The Jelly Belly Candy Company comes from a long line of confection enthusiasts who are responsible for introducing more than just jelly beans. Check out our timeline of the Jelly Belly legacy below!
1866 – Gustav Goelitz, the Jelly Belly Patriarch came to the United States with his younger brothers, Albert and George. Together they built “Gustav Goelitz Candy “, a confectionery business in Belleville, Illinois
1869 – At the age of 24, Gustav Goelitz, opens a candy business in Belleville, Illinois. Joined by his brother, Albert, they sell handmade candies from a horse-drawn cart
1898 – The next generation of Goelitz Goelitz candy-makers, Gustav’s sons, continue the family business, specializing in Candy Corn and Royal Buttercreams
1940s – The company introduces Mind Wafers, despite the limitation of candy production due to the sugar rationing during World War II
1960s – The third and fourth generation of Gustav Goelitz descendants moves to California and expand the company. They cook candies such as tangerine slices, spice drops and jelly beans
1965 – The flavor infused center of the Mini Jelly Bean makes a flavor breakthrough in the world of candy
1966 – California Governor Ronald Reagan starts eating jelly beans in order to help him give up a pipe-smoking habit
1973 – The classic confection, Chocolate Dutch Mints, are introduced. Additionally, the company receives a letter from Ronald Reagan saying, “We can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing the jar of jelly beans.”
1976 – The 1965 breakthrough recipe of the Mini Jelly Bean inspires the first eight flavors of Jelly Belly beans: Root Beer, Green Apple, Licorice, Cream Soda, Lemon, Tangerine, Very Cherry, and Grape.
1981 – About 2.5 tons of Jelly Belly beans were shipped to Washington, D.C., for President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration celebrations.
1983 – The lovable Mr. Jelly Belly, makes his first public appearance – and it’s love at first sight.
1983 – President Ronald Reagan sends a gift of Jelly Belly beans on the space shuttle challenger for the astronauts, making Jelly Belly’s the first jelly bean in space.
1986 – New company headquarters are built in Fairfield, Calif., and free public tours begin soon after.
1989 – The world’s first “savory” jelly bean flavor, Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly beans, are introduced. This flavor is still among the most popular Jelly Belly flavors
1993 – Another all-time favorite candy, the Jelly Belly Sours, are introduced
1996 – The company starts stamping the Jelly Belly name on every one of its jelly beans.
2000 – The popular Harry Potter series inspires Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans making jelly beans in flavors like Dirt, Ear Wax and Boogers
2001 – The Company, known for four generations by the family name Goelitz, is renamed Jelly Belly Candy Company and continues to make more than 100 fine confections.
In Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin the Jelly Belly Express educates fans about fun candy facts on an indoor train ride at the
2005 – A sports performance jelly bean, providing carb replenishment for athletes is introduced, called Sport Beans.
2010 – The world’s first chocolate-covered jelly beans called, Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Chocolate Dips, are introduced in six flavors: Very Cherry, Orange, Strawberry, Coconut, Raspberry and Mint.
2014 – Draft Beer Jelly Belly Beans and Chocolate Covered Tabasco Flavored Beans are introduced. Draft Bear Jelly Belly Jelly beans go on to win 2014 Most Innovative New Product Award
With close to 50 years of candy making history we’re excited to see what Jelly Belly has in store in the years to come!