Posts Tagged ‘Jelly Bean’

Described as “the true blue Willy Wonka,” “eccentric,” an “oddball,” and a “savant,” David Klein, I recently found out, is all of these things, and more.

David Klein is the inventor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and he’s got quite a story. Last week, I talked with David about his new documentary, Candyman: The David Klein Story, produced by his son and daughter-in-law. I’d been hoping to see this film, which chronicles David’s Jelly Belly journey, so I felt like I won a first prize when he offered to send me a copy.

So far, I’ve watched this feature-length film twice. It’s quirky and a little addicting. Ellia Kassoff, the owner of Astro Pops, LLC, says he’s watched it four times.

I am drawn to this film because David is a walking candy Wikipedia. If I were writing a historical piece on the industry, he’d be the first guy I’d call. Ask David a question about a candy brand and he’ll tell you when it was invented, the company that manufactured it, when the brand changed hands, and the people behind it all.

I am also drawn to this film because of David’s character. He is wacky (he writes all of his notes on paper plates) and would probably drive you nuts if he were your dad, but he’s got a heart of gold and an entrepreneurial spirit that trumps The Donald’s.

I’m no film critic, so I won’t go into details about the film (see the Candy Professor’s review), but I will share a few good takeaways I got from my call with the Candyman:

- From the beginning, David sold jelly beans as individual flavors. “If I only sold an assorted box, I’d only have one spot in the store. By forcing retailers to buy single flavors, I got much more shelf space.”

- David got the idea for intensely and realistically flavored jelly beans while watching “Happy Days.” He got the idea for the brand name, “Jelly Belly” while watching “Sanford and Son.”

- David’s all-time favorite candy is not jelly beans. It’s actually Junior Mints (and Queen Anne’s Caramellos, but they are extinct).

- David wishes the manufacturer of Junior Mints (Tootsie Roll Industries), would come out with a Junior Mint peppermint patty.

- David is working on a new line of jelly beans that he says will “revolutionize the jelly bean business.” If all goes to plan, the new beans will roll out before Easter 2011.

- The outlandish rhinestone cowboy outfit that David wore on “The Mike Douglas Show” set him back $4,760.

Candyman: The David Klein Story is now playing on The Documentary Channel, which is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

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In the event that you’re a curious cat like me when it comes to regional flavor preferences of the sweet variety, the Jelly Belly Candy Co. tracks its best selling jelly bean flavors by state and by country.

Some of the following top four flavors by country are predictable, and some are a bit surprising like America’s love of Buttered Popcorn and Licorice. According to Tomi Holt, director of communications for the Jelly Belly Candy Co., Licorice is always in the top three flavors in the US (it’s No. 1 in Alaska), which I find interesting. Licorice has never made it on the UK’s top three list. Even more interesting.

Australia
No. 1: Smoothie Blend flavors
No. 2: Bubble Gum
No. 3: Buttered Popcorn
No. 4: Strawberry Cheesecake

Germany
No. 1: Very Cherry
No. 2: Tutti-Fruitti
No. 3: Green Apple
No. 4: Red Apple

Hong Kong
No. 1: Lemon Lime
No. 2: Candy Floss
No. 3: Bubble Gum
No. 4: Coconut

Korea
No. 1: Berry Blue
No. 2: Candy Floss
No. 3: Lemon
No. 4: Lemon Lime

United Kingdom
No. 1: Beanaturals
No. 2: Very Cherry
No. 3: Green Apple
No. 4: Bubble Gum

United States
No. 1: Very Cherry
No. 2: Buttered Popcorn
No. 3: Licorice
No. 4: Blueberry

Within the United States, “Crushed Pineapple” is one of Hawaii’s top three favorite Jelly Belly bean flavors (shocker). There are some statewide surprises, though …

Connecticut
In Top 3: Tangerine

Idaho and Montana
In Top 3: Juicy Pear

Kansas, Georgia, and New Jersey
In Top 3: Sizzling Cinnamon

Kentucky
No. 1: Dr. Pepper

Maryland
No. 1: Bubble Gum
No. 2: Tutti-Fruitti

Rhode Island
In Top 3: French Vanilla

Washington D.C.
In Top 3: Blueberry

Jelly Belly’s Tomi Holt says the company often gets consumer requests for savory jelly bean flavors like hot dog, nacho, and hamburger.  The “Barf” flavor (so unsavory) in Jelly Belly’s BeanBoozled line is actually a cheese pizza flavor that failed in prior taste tests. According to Tomi, foul flavors like Jelly Belly’s Skunk Spray and Barf have to be produced after hours to avoid consumer tour times. The midnight shift must be bitter.

Here on Candy.com, the best-selling Jelly Belly flavor is currently Berry Blue in a five-pound case. This may have something to do with the blue hue earning wedding palette kudos at TheKnot.com while wedding season is in full bloom.

What is your favorite Jelly Belly bean flavor? I dig Dark Chocolate.

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in Brands/Companies, Candy, Candy Tips, Candy Type, Novelty

If you want to know what cool, new candy will be hitting your store shelves next, a good indicator is the top 10 candies scanned by major retail buyers at the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo.

The annual expo is the grande dame of North American candy shows and a big launching pad for manufacturers.

Take a peek at what’s in (or about to be in) store …

10. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis by The Hershey Company
9. Jelly Pop by Decoria Company, Ltd.
8. Jumbo Push Pop by Bazooka Candy Brands
7. Pop Rocks Chocolate by Pop Rocks Inc.
6. Dark Chocolate Acai Blueberry and Goji by Brookside Food Ltd.
5. Snow White Gift set from Pez Candy, Inc.
4. Disney licensed items by Imaginings 3, Inc.
3. M&M’s Pretzel by MARS Chocolate North America
2. ICEE Fizzing Lollipops by Koko’s Confectionery & Novelty
1. Cocktail Classics jelly beans by Jelly Belly Candy Company

If you’ve tried any of these newbies, spill your thoughts, please.

Photo by Jose Ole

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