Wakarusa Dime Store Jumbo Jelly Beans

Wakarusa Dime Store Jumbo Jelly Beans packaging
Image credit: jumbojellybeans.com

Welcome to the ninth season of reviews here on A Boy and His Beans! As noted at the end of last season, they’re getting increasingly short. I’ll have five reviews for you here over the next eight days, kicking off with this review from the Wakarusa Dime Store.

My friends Daniel and Rebecca recently moved to northern Indiana, and they came across this store in the nearby town of Wakarusa, which claims that its jumbo jelly beans are world famous! While I have to admit that I had never heard of them, I have to give them credit for leaning so hard into this claim that they secured jumbojellybeans.com as the domain name for their website.

Many thanks to Daniel for sending a bag of these beans for me to review!

Size and shape

When reviewing a jumbo jelly bean, one goes into it knowing that the size component of this category will necessarily be judged differently from most other jelly beans. This is fine; it just means evaluating size in comparison to the other jumbos reviewed in the past.

These beans are, on average, the largest I’ve ever reviewed, clocking in at maybe 20% bigger than the Howe Jumbo Jelly Beans I reviewed on this day last year. That makes them just a bit too big for my liking.

They make a solid effort at being bean-shaped, and consistency in both areas is strong.

4 out of 5 beans


To reiterate what I have said before: as bean size increases, so must chewability also increase in order to maintain a pleasing experience. and the Wakarusa beans handle this quite well. The beans have enough just the right amount of substance, yielding a good chew that never becomes fatiguing.

5 out of 5 beans


Wakarusa offers a pretty classic take on jelly bean texture. I can nitpick a few things, but the overall experience is quite good. The shells are smooth, but could be a little chunkier, and the insides could be a little smoother, but avoid being gummy.

4 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor


  • :cherries: Cherry
  • :orange: Orange
  • :lemon: Lemon
  • :green_heart: Lime
  • :grapes: Grape
  • :strawberry: Strawberry

This traditional flavor set doesn’t offer anything particularly exciting, but it is a serviceable treatment in each case.

Cherry is the standout here with the strongest flavor of the bunch, followed by strawberry and grape. Grape is a little medicinal, but I don’t mind that. The citrus flavors would benefit from a little more acidity, but that is par for the course in this style of bean.

It’s a good, but unremarkable, tasting experience.

6 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

Per standard editorial policy, beans advertised as “giant” or “jumbo” are exempt from this category.


Category Score
Size and shape 4/5 beans
Chewability 5/5 beans
Texture 4/5 beans
Taste and flavor 6/10 beans
Total 19/25 beans

Various sources report that the Wakarusa Dime Store debuted their jumbo jelly beans in 1969, in just one flavor – licorice. Their claim of being world-famous is harder to verify, but one of the co-owners said at one point that they ship over 75 tons around the world each year, which certainly strikes me as impressive.

At the very least, it’s an impressive triumph of marketing, but unfortunately the product itself is not quite as impressive as the Howe jumbos I reviewed last year. I would still recommend stopping into the Wakarusa Dime Store if you like jumbo jelly beans and find yourself in the neighborhood!

  1. I reserve the right to excuse certain flavors from this test that would ruin it for all the other flavors.