When you think of Easter goodies there’s a good chance the flavorful jelly bean comes to mind — a big hit with kids young and old.
But, because flavor preferences change with age, it stands to reason that not all Easter gifts are created equal.
So, how do you navigate the taste bud temperament of loved ones so everyone will receive special Easter treats they love?
With more than 100 flavors of jelly beans under their belts, Jelly Belly Candy Company has an idea of what types of flavors will be more popular with both kids and grownups.
“When we talked to kids, we learned that the more complex or exotic the flavor, the less likely they were to enjoy it,” said Lisa Brasher, executive vice chairman and a fifth generation candy maker for company.
As a renowned candy expert and author of “Candy: The Sweet History,” Beth Kimmerle added, “Classic flavors like apples and berries are typically the most popular with the younger crowd. Adults crave the more adventurous flavors.”
Understanding age and preferences
Flavor innovation keeps a company like Jelly Belly on its toes.
As people age, their taste buds mature and become more open to those complex flavor profiles children shy away from. The coconut flavor is a great example of this.
“Although our panel of kids gave coconut low scores, when you look at adults who purchase our jelly beans, it’s is a very popular one,” explained Brasher.
Flavors for everyone
By taking the feedback from children of all ages into consideration, the jelly bean company assembled its youthful Kids Mix, a collection of 20 flavors kids love. The mix makes it easier for anyone to pick winning flavors like cotton candy, berry blue and watermelon for Easter treats.
More adult-friendly flavors like licorice, cinnamon and buttered popcorn are purposefully absent from the mix.
According to Brasher, there was one surprise among the company’s findings, “We were shocked when caramel corn didn’t crack the top twenty flavors with the kids,” she said.
One sweet agreement
Despite their palate differences, kids and adults can agree on one thing — very cherry is their top pick.
It’s the most popular Jelly Belly bean flavor in America, placing among the top two since its debut almost 40 years ago.
For a brief period, it was upset by buttered popcorn and fell to the number two position, but it’s been consistently the winning flavor since.
“I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Brasher.
When it comes to giving the best Easter treats, keep these tips in mind:
For the little ones: Give them what they want. Stick to tried and true fruity flavors and other kid-friendly tastes like cotton candy and toasted marshmallow.
For the grownups: Go with complex flavors and new flavor experiences, such as the unique offerings of chili mango, draft beer and cappuccino.
* Save and celebrate: Be sure to hold onto your favorite jelly bean flavors to enjoy on National Jelly Bean Day. This year, it’s just two days after Easter on April 22.
Use these gift tips and you’ll see many smiles on Easter morning.
For other flavorful ideas, visit www.jellybelly.com.