National Jelly Bean Day is observed each year on April 22. No, we’re not talking about the Android Operating System, this is about the candy.
While candies made in a similar manner existed before the jelly bean, Boston confectioner William Schrafft made them popular during the Civil War. With their firm exterior, jelly beans were the first candies to be sold by the pound. Schrafft encouraged his customers to send them to Union soldiers. Today food historians believe, that first jelly beans appeared around that time.
During the 1930s, jelly beans became closely associated with the Easter holiday but are now enjoyed year round. Jelly Beans were Ronald Reagan’s favorite treat.
The very first advertisement of jelly beans appeared on July 5, 1905, in the Chicago Daily News. They were sold for 9 cents per pound.
Earlier jelly beans were associated with Easter because of their egg-like shape. However this changed, that is why we can enjoy these candies anytime. And did you know, that jelly beans were President Reagan’s favorite candies and he used them to quit smoking, when he was the governor of California?
Each year about 16 billion jelly beans are manufactured in the U.S. just for Easter. If you line up all jelly beans eaten by folks during Easter holidays, they could circle the Earth for more than 3 times!