National Jump for Jelly Beans Day is a U.S. holiday celebrated on July 31. Not only is it a day set aside to appreciate jelly beans, but it’s also a day to jump for joy simply because they exist. Jelly beans have been around for more than a century in the U.S. and have secured themselves a position among the most consumed candies in the country. It’s not only a candy loved by most Americans but a candy that even a one-time president described as his favorite. And so, there’s little wonder why it’s so popular and why two holidays were created to celebrate it.
History of National Jump for Jelly Beans Day
Even though widely consumed in America, Jelly beans are not an idea original to America. These candies have, however, taken precedence over other kinds of candies in the country, so much so that they were even sent up as a surprise to astronauts in space. The making of Jelly beans was inspired by the Turkish confection known as ‘Turkish delight,’ which is a soft version of this hard candy. A huge variety of jelly beans exist where companies that produce the candy make them in different colors for both aesthetic and identification purposes. Additionally, a wide variety of flavors are added to the candy to offer consumers different tastes.
Although it’s not known when jelly beans began to be celebrated, two occurrences are responsible for popularizing it. The first was in the 1860s, during the American civil war when William Schrafft, owner of a Boston, candy-producing company urged people to send jelly beans to soldiers fighting in the civil war as a morale booster. His marketing strategy proved effective and more people began to notice and appreciate the candy. The second was when Ronald Reagan declared jelly beans his favorite candy in the 1960s. During his reign as president in the 1980s, a jar of it could always be found on his desk in the White House. He was so in love with jelly beans that at one point, a flavor was specially made for him. It was this same fondness for the candy that prompted the president to regularly give them out as gifts.
Besides National Jump for Jelly Beans Day, another celebration is held in April for the candy, known simply as National Jelly Bean Day. This goes to show just how much jelly beans are appreciated.
National Jump for Jelly Beans Day timeline
On Schrafft's suggestion, jelly beans are sent to soldiers during the American civil war.
Jelly beans begin to be associated with Easter because of their egg-like shape.
Jelly bean flavors such as lemon, licorice, grape, green apple, and tangerine, among others are introduced.
A special type of jelly bean is made from real fruit juices.
President Reagan sends jelly beans to astronauts in space as a surprise.
National Jump for Jelly Beans Day FAQs
Who made Jelly Belly famous?
President Ronald Reagan loved the real fruit juice flavored jelly beans. By announcing this publicly, the popularity of the new jelly bean skyrocketed.
How many jelly beans do Americans eat a year?
Tens of billions of jelly beans. In 2017 alone, data from the National Confectioners Association showed that around 16 billion jelly beans were bought and consumed by Americans. That’s over twice the amount of the world’s population if everyone was to consume a single jelly bean.
Why are jelly beans eaten at Easter?
Eggs are part of the Easter tradition and because of the egg-like appearance of jelly beans, they too are enjoyed over the holiday.
National Jump for Jelly Beans Day Activities
Eat jelly beans
Grab a cupful of multicolored jelly beans. Relish their sweetness as you gorge on them.
Try other jelly beans flavors
If you usually stick to one flavor then today is a good time to experiment with others. Why not try Reagan's personal favorite, licorice?
Share the love of jelly beans
Knock on a neighbor's door with a bucketful of jelly beans. Take the fun up a notch by closing your eyes while choosing and eating one and guess what flavor it is.
5 Interesting Facts About Jelly Beans
Made using a French process
Jelly beans are produced using a candy-making process known as 'panning.'
They take days to make
Jelly beans take about one to three weeks to be produced because of the panning process.
Has numerous flavors
The Jelly Belly jelly beans-producing company makes over 100 different flavors of jelly beans, ranging from fanciful to gross flavors.
They are widely consumed
The amount of jelly beans consumed in a year is enough to circle the earth five times over.
First to be sold as penny candy
Jelly beans were the first candy to be sold by filling a bag and paying for it according to its weight.
Why We Love National Jump for Jelly Beans Day
They are energy sources
Jelly beans contain calories that your body needs for energy. Remember though, that not burning enough calories off leads to weight gain.
They bring joy
Whether to children or the elderly, getting a cupful of jelly beans lifts one's spirit. See who you can gift some jelly beans to today!
Different flavors abound
You don't need to get different candies for different tastes. Jelly beans have a variety of flavors for you to enjoy.
National Jump for Jelly Beans Day dates