Welch's Jelly Beans

Welch's Jelly Beans packaging
Image credit: CandyWarehouse.com

Welch’s Jelly Beans are a first-time purchase for me in 2016. From a brief bit of research, they’ve been around for a few years, but for some reason, I just have yet to try them.

Fortunately, I’m pleased to report that they made a strong showing! Let’s see how the ratings play out.

Size and shape

Welch’s Jelly Beans do a better job at being bean-shaped than Jolly Rancher beans, but it’s a bit of a brute force approach, rather than finesse. Whatever process they use to shape the beans tends to leave most of them with a nearly flat side perpendicular to the subtle concave depression. Still, good on them for passing the squint test and looking largely like beans.

Bean size is good, with only a little variance between smallest and largest beans.

4 out of 5 beans

Chewability

These beans chew perfectly. The shell breaks up easily, and the insides break down quickly.

5 out of 5 beans

Texture

The texture of these beans is the area where Welch’s lets me down the most. The shell has a bit of a grainy quality to it, and the insides are somewhat mealy. Fortunately, they are very unlikely to stick to your teeth.

2 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Flavors

  • :grapes: Concord Grape
  • :strawberry: Strawberry
  • :peach: White Grape Peach
  • :heart: Raspberry
  • :tangerine: Orange

The five flavors in Welch’s Jelly Beans are all very distinct and identifiable as what they claim to be, with a pretty even balance of sweetness and tartness. The concord grape beans offer what is probably the best artificial grape flavor I’ve ever had. The most unusual flavor of the bunch, white grape peach, definitely captures the peach, though it’s hard to pick out the white grape in there.

One might be inclined to knock them for only including five flavors, but it’s probably better to do five good flavors than to reach for too many and have some clunkers in there.

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

Eating all five Welch’s Jelly Beans is a very good experience. They’re easy enough to chew, and having only five keeps the mouthful manageable. The flavors mingle fairly well together, except for the white grape peach, which does feel somewhat out-of-place with the rest of the group.

7 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by Welch’s Jelly Beans! Well, perhaps not surprised, but I wasn’t sure what to expect, given that Welch’s isn’t exactly known for being a candy company.

Category Score
Size and shape 4/5 beans
Chewability 5/5 beans
Texture 2/5 beans
Taste and flavor 7/10 beans
One-of-each test 7/10 beans
Total 25/35 beans

It’s funny, though. Numerically, these rated one point higher than the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, but my gut tells me that I don’t think I would buy a bag of them every year, whereas I definitely plan to continue to do so for the Jolly Rancher beans.

Perhaps this is a sign that my rating system needs to evolve. Let’s not make any hasty decisions, though. Perhaps after writing a few more reviews, I’ll revisit and re-rate some of the 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.