America’s Favorite Jelly Bean Flavors
Almost every year, Easter and National Jelly Bean Day both fall in April, making it the de facto Month of the Jelly Bean.
Springtime belongs to jelly beans maybe even moreso than candy corn owns the autumn season. Certainly there's less controversy around jelly beans than candy corn. The thing about jelly beans, though, is they come in so many different flavors that it's more about which flavor you like.
That's what makes this map so interesting. Everyone loves jelly beans, but they're all in love with a different experience. Some love sweet, classic cherry flavor, while others prefer spicy cinnamon.
Savory flavors like buttered popcorn have become giants while the always divisive licorice jelly beans may be as close to candy corn controversy as the beans get.
As you can see from the map above, jelly bean preferences are extremely varied.
How Many Jelly Beans Are Eaten At Easter?
In a normal year, over 16 billion beans are consumed just for the Easter season. That should give you a clue of how popular these little colorful candies are.
While National Jelly Beans Day is April 22nd, there's not much indication that it's a driver for sales on its own right. Jelly beans are Easter candy, and spring-time candy in general. It's in the air this time of year, and people are just eating them up.
List of Jelly Bean Flavors By State
Looking at over 15 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 as well as overall nationwide rankings.
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 2023||#2 2023||#3 2023|
|Alabama||Watermelon||Juicy Pear||Black Licorice|
|Alaska||Black Licorice||Root Beer||Cherry|
|Arizona||Buttered Popcorn||Cinnamon||Juicy Pear|
|Arkansas||Buttered Popcorn||Root Beer||Black Licorice|
|California||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice||Cinnamon|
|Colorado||Buttered Popcorn||Root Beer||Black Licorice|
|Connecticut||Buttered Popcorn||Cherry||Juicy Pear|
|Delaware||Cinnamon||Toasted Marshmallow||Buttered Popcorn|
|Georgia||Black Licorice||Buttered Popcorn||Root Beer|
|Idaho||Orange||Buttered Popcorn||Root Beer|
|Kentucky||Black Licorice||Cinnamon||Pink Strawberry|
|Louisiana||Green Apple||Buttered Popcorn||Cherry|
|Maine||Root Beer||Cherry||Black Licorice|
|Maryland||Root Beer||Cherry||Buttered Popcorn|
|Michigan||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice||Green Apple|
|Minnesota||Buttered Popcorn||Root Beer||Black Licorice|
|Mississippi||Pink Strawberry||Watermelon||Buttered Popcorn|
|Montana||Black Licorice||Cotton Candy||Cinnamon|
|New Hampshire||Watermelon||Juicy Pear||Grape|
|New Jersey||Black Licorice||Peach||Cherry|
|New York||Sour||Buttered Popcorn||Toasted Marshmallow|
|North Carolina||Black Licorice||Grape||Cinnamon|
|North Dakota||Buttered Popcorn||Cinnamon||Black Licorice|
|Ohio||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice||Cinnamon|
|Oklahoma||Coffee||Green Apple||Toasted Marshmallow|
|Pennsylvania||Buttered Popcorn||Black Licorice||Blueberry|
|Rhode Island||Blueberry||Buttered Popcorn||Pink Strawberry|
|South Carolina||Cherry||Black Licorice||Root Beer|
|South Dakota||Pink Strawberry||Cinnamon||Root Beer|
|Tennessee||Black Licorice||Juicy Pear||Blueberry|
|Texas||Buttered Popcorn||Cinnamon||Black Licorice|
|Vermont||Juicy Pear||Orange||Island Punch|
|Washington||Juicy Pear||Orange||Pink Strawberry|
|West Virginia||Buttered Popcorn||Blueberry||Cinnamon|
|Wisconsin||Cotton Candy||Watermelon||Root Beer|
|Wyoming||Juicy Pear||Cinnamon||Cotton Candy|
Top 21 Jelly Bean Flavors Nationwide
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.
Here's a quick look at the Top Ten:
|Rank||Top 10 Jelly Bean Flavors|
...And the full featured list of the Top 21 flavors:
#1 Buttered Popcorn - New Winner!
Salty and buttery, Buttered Popcorn is riding high once again, jumping over Black Licorice and Cinnamon to regain it's #1 crown. Black licorice had pushed it aside last year, and it is still nipping at popcorn's heels, but the king stands tall.
Both flavors incite strong opinions, positive and negative, but in the end, it has done the work. The results don't lie and this year buttered popcorn is the number one jelly bean flavor in America again.
#2 Black Licorice
Black Licorice is no slouch though. It had been on a losing streak, falling from the #1 spot 4 years ago down to #3. It took a step forward last year 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 Cinnamon – Reigning Champion
But before we get the cherry, another relative newcomer has jumped the George Washington flavor as well.
Cinnamon made steady progress towards the top over the past few years. It finally overtook the #1 spot last year alough it's dropped to #3 here. 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 the #3 jelly bean flavor.
Cherry jelly beans are like the jelly bean elder. They've been around for a long time and were once the kings 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.
Watermelon jumped up respectably from #7 spot to fifth place this year. Popular coast to coast, and sweet in favor like cherry, watermelon jelly beans may be part of a renaissance wave of sweet flavored jelly beans moving back up the charts.
#6 Root Beer
Maine’s favorite flavor, Root Beer, has been moving up fast. Jumping 2 more spots again this year to make the number 6 spot, it has moved 9 spots up in 4 years. It doesn't have much more room to go up!
That’s some big moves for a classic flavor and could be another challenge to fruity flavors hoping to mount a comeback.
#7 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 Vermont, Wyoming and Washington!
Blueberry jelly beans, the flavor they invented specifically to make the blue in red white and blue, has risen dramatically from #16, up 8 spots. Useful for their blue color, which is a popular color for event candy, blueberry jelly beans may be part of the sweet flavored beans making a run.
Coffee had a major year last 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. This year, they cooled off a bit but still remain in the top ten at #9.
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).
Orange flavor remained at #10 this year. Orange has held strong as a classic jelly bean flavor to remain in the top ten. It even took the top spot in Idaho!
Strawberry jelly beans have seen a reversal of fortune. Just when they thought they were in free fall at #17, they have been able to right the ship and level off at #11.
Sour flavored jelly beans have stayed pretty steadily just outside the top ten most popular flavor. They were #1 in New York and now Nebraska too! It’s no secret that New Yorkers love sour candy.
#13 Green Apple
A Green Apple jelly bean a day keeps the doctor away. Green Apple was reeling after dropping to #15, but has climbed a few notches back to #13. A classic old school jelly bean flavor, Green Apple can still hold its head high as a top 15 flavor.
Coconut has fallen back to #14 this 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?
#15 Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy has been knocking on the door of the top ten for a few years now. This year it took a step back from #11 to #15.
This fair ground-inspired flavor is all sweetness without the fruity. For some people it’s the perfect combination of sweet and no citrus.
Chocolate jelly beans dropped slightly this year, 2 spots from the #14 to #16 place. Chocolate lovers might wonder why it’s not even higher, but they did claim the #1 spot in Illinois yet again!
#17 Toasted Marshmallow
Toasted Marshmallow dropped big time from the #6 spot last year. It was the biggest drop of the year. This year they tumbled further to #17.
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.
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 stayed at #19, not much movement there. 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 remains at the #21 spot. Red apple has done well to stay moderately high even though its greener brother is the more famous of the apple flavors.
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