Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bringing Fun Back To Getting Vitamin C! Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy

Gummi Pet Cockroaches 2/24-Count Pack
Click here to buy a case of Jelly Belly Blackberry And Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candies!

The Good: Sweet and tastes like oranges, Presence of vitamin C, Fun and whimsical.
The Basics: The new Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy vastly exceeded my low expections, making it easy for me to recommend this nutritious, but expensive, Gummi candy!

So I have a strategy that, occasionally, backfires on me. I love developing relationships with companies that find this blog and want some press on their new product lines. When I develop such a relationship, I try to be very straightforward with them: I am a very critical reviewer with pretty strong, objective standards that are clearly defined on my website. With that in mind, a few companies send me new products for review and when they do, I have a strategy. When I open the package, the first thing I do is look for a product that I am inherently biased toward. I do this because I want to show the company that has sent me swag to know that I appreciate the freebies and I honestly like being able to recommend an exciting new product that I actually enjoy!

Then, I look for the thing I think I will like the least. I like to assure my readers that I am not a tool for any corporate sponsor and illustrate my independence from the companies – even the ones that treat me well! So, yesterday, I started that process when a package arrived from the fine folks at the Jelly Belly Candy Company. Part one came when I reviewed the new Sunkist Orange Fruit Slices from Jelly Belly (that review is here!), even though it would be a stretch to say I was “biased toward” them initially. To pan a new product, I grabbed the Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy.

Yeah . . . that didn’t quite work out as planned.

The problem is, the Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy turned out to be surprisingly tasty and a lot more fun than I would have guessed. Moreover, it’s pretty nutritious. So, the biggest beefs I have with this candy were the expensive (when I researched them and discovered they sell online in the $1.50 - $1.80 range, I thought that was a bit pricy for a candy that disappeared so quickly!) and supposedly taste like blackberry in addition to the orange flavor (I didn’t get that by the taste). But, the positive elements of this weird, fun candy outweigh the detractions significantly!


The Orange Pet Cockroach is a flavor of Jelly Belly Gummi Candies and this was actually my first experience with one! Jelly Belly Pet Cockroaches are approximately three and a half inches long by two and a half inches wide by 9/10” thick and shaped like a big, orange and black cockroach with six legs, two antennae, a head, carapace, and the tiniest little tail coming out the butt! Interestingly, the packages do not try to define the flavor, though online they are marketed as an Orange/Blackberry Pet Cockroach.

The Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy from Jelly Bellys are still very new and thus are only available in individual 1.5 oz. packages, or cases of the same. This is represents a single serving and is pretty much how the entire candy industry produces their packs, so (for a change) I have no beef about the packaging. What is alternately cool and really freaky is that each Pet Cockroach comes with a little fact card. The fact card both protects the Pet Cockroach in transit and freaks out the consumer with basic information about the creature the candy is modeled after!

Ease Of Preparation

These are gummi candies, not having to get by an army of actual cockroaches to get into the Temple of Doom without getting emotionally scarred! Consuming these is as easy as opening the individual package, sliding the card and Pet Cockroach out and consuming only one of the two (if you guessed the card, go sit in the corner!). There is no additional prep needed.


The Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy has a distinct citrus smell that is, appropriately, of the orange variety. It is not the strongest orange scent, but it is recognizable and it prepares the consumer for a lighter orange taste.

Placing the Orange Pet Cockroach in my mouth, I was surprised by how instantly sweet it was. Many Gummi Candies I have had have a very dry exterior and it is only once that outer, almost leathery layer is pierced (even it if is exceptionally thin) that the flavor is revealed. Not so with the Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach. Instead, this is instantly sweet and fruity.

As soon as the tongue pressed into this Gummi Candy, the full flavor is revealed. True to its word, the Orange Pet Cockroach is actually orange flavored! The taste, which transitions from sweet to mildly tangy in a familiar citrus way, takes on an orange flavor almost more as an aftertaste than a primary taste. Even so, it leaves the flavor of oranges in one’s mouth and is surprisingly delightful for that!


Again, these are Gummi candies, not actual cockroaches or fruit, but the Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy come with 100% of one's RDA of Vitamin C and that makes it a worthwhile alternative to vitamins. Outside that, it behooves one to realized that Gummi Candies, even Jelly Belly Gummi Candies, are not a legitimate source of nutrition. These are a snack food, a dessert, and are in no way an adequate substitute for a real meal. A serving is listed as a single cockroach, with each serving having 130 calories.

Each Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy is not as bad as they could be in the nutrition area. They have a negligible amount of fat (from Coconut Oil that is way down the ingredient list) and two whole grams of protein. These are not Vegan compliant because they contain gelatin! However, it is Kosher gelatin, so these do appear to be Kosher! They have only one percent of the daily sodium with 15 mg and they are made in a peanut free factory! The main ingredients are corn syrup, sugar, and Kosher gelatin. These are made in a peanut free factory, as well!


Jelly Belly Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy have a shelf life of approximately one year, though mine did not last fifteen minutes after I opened the package! They remain freshest when they are kept in their package and they ought to be kept in a cool environment. Storing them in hot places is likely to make the gummi candy denature. Kept in a cool, dry place, the Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy seems to retain its flavor well. The Gummi I received yesterday had an expiration date of June 25, 2013 and, had I not opened it today, I am sure that with proper handling, it would easily have lasted that long.

As for cleanup, unless one allows the Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy to get hot to the point that it denatures and gets sticky, there should be no cleanup necessary.


The Orange Pet Cockroach Gummi Candy from Jelly Belly is fun, surprisingly nutritious, and even more surprisingly educational. If you can afford to give these creepy bugs out on Halloween, you’ll actually be helping kids get their Vitamin C! If not, then as they hit your market this summer, they make for a cool treat once in a while.

For other Jelly Belly products reviewed by me, please check out:
Beanboozled Jelly Bean Assortment
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Dips Jelly Beans
Strawberry Dips Chocolate Covered Jelly Beans


For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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