Almost every year, Easter and National Jelly Bean Day both fall in April, making it the de facto Month of the Jelly Bean.
In a normal year, over 16 billion beans are made just for the Easter season. With things starting to open back up this year, it’s tough to tell whether fewer or more jelly beans will be needed. Perhaps people will feel like outdoor Easter egg hunts are safe and go big after a quiet 2020. It remains to be seen but should be interesting to watch it play out.
Looking at over 13 years of candy sales data and the results from over 10,000 survey responses, we were able to map out jelly bean flavor preferences by state.
The interactive map above illustrates each states favorite jelly bean flavor. Hover over a state to reveal the top 3 most popular in that state. The results are not specific to any one brand of jelly bean.
Here is a list if you prefer browsing that way.
|State||Top Flavor||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|Alabama||Juicy Pear||Watermelon||Black Licorice|
|Arizona||Cinnamon||Buttered Popcorn||Juicy Pear|
|Arkansas||Buttered Popcorn||Watermelon||Juicy Pear|
|California||Cinnamon||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice|
|Colorado||Black Licorice||Watermelon||Juicy Pear|
|Connecticut||Buttered Popcorn||Cherry||Juicy Pear|
|Delaware||Cinnamon||Toasted Marshmallow||Buttered Popcorn|
|Georgia||Buttered Popcorn||Red Apple||Juicy Pear|
|Louisiana||Pink Strawberry||Buttered Popcorn||Cherry|
|Maine||Root Beer||Cherry||Black Licorice|
|Maryland||Cherry||Root Beer||Buttered Popcorn|
|Michigan||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice||Green Apple|
|Minnesota||Black Licorice||Toasted Marshmallow||Cinnamon|
|Mississippi||Green Apple||Watermelon||Buttered Popcorn|
|Montana||Black Licorice||Cotton Cnady||Cinnamon|
|New Hampshire||Watermelon||Juicy Pear||Grape|
|New Jersey||Black Licorice||Peach||Cherry|
|New Mexico||Cherry||Toasted Marshmallow||Watermelon|
|New York||Sour||Buttered Popcorn||Toasted Marshmallow|
|North Carolina||Cinnamon||Black Licorice||Grape|
|North Dakota||Cinnamon||Black Licorice||Buttered Popcorn|
|Ohio||Cinnamon||Black Licorice||Buttered Popcorn|
|Oklahoma||Coffee||Green Apple||Toasted Marshmallow|
|Rhode Island||Blueberry||Cinnamon||Pink Strawberry|
|South Carolina||Cherry||Black Licorice||Blueberry|
|South Dakota||Pink Strawberry||Cinnamon||Blueberry|
|Tennessee||Black Licorice||Juicy Pear||Blueberry|
|Texas||Buttered Popcorn||Cinnamon||Black Licorice|
|Vermont||Juicy Pear||Orange||Island Punch|
|Washington||Juicy Pear||Orange||Pink Strawberry|
|Washington, D.C.||Cherry||Black Licorice||Cinnamon|
|West Virginia||Buttered Popcorn||Blueberry||Cinnamon|
|Wisconsin||Watermelon||Juicy Pear||Cotton Candy|
|Wyoming||Juicy Pear||Cinnamon||Cotton Candy|
National Jelly Bean Rankings
As a nation, sometimes it seems like we can’t agree on anything. Our size, diversity and multitude of culturally-influenced preferences creates a rainbow of opinions. This particular rainbow happens to be made of jelly bean opinions.
We ranked the top 21 jelly bean flavors in America. Here we go.
#1 Cinnamon – Reigning Champion
Cinnamon made steady progress towards the top over the past few years. It finally overtook the #1 spot last year and hangs on again this year. This spicy red jelly bean flavor is part of a trend of spicy candy we noticed a while back.
Things have been heating up for cinnamon jelly beans. Sour candy, spicy candy, savory candy are all becoming more and more popular. In fact, the top 3 jelly bean flavors do not include a sweet or fruity flavor at all!
Spicy and packing heat, cinnamon is your #1 jelly bean flavor, America.
#2 Black Licorice
Black Licorice is regaining its mojo. It had been on a losing streak, falling from the #1 spot 3 years ago down to #3. It took a step forward this year back to the #2 spot.
The number two spot is very near the top and there’s no denying the immense popularity of black licorice jelly beans. They are polarizing to be sure, but enough people still love them to push them above what was traditionally the top jelly bean flavor in the western hemisphere: cherry.
#3 Buttered Popcorn
Salty and buttery, Buttered Popcorn was still riding high last year, maintaining at #2 after knocking Black Licorice off the top spot 3 years ago. Black licorice has pushed it aside again this year. Both flavors incite strong opinions, positive and negative, but in the end, Buttered Popcorn has work to do to if it wants to become the number one jelly bean flavor in America again.
Cherry is like the jelly bean elder. It has been around for a long time and was once the king of jelly bean flavors, reigning for more than 20 years. It’s no longer in the top 3, but perhaps its time has not yet come.
Cherry was #4 last year as well. Maintaining it’s place on the charts is impressive for a sweet fruity flavor in this new savory/spicy world we live in. Only time will tell if Cherry can reclaim a place on the podium, or fall back into the fray of other fruity flavors.
#5 Juicy Pear
Juicy Pear is sort of a new classic jelly bean flavor. It has reached a high level of popularity in a relatively short lifespan. This year it even took over as the #1 flavor in Colorado, Wyoming and Florida!
Coffee had a major year, jumping from the #16 spot all the way up here to #6. It was the biggest move of the year and felt like it was overdue.
Coffee, the drink, has never been more popular, and coffee flavored treats and gifts are on the rise. Coffee flavored jelly beans are no different, making strong moves and mixing it up with various flavor varieties like latte and espresso (which we lumped together).
Watermelon held it’s place at the number 7 spot this year. They are popular coast to coast, and like cherry are more of the sweet-flavored
#8 Root Beer
Maine’s favorite flavor, Root Beer, is moving up fast. Jumping 2 spots again this year to make the number 8 spot, it has moved 7 spots up in 3 years.
That’s some big moves for a classic flavor and could be another signal that fruity flavors are headed for a recession.
#9 Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy has been knocking on the door of the top ten for a few years now. This year it made the jump from #11 to #9.
This fair ground-inspired flavor is all sweetness without the fruity. For some people it’s the perfect combination of sweet and no citrus.
Orange flavor fell another spot this year after getting jumped by Cotton Candy. Orange has held strong as a classic jelly bean flavor to remain in the top ten. It even took the top spot in Idaho!
Sour flavored jelly beans have made a nice move up this year, moving up from #13 to #11 most popular flavor. They were #1 in New York and now Nebraska too! It’s no secret that New Yorkers love sour candy.
Coconut is moving up from #14 last year. It’s another classic flavor that’s not super fruity and doing well. Something about those fruity flavors aren’t hitting home as much as they used to. Is this just a product of widespread flavor diversity?
#13 Toasted Marshmallow
Toasted Marshmallow dropped big time from the #6 spot last year. It was the biggest drop of the year.
The toasty flavor warms the heart and the belly. It’s a great flavor to compliment other flavors and cut through some of the super sweet fruity flavors with a more creamy and slightly savory taste. It however, is not the top flavor in any one state , and it’s popularity is clearly waning.
Chocolate jelly beans moved up again this year, 5 spots from the #19 to #14 place. Chocolate lovers might wonder why it’s not even higher, but they did claim the #1 spot in Illinois again!
#15 Green Apple
A Green Apple jelly bean a day keeps the doctor away. Probably not, but Green Apple is reeling now after dropping another 3 spots this year. From #8 three years ago, they now find themselves at #15. A classic old school jelly bean flavor, Green Apple can still hold its head high as a top 15 flavor.
Blueberry jelly beans, the flavor they invented specifically to make the blue in red white and blue, has fallen another spot to #16, down 3 spots in as many years. Useful for their blue color, which is a popular color for event candy, blueberry jelly beans may struggle to differentiate themselves from the crowd of fruity flavored jelly beans.
Strawberry jelly beans have seen an abrupt reversal of fortune, and not in a good way. Dropping all the from the #8 spot down to #17, these classic favorites might need a PR team to explain what the heck happened here.
Grape stayed strong at #18, same as last year. Purple is a strong color and is an asset to Grape jelly beans. Purple is one of the most popular candy colors and there are not many other purple flavors.
Banana flavored jelly beans moved up from #21 to #19, a small but significant move. Banana is a classic candy flavor that isn’t super traditional for jelly beans, but the popularity of Jelly Belly has made it more prominent in recent years.
Bubblegum flavor fell 3 spots from #17 last year, making it a 6 spot loss over 3 years. So bubblegum is in a downtrend. This may reflect a trend towards less sugary flavors and more savory and spicy ones. Similar in color and flavor to Cotton Candy, it’s moving in the opposite direction. Could there be a zero sum game between them?
#21 Red Apple
Red Apple fell back a spot to #21. Red apple has done well to stay moderately high even though its greener brother is the more famous of the apple flavors.