Starburst Jelly Beans: Original

Starburst Jelly Beans: Original packaging
Image credit: Amazon.com

Editor’s note:

Happy Easter! Today’s review features the brand that has been the most requested by readers of this site since I started a week ago.

I’m very grateful for the warm reception the site has received, and have stocked up on quite a few more varieties of beans to keep the reviews coming throughout the spring. After I’ve finished reviewing the seasonal releases, I will be taking on several kinds of jelly beans that are available year-round. After that, the reviews will probably slow down significantly until next year’s jelly bean season, but I will still try to work on functional and aesthetic improvements to the site.

Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome. Tweet to me at @scott_ish or email me at scott@scottcranfill.com. Thank you for your support!


And now, the long-awaited and oft-requested review of… Starburst Jelly Beans!

I should state up front that Starburst have never been one of my favorite candies, mostly due to the “fruit chew” form factor of the original candy, rather than their flavor. Still, I will do by best to give them a fair, objective review.

Size and shape

Starburst Jelly Beans are a model of consistency. Size and shape are both very uniform from bean to bean, with very few outliers.

The overall average size is a hair under what I would consider ideal, and there is no attempt at a dimple, which knocks the rating down slightly.

4 out of 5 beans

Chewability

These beans will be the second consecutive recipient of a perfect chewability score, despite having a significantly different chewing chewing experience than the previous review.

The shell of the Starburst Jelly Beans is more substantial than the SweeTarts beans, but not in a way that makes them harder to chew. The insides have just the right resistance.

In hindsight, if I let myself give out half-bean ratings, I’d give the SweeTarts Jelly Beans a 4.5 rating for Chewability, while these Starburst beans are probably indeed deserving of a perfect 5.

5 out of 5 beans

Texture

Another impressive category for Starburst, these beans might have the most “classic” (to my tastebuds) jelly bean texture of anything I’ve reviewed thus far. The shell is exceptionally smooth; the insides are just the right consistency.

The only reason these are getting docked a bean is that the ratio of shell to insides is a bit too high.

4 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Flavors

  • :cherries: Cherry
  • :tangerine: Orange
  • :strawberry: Strawberry
  • :lemon: Lemon
  • :green_apple: Green Apple
  • :grapes: Grape

Credit to Starburst for identifying their flavors on the package, unlike some of our other recently-reviewed jelly beans.

As I mentioned at the top, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the original Starburst fruit chews, but I have had them enough in my lifetime to tell you that the jelly beans representing their original four flavors do a great job of capturing those flavors accurately.

It’s interesting, though, that they included two flavors, green apple and grape, that aren’t part of the original lineup of Starburst flavors – and I think green apple is the best flavor in the bag. Incredibly accurate! I’ll give them some additional dap for the fact that they have one of the best artificial orange flavors I’ve ever tasted.

Unfortunately, the strawberry flavor has never sat quite right with me, and the cherry flavor reminds me of Luden’s cough drops. Don’t get me wrong, I like the flavor of Luden’s cough drops, but it’s not a very accurate cherry flavor.

Overall, a pretty good job in this category.

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

Starburst Jelly Beans perform pretty well in the one-of-each test. The quantity is manageable, and the flavors complement each other well, though it does end up feeling and tasting a lot like a bunch of Skittles in your mouth after you’re about two-thirds of the way through chewing.

The shell-to-insides imbalance discussed earlier does hurt the one-of-each experience slightly, too.

7 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

Well, would you look at that?

Category Score
Size and shape 4/5 beans
Chewability 5/5 beans
Texture 4/5 beans
Taste and flavor 7/10 beans
One-of-each test 7/10 beans
Total 27/35 beans

I was fully expecting to rate Starburst Jelly Beans fairly low, due to my aforementioned ambivalence towards Starburst fruit chews, but on the strength of their classic jelly bean physical characteristics, they have outrated everything thus far except for SweeTarts Jelly Beans!

Though I am personally lukewarm on the flavors themselves, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company clearly knows how to produce a good jelly bean. This makes me pretty excited to try the “Crazy Beans” variety of Starburst Jelly Beans, which is on the docket for a future review here on A Boy and His 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.