Superfruit Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!
The Good: Actually has nutritional benefits, Some decent flavors.
The Bad: Environmentally poor bulking, Different appearance/texture from regular Jelly Bellys.
The Basics: A more problematic than wonderful flavor, the Superfruit Mix of Jelly Bellys is only an average jelly bean mix.
On my recent trip to Michigan with my wife, we stopped at a little slice of heaven for me. Near Erie, Pennsylvania, we found a Jelly Belly store and for those unfamiliar with my reviews, I have heavily reviewed the Jelly Belly jelly bean line (with those reviews now getting moved to my blog with regularity!). But while I was geeking out over the Dark Chocolate Jelly Belly jelly beans I had coveted for quite some time, my wife was sneaking around and found the Superfruit mix for me. The Superfruit Mix is a new (not yet available in all markets!) mix of fruit flavored Jelly Bellys. This is the way to get the unique flavors Acai Berry, Barbados Cherry, Blueberry, Cranberry, and Pomegranate. For those sticklers who know of the full assortment, it is worth noting that these versions of Blueberry and Pomegranate are different from the standard assortments' Blueberry and Pomegranate. Unfortunately, the look and feel of these new Jelly Bellys was not just cosmetic and the Superfuit Mix gets only a very weak "recommend" from me, more for nutrition than actually wowing me.
For those who might never have had Jelly Belly jelly beans, these are easily the best jelly beans on the planet, packing a lot of flavor into a very small size. Unlike most jelly beans which are only vaguely flavored and are more based on colors, Jelly Belly jelly beans have a wide variety of actual flavors, like peach bellini, pina colada, Dr. Pepper, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.
Jelly Belly jelly beans have done many, many fruit flavors. The Superfruit Mix appears to be their attempt to capitalize on currently trendy flavors like Acai Berry and Pomegranate while selling consumers on the healthy benefits of these fruits. Unfortunately, my experience with the Superfruit Mix was more disturbing than exciting.
The Superfruit Mix is a collection of five flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans, made especially for this assortment: Acai Berry, Barbados Cherry, Blueberry, Cranberry and Pomegranate. These Jelly Belly jelly beans are approximately five-eights inches long by three-eighths inches wide and they are roughly bean-shaped. These little candies are marketed to taste precisely like fruits and they do that with varying degrees of success.
The Superfruit Mix is hitting the market as bags of the assortment weighing 3.1 oz. The 3.1 oz. bags are bulked together by the dozen for the display package and that is terrible for the environment, but does make for convenient serving sizes for the beans. I suspect that for most people, the 2.3 pound box will last a while, mostly because of indifference to the product.
The very first problem I had with the Superfruit Mix was that none of the jelly beans look quite like the pictures on the bag. All of the beans are translucent (on the package Barbados Cherry looks like it ought to be an opaque neon pink). The Acai Berry and Blueberry are almost indistinguishably different dark purple beans. The other three are all translucent pink, though Cranberry is a little more on the red side. All that seems to separate Barbados Cherry and Pomegranate is the fact that the Pomegranate Jelly Belly jelly beans have red spots on them and the Barbados Cherry does not. All of them have a muted color which make them look like sickly cousins to proper Jelly Bellys.
Ease of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not getting all your vitamin C for a day to be absorbed from a single source! In the case of the two point three pound box, one might want to put them in a candy dish of some form as opposed to always going into the box. Then again, my experiences had these Jelly Bellys melting together and sweating some, so the best course might be to leave them in their individual bags!
All that saves this mix is that the Jelly Bellys taste generally like what they are supposed to. The Acai Berry beans have no discernible scent. When placed on the tongue, they have an immediately dry berry taste that becomes slightly more sour as one bites into it. I recognize the flavor only from teas that I have had which have Acai Berry and the taste is generically berry flavored.
Barbados Cherry actually smell like cherries. I've not had, to my knowledge, this particular type of cherry before, but the Barbados Cherry Jelly Belly jelly beans taste like bing cherries, sweet and substantial. Unfortunately, the more of these I ate, the more bland the taste became. This was a Jelly Belly where the flavor faded and, unfortunately, it happened with surprising speed.
Like the Acai Berry, the Blueberry Jelly Bellys which come in this assortment have no scent. I was disturbed by how they were not blue. However, Jelly Belly gets this flavor perfect! These taste like actual blueberries, the blueberries which are warmed in the sunlight and have a slightly sour taste to combine with their sweet. It is reassuring that Jelly Belly did not go for the artificial taste of blueberry on these and instead opted for the real flavor. Those who like natural blueberries will enjoy this flavor.
Then there is Cranberry. The Cranberry Jelly Bellys have no bouquet which prepared me for an unimpressive jelly bean. The Cranberry Jelly Bellys taste more waxy than anything, until they are split open on the tongue. Then, they taste like sweetened, watered down cranberry juice. They have a strong, sour aftertaste to them.
It is pretty well-established that I loathe Pomegranate. It is a disgusting flavor which is sour and overwhelming and I think the pomegranate fad cannot die quick enough for me. The Superfruit Mix Pomegranate jelly beans taste just like the pomegranate fruits I loathe, so they deserve kudos and disdain for that.
These are jelly beans, but the Superfruit Mix is actually attempting to mimic the nutritious fruit upon which they are based. They do this by including real fruit juice or real fruit puree into these Jelly Bellys. These are a snack food, a dessert, and are in no way an adequate substitute for real fruit. A serving is listed at thirty-five beans, with each Jelly Belly jelly bean having approximately four calories. The 3.1 oz.. bag has two servings. In a single serving, there are 140 calories, which is 12% of your daily recommended intake.
The thing is, Jelly Belly jelly beans are not as bad as they could be in the nutrition area and the Superfruit Mix actually has a leg up on most of the other flavors. They have no fat and no protein, but for those who have ever dated a Vegan, these are Vegan compliant because they contain no gelatin! Some, more militant, Vegans may object to the bee's wax in the coating, but I think that's fine. They have no sodium and they are gluten free! The main ingredients are evaporated cane juice, tapioca syrup and modified food starch, so it's not like this is an all-natural food, but they could be far, far worse. The flavorings for the Superfruit Mix, though, are all natural. The flavor comes from juices and as a result, these jelly beans are actually high in vitamin C. Yes, a single serving of the Superfruit Mix jelly beans provides the consumer with 25% of their daily Vitamin C!
Jelly Belly jelly beans have a shelf life of approximately one year and the bags of Superfruit Mix Jelly Bellys in my box which I bought in June 2010 are set to expire in March of 2012. They remain freshest when they are kept in an airtight container (the bag in the bulk box is sufficient if it is kept closed) and they ought to be kept in a lukewarm environment. Storing them in hot places is likely to make the beans stick together and be gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, Jelly Belly jelly beans usually retain their flavor perfectly. However, my Superfruit Mix beans have been kept in a cool environment and they still stick together. Even worse, when I opened them, they were sweating and I've never had that happen with a Jelly Belly jelly bean product before!
As for cleanup, unless one allows the Jelly Belly to get hot to the point that the waxy coating on the bean melts, the dyes on these do not bleed or denature, so there is usually no cleanup necessary, not even washing one's hands after eating them (even if they don't melt!). Even with the sweating, the Superfruit Mix beans did not stain anything.
Average on taste, below average on packaging and appearance and while I enjoy them for the nutritional benefits, the new Superfruit Mix by Jelly Belly is hardly an exciting mix for fans of the usually delicious gourmet jelly beans.
For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Raspberry Jelly Bean Dips
Strawberry Jelly Bean Dips
Coconut Jelly Bean Dips
For other food reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.