Chewability 4/5 beans
Texture 4/5 beans
Taste and flavor 5/10 beans
One-of-each test 6/10 beans
Total 21/35 beans

  1. A blue flavor was added to the standard Sour Patch Kids lineup in 2013. 

  2. 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.