Today we're headed to see a factory tour that everyone should love. The Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory! They make some of the best jelly beans in the world! It's been a really long time since we've been here. Our last visit was way back in 2018!
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Factory Tour - 2022/07/08
And as a special treat, we've got another friend that is here with us! Uncle Jacob! We keep seeing him again and again this summer!
Ah, the Jelly Belly factory entrance. On previous visits, we've had to come during the weekend, when there wasn't anything happening on the factory floor. Today though we're visiting on a Friday at 3pm so the factory is still in full production mode.
Didn't the factory tours used to be free? Hmm, I wonder when they made that change.
Well, we paid for our tour tickets and received these paper hats in return. I suppose these act as our "ticket" to get us on the factory tour.
Up the stairs we go to the walkways above the factory floor.
This is a self-guided tour, but they do hold groups and let them in in phases to keep things from getting overcrowded. Luckily for us, it's not that busy today.
Our first stop is a 3 minute introduction video. I wish they had it online, but I couldn't find it.
There's a photo op with Mr Jelly Belly, but I guess they've gone home for the day. Either way, it's an opportunity for Alli to give him a big hug.
Here's our first look at the factory floor. You join up with them in the middle of the jelly bean making process. Beans are already made and now they're being packaged. We see loose beans traveling on conveyor belts on their way to packaging.
And we saw some factory workers trying to diagnose an issue with one of the machines. We watched as dozens of empty plastic packages were diverted directly into a trashcan after being sealed. Hopefully they get it working again!
There's a bit of manual effort to some of these jobs too.
We watched as workers took mini bags of beans and affixed them to long hanging strips.
Ah. Even though it's July when I was taking these photos, they're already working on their Monster Mash mix for Halloween. These will likely hang on the aisles where halloween candy is sold this year! I'll have to keep my eye out for them!
There are a few sensory experiences along the tour. Here, a fan is blowing over a tube of Jelly Belly beans, and the air shoots out the top. Take a whiff and guess which flavor it is.
Mmm, chocolate pudding.
I like all the Jelly Belly mosaics that have been created. It reminds me of the Lego Mickey Mouse mosaic I created a long time ago.
All these Jelly Belly centers are waiting their turns to have their candy shells added.
A look at the flavorings and colorings shelves. So that's what it takes to get the delicious flavors to make Jelly Belly beans?
Walking down Green Apple Way, we get a look at how they add the candy shells and flavorings.
Giant candy tumblers keep the beans moving, while flavors and colors are added. Slowly, layer by layer, the beans build up that candy shell.
TV monitors showed us how each step in the process worked.
We could take pictures of almost every step. The portion where they form the centers by stamping the shapes into trays of corn starch was off limits.
Along they way they had fun games to keep the littles entertained. Here we're trying to keep beans out of a soccer net for some reason. With all of us waving our hands around, we were able to keep most of the beans out of the net.
And set a high score (presumably for the day)!
Ooh, the Bean Boozled line of jelly beans! These are fun! I like trying them from the Sample Bar and seeing which are the worst.
Packaging and shipping. There is a lot of automation here where the finished boxes move along a track and to robots waiting to stack them into pallets. Pretty cool!
A look at huge stacks of finished beans that are drying.
What's your Belly Flop IQ?
Belly Flops are beans that don't form quite right during the manufacturing process. Either two beans stuck together, squished beans, or something else not quite right. Those Belly Flops get sorted out and sold separately for discounted prices!
As the beans go by, you have to drag and drop the bad ones into the bin.
While they have many different flavors of beans, and some are sold individually, a large portion of them are sold as an assorted mix. How do they all get mixed together? We watched as these workers threw box after box of different beans onto this giant conveyor belt.
That's a lot of beans! So many that it went underneath the walkway we were on.
Every few boxes, the workers had to press a button on the side of the belt, presumably to show they loaded beans to that point. Once everything was full on the belt, each pressed a final button and the beans flew to a lifter that brought them into a mixing drum.
And out the other side comes an assorted mix with all the different flavors!
Off they go! It's interesting to see how they all come in in waves and come out completely random!
Thanks for visiting! I enjoyed seeing the factory up and running!
On past visits, we'd receive a goodie bag with Jelly Belly jelly beans on the way out, but this time there were none. Hmm.
Alli liked seeing the mosaics too! That is a cute bear. And yes, I like that Mona Lisa. She's a whole lot bigger than the original we saw in Paris!
Some interesting facts about the mosaics. So each takes about 100 hours to complete and weighs about 100 pounds when completed.
That was a fun factory tour! Next we'll go see the museum and visit the factory store!