Why Are Jelly Beans So Expensive?

Ah, jelly beans. A true staple of American candy. 

As a kid, I would marvel at the colorful display at my local candy store, daydreaming about the taste sensations that each color promised. 

And now, as an adult, I’m still not immune to the lure of those delightful little candies.

But if there’s one thing that’s changed over the years, it’s the price. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered why jelly beans are so expensive?

Well, folks, you’re in luck. 

Today, I’m going to take you on a deep dive into the fascinating world of jelly beans to answer that very question. 

And trust me, once you know the answer, you’ll appreciate these sweet little gems all the more!

Why Are Jelly Beans So Expensive?

Jelly Beans are expensive because the cost of making them is also quite high, meaning manufacturers have to charge an expensive price so they can see a profit.

The Cost Of Making Various Flavors

Jelly beans are so much more than just a sugary treat. They’re an experience.

And part of that experience lies in the seemingly endless array of flavors and colors.

You see, creating those wonderful taste sensations is not an easy task.

It takes a lot of time, research, and experimentation to develop the perfect balance of taste, texture, and appearance for every bean.

And that, my friends, is one of the main reasons why jelly beans can be so pricey.

Jelly bean manufacturers often use high-quality ingredients, like natural fruit juices and purees, to create the diverse flavors that make jelly beans so popular.

In addition, getting those vibrant colors just right takes a lot of skill and know-how, and sometimes that involves using pricier dyes and colorings.

All of these factors contribute to the overall cost of jelly beans.

The Cost Of A Complex Manufacturing Process

Another reason why jelly beans can be expensive is the complex manufacturing process.

Jelly beans are created through a process known as panning, which involves building up layers of sugar, syrup, and flavorings around a soft jelly center.

This process requires specialized equipment, skilled workers, and a lot of time and attention to detail.

In fact, it can take anywhere from 7 to 21 days to make a single batch of jelly beans!

The longer production time means that manufacturers have to pay more for labor, storage, and other overhead costs, and this is reflected in the price we pay for our beloved beans.

In a nutshell, jelly beans are expensive due to these key factors:

  1. High-quality ingredients
  2. Complex manufacturing process
  3. Time-consuming production 
  4. Vibrant colors and variety

So, while the price tag might be higher for jelly beans, it’s important to remember that you’re paying for the quality, craftsmanship, and unique experience that these little candies bring.

Their extensive flavor and color variety, coupled with the complex and time-consuming manufacturing process, all contribute to the higher cost of jelly beans compared to other candies.

Have Jelly Beans Always Been Expensive?

Jelly beans have generally been considered more expensive than other candies throughout their history, but their price has varied over time due to several factors.

Now that we’ve explored some of the reasons why jelly beans can be so expensive, you might be wondering if they’ve always been this way.

Interestingly, the answer is both yes and no.

You see, jelly beans have been around for over 100 years and have always been considered a luxury item.

In the early days, they were often sold by weight in fancy candy shops, and were seen as a special treat.

However, as the candy market expanded and competition grew, some manufacturers began to cut corners and use cheaper ingredients, resulting in lower-quality, more affordable jelly beans.

But as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

The lower-priced jelly beans often lacked the incredible flavors and textures that made the originals so beloved.

So, while jelly beans have been both expensive and cheap at various points in their history, the higher price today often reflects the quality and craftsmanship that goes into making these delightful candies.

Let’s look at some specific reasons for why jelly beans are ever increasingly expensive:

  • Luxury item: In their early days, jelly beans were viewed as luxury items sold by weight in upscale candy shops. As such, they were more expensive than other candies available at the time.
  • Market expansion and competition: The candy market has grown over the years, and competition has increased. In response, some manufacturers cut corners and used cheaper ingredients, leading to lower-quality jelly beans that were more affordable. These budget jelly beans lacked the distinctive flavors and textures of the original, high-quality beans, but were accessible to a broader market.
  • Demand for quality: Today, there is a resurgence in demand for high-quality jelly beans, which has increased the price. Consumers are willing to pay more for a better product, which results in a higher price point for jelly beans made with top-notch ingredients and following the traditional, time-consuming production process.

Ways To Get Jelly Beans More Affordably

The best ways to keep your jelly beans expenditure to a minimum include buying in bulk, buying in sales, buying the cheaper brands and even making your own! 

Let’s go into more detail with some tips on how to get them more affordably. After all, we candy lovers have to stick together!

Buy In Bulk

Purchasing jelly beans in bulk quantities can save you significant money compared to buying smaller bags or individual servings.

Many retailers offer bulk options, both in-store and online.

Just make sure you have a plan to store your beans properly, so they stay fresh and tasty for as long as possible.

Amazon is typically great for this as you can see here.

Look For Sales And Discounts

Keep an eye out for special promotions, sales, or coupons at your local grocery store or candy shop.

You never know when they might offer a discount on your favorite jelly beans!

Also, consider signing up for newsletters from your favorite jelly bean brands to be the first to know about new products, sales, and promotions.

Consider Off-brand or Store-brand Jelly Beans

While it’s true that the highest-quality jelly beans tend to come from well-known brands, some lesser-known or store-brand options are still pretty tasty.

They might not have the same extensive range of flavors or the same level of craftsmanship, but they can still satisfy your jelly bean cravings at a lower cost.

Make your own jelly beans: If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own jelly beans at home?

Plenty of recipes and tutorials available online can guide you through the process.

While it might not be quite as convenient as picking up a bag at the store, it can be a fun and rewarding experience – and potentially more cost-effective in the long run.

By using these strategies, you can enjoy jelly beans at more affordable prices without sacrificing the pleasure of indulging in these delightful treats.


So there you have it – the inside scoop on why jelly beans are so expensive, and some tips on how to get them more affordably.

The higher price tag can indeed be attributed to the quality of ingredients, the intricate manufacturing process, and the wide array of flavors and colors that make jelly beans so special.

But with a little bit of savvy shopping and, perhaps, a willingness to try new brands or make your own, you can still enjoy these delightful treats without breaking the bank.

Related Jelly Bean guides you may want to read: