Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Unimpressive Expansion, Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topping Does Not Live Up To Its Potential!

The Good: Does not taste bad, Easy to prepare.
The Bad: Exceptionally weak flavor; virtually flavorless (especially on its own)!
The Basics: Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper is unfortunately unimpressive, not living up to the high standards of the company or flavor whose name it bears.

As a reviewer, I have developed some relationships with a few companies. With most of them, the relationships are exceptionally brief; one negative review of a product and usually the goodies stop flowing from a company. The only company that I’ve had a relationship with where that was not true is the Jelly Belly Candy Company. The fine folks at Jelly Belly seem to know that not every one of their products is going to appeal to every single consumer (so when a product does not hit with a reviewer like me, they know that there is a consumer that is still enamored with it) and that they are creating a premium product (so my kvetching about price occasionally actually reinforces their market strategy that they are not trying to compete against every generically sugary jelly bean; they are aiming for consumers with taste and a more sophisticated palate). So, in my time as a reviewer, the only food company I’ve maintained a relationship with is Jelly Belly. I love their products and I enjoy trying their new products and reviewing them almost the moment they hit the market, thanks to having that relationship.

Having a love for all things Jelly Belly, I was pretty excited when the company created dessert topping (ice cream toppings) based on some of their most popular flavors. In fact, it is almost surprising that it took me so long to get my hands on and review one of the dessert toppings! I started my explorations of the Jelly Belly dessert toppings with Very Cherry. As the name suggests, this flavor of dessert topping is based upon the Very Cherry Jelly Belly jelly beans (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, its flavor is nowhere near as potent or distinctive.


The Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper is part of Vita Specialty Food’s topping line and it works just like a chocolate syrup, though it does not blend with milk to make a beverage. The 12 oz. bottle has a flip top which allows one to squeeze the fluid out onto ice cream. This doesn’t solidify and it is thinner than most dessert toppings I have tried, so it runs quite a bit when placed on ice cream!

Ease Of Preparation

One need not even shake the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper. Simply remove the safety seal, flip open the cap and squeeze out the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper. There is no trick to using this dessert topping.


For all of my ice cream topping reviews, I am utilizing Blue Bunny Chocolate Chip ice cream (reviewed here!) as it provides a neutral flavor base.

On its own, the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper smells powerfully of sweet cherries, which is actually very potent and inviting. It smells just like Very Cherry Jelly Belly jelly beans taste. The aroma is very true to the flavor of Very Cherry Jelly Belly jelly beans. On its own, the Very Cherry dessert topping tastes generically sweet. The cherry (or any fruit) flavor only comes into the flavor as the fluid leaves the tongue. For the bulk of the time the Very Cherry dessert topping is on the tongue, it is flavorless, but sweet.

On ice cream, the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper is weakly cherry flavored. The cold seems to bring out the fruit flavor, though it is much more like the memory of black cherries than the vibrant taste of Very Cherry Jelly Belly jelly beans. And while the flavor might hold its own against a simple light vanilla-based ice cream, anything stronger completely overwhelms this dessert topping and makes it taste blandly, generically sweet as opposed to like what it is supposed to.

This dessert topping only has an aftertaste when it is on ice cream and the aftertaste is sweet and vaguely like cherries. The aftertaste lingers on the tongue for about five minutes.


Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper is a dessert topping therefore not the most nutritious things in the known world. I was shocked that there was nothing really unrecognizable in the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper. The primary ingredients are corn syrup, water and sugar. None of the ingredients insinuate that this is not vegan compliant and there are no allergy warnings on the bottle.

What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each 2 Tb serving (who measures this out, as opposed to squirting it on their ice cream?!) of Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper, there are 150 calories, none of which come from fat! As a fat free product, it is easy to enjoy this quite a bit without guilt! While there is no fat and no cholesterol, a consumer gets 1% of their recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single serving of this topping! Instead of being a nutritionally bad product, this really just contributes nothing to one’s diet, save sugars.


So long as one leaves the Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper in its bottle, (it does not need to be refrigerated after being opened), it ought to stay usable. Given that it has an expiration date several months away, one assumes it will last quite a while unopened. I was surprised, though, that one 12 oz. bottle yields only nine servings, but it does seem to stretch.

Cleanup is very easy as a general rule as it may easily be wiped up with a warm cloth. Because it is a sticky and syrupy product that is mostly light, this ice cream topping does stain. On dishes, it washes off very easily.


Jelly Belly Very Cherry Dessert Topper is not bad, but it does not add the promised flavor to ice cream in a way that is distinctive enough to justify itself. It is a creative idea, but the execution of the Very Cherry is far more likely to underwhelm than it is to impress.

For other ice cream toppings, please visit my reviews of:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Topping
Heath Shell Ice Cream Topping
York Dark Chocolate & Peppermint Sundae Syrup
Dr. Pepper Cherry Dessert Topping


For other ice cream-related product reviews, please visit my Ice Cream Review Index Page!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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