The Jelly Belly Factory
by Jen Holmstrom
Crushed Pineapple, Blueberry, Island Punch, and Toasted Marshmallow. Do these flavors peak your interest? They should, because these are some of the most popular Jelly Belly flavors. If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you might be interested in knowing that there are two Jelly Belly factories in the U.S. and they both offer guided factory tours.
Located in Fairfield, CA and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, factory tours are free of charge and are given to the general public almost every day throughout the year. The tour is 40 minutes in length and is completely ADA accessible (wheelchairs and strollers are welcome). The tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays, but the candy machines do not continue to run, since the Jelly Belly candy makers are given the weekend off. Kudos to Jelly Belly for thinking of their employees and their families first.
Tour attendees will get a more in-depth knowledge of how a factory works. By learning how these tiny candies are made, there is plenty of science and engineering to be pondered along the the way. Ask your children to takes notes, and maybe quiz them on the facts behind the candy factory. It can be enriching to find out who, what, where, when, and how; especially when it comes to sweet colorful little morsels
There are many ways to integrate education when studying the composition of a bag of Jelly Bellies. Mathematics is used when figuring out how many bellies to a bag and the probability of certain colors repeatedly appearing. One could easily put together a worksheet of guesses and results. But remember to add in an error factor, as you may pop a couple in your mouth as you go. 😉 The Jelly Belly website also provides a candy calculator, which helps you determine how many you would need to buy to fill up a certain size container. This would require some heavy math skills in calculating mass and volume. Give it a try!
Another reason why Jelly Bellies can be educational is that they can be used in so many creative concepts. The Jelly Belly website provides some starting out points by providing recipes, party and decorating ideas, and free birthday party printables. Jelly Beans can also inspire artistic projects! Go ahead and search “Jelly Belly art” on the internet - you will be amazed. Any amateur film makers out there? Think about using candy to make a stop motion animation film. There are endless possibilities with Jelly Bellies.
A fun way to wrap up your day after a tour of the factory could be to play the infamous Jelly Belly game called “Bean Boozled.” Bean Boozled bags contain regular flavored Jelly Bellies along with some that are the same color but are strange and gross flavors. Is it Juicy Pear or Booger flavored? Is it Blueberry or Toothpaste flavored? Play your odds and have a good laugh watching some memorable reactions.
Have you been to the factory? Leave us a comment and tell us about your experience, or just tell us your favorite flavor Jelly Belly!