20 Jelly Bean Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

When it comes to candies and holidays, some items are synonymous. For example, Valentine's Day has boxes of chocolate, and Easter has a whole host of holiday-specific treats. From Peeps to chocolate-covered bunnies, there are plenty of goodies to fill any Easter basket. One of our favorite culinary treats during the Easter season is the jelly bean.

From Jelly Belly to Starburst and more generic brands in between, you can find jelly beans in an incredible variety of different flavors. However, just like any flavored candy, some flavors are better than others.

While we can't imagine you would willingly place disgusting flavors in an Easter basket, Jelly Belly even offers Bertie Bott's Beans straight from the Harry Potter series. This collection of flavors includes favorites like cinnamon and cherry, but it also has less appetizing flavors like booger, earwax, and vomit. So, when it comes time to choose those Easter baskets, choose your shiny jelly beans wisely.

20. Licorice

No flavor is more polarizing than licorice. For many, the taste is very off-putting, but for others, it is reasonably enjoyable. People who like their candy to be not quite sweet tend to prefer the taste of licorice.

True licorice flavor gets its taste from a Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. This is also the flavoring in Jagermeister and even NyQuil. However, black licorice jelly beans often get their flavor from a combo platter of anise oil and licorice extract. If your beans have flavoring from the Glycyrrhiza glabra, they will say so on the packaging.

While we understand people's taste change over time and shift throughout their lives, the licorice flavor seems to be one that people immediately enjoy or despise it all together, like cilantro. For us, this flavor of jellybean is one we actively avoid.

19. Cotton candy

Some flavors are more complicated than others to replicate. Often, a fruit-flavored lollipop will be different from a bite from fresh fruit of the same name. Unfortunately, the same is true for cotton candy jelly beans.

Cotton candy jelly beans are quite sour when compared with the authentic flavor of cotton candy. Instead of a slightly sour jelly bean, we would like to see something ultra-sugary tasting with just a little fruit flavor. It should remind us of sticky fingers and summer days spent at the carnival. Instead, cotton candy jelly beans feel like a poor substitute for the ultimate delicious treat of our childhood. That said, the light pink color of the typical cotton candy jelly bean is absolutely adorable and looks beautiful in an Easter basket. Plus, Jelly Belly offers plenty of red and pink jelly beans to round out a beautiful theme.

18. Coconut

Coconut is one of those flavors that can transport you to a new time and place. We imagine the sunniest of skies with beautiful palms waving in the breeze when we think of coconut-flavored things. But like the cotton candy jelly bean, a coconut jelly bean lacks authenticity.

This might be due to the fact that a coconut jelly bean is not a sweet drink on a beach. Instead, it is a room-temperature, semi-hard candy. To be a refreshing, delicious taste, coconut needs that cold punch to take it to the next level. So all told, it's probably not the coconut jelly bean's fault that it's not our favorite; it has more to do with the fact that coconut probably shouldn't be a jelly bean flavor.

17. Tutti-Frutti

One of the Jelly Belly's more unique flavors is the Tutti Frutti jelly bean. The name comes from Italian and means "all fruits." Although we are not as fond of the flavor of this one, it is an absolutely beautiful jelly bean. We think a speckled pink color screams Easter time, and it is undoubtedly one of the cutest options for an Easter basket.

Unfortunately, the Tutti Frutti jelly bean suffers from the very goal it aims for. That is, this jelly bean has so many different fruit flavors in it, it is hard to discern which ones are which, leading to a confused taste that is a little less enjoyable. It feels like something closer to a mystery jelly bean than one that should taste like a fruit salad of different fine fruits. On the other hand, we can imagine kids enjoying this one because it is so pretty, sweet, and unique.

16. Cantaloupe

If you've ever ordered a fruit cup from a restaurant, chances are you have experienced the disappointment of a melon-heavy selection of fruit. One of the more common melons to show up in your fruit salad is a cantaloupe, so this flavor is already at a disadvantage when it comes to a cantaloupe-flavored jelly bean.

While other jelly beans suffer from a problem of not being true to life enough, the issue with the cantaloupe jelly bean is that it is very true to life. As a result, the flavor is relatively mild, but we found the sweetness to be pretty high. So while it is authentic in flavor, it is too sweet for our taste. That said, if you want to create a carrot made out of jelly beans for Easter, this might very well be the perfect jelly bean for your needs.

15. Buttered popcorn

When it comes to candy, we tend to look for sweet items to satisfy that craving. However, the buttered popcorn-flavored jelly bean is quite a unique and unexpected spin on the classic sweet candy.

Like cantaloupe, it tastes remarkably similar to the actual food. Since buttered popcorn seems like a reasonably difficult flavor to capture in a jelly bean form, this is nothing but surprising. As a result, you may find yourself delighted by the flavor at first. But after a few jelly beans in hand, you'll soon find that the buttered popcorn flavor is nothing more than a seemingly interesting parlor trick in a delicious-tasting jelly bean. Therefore, we like this one for its impressive taste, but we prefer to avoid massive handfuls of it.

14. Pineapple

From pineapple on pizza to snacking on it sliced, this fruit is oddly polarizing. Some people love it; while others cannot stand the taste. We understand that it may not be everyone's favorite fruit, but we quite enjoy pineapple.

As a jelly bean, however, it is not our favorite flavor. The tartness in pineapple does not come through very strongly, and that is what we love about sliced pineapple snacks. On the other hand, if you pair a pineapple and coconut jelly bean together, the taste would be much better than either of these flavors on their own. This is because the coconut's smoothness compliments the jelly bean flavor of the pineapple, and the flavors do an excellent job of melting together to create something complex and delicious.

13. Watermelon

Sliced watermelon can be a delicious summer treat. Plus, if you have chosen one carefully at the store, they are ultra sweet and juicy. And while we love fresh-cut watermelon in the summertime, watermelon candies simply don't capture the flavor in the same way.

Perhaps the ultimate culprit of a fake candy taste, watermelon-flavored items don't taste anything like the actual fruit. Many products are guilty of the same offense, but watermelon is perhaps the most egregious. And while we like the flavor of candy watermelon, it is always disappointing how little it tastes like the real melon. This could be because watermelon is like the name suggests, just so primarily water that candy makers think the flavor must be more intense to be enjoyed. That said, for a delicious spin on the classic watermelon jelly bean, we love the Sour Patch brand for how deliciously tart they are. You'll probably want to eat the whole bag, to be honest.

12. Pear

Like watermelon, a fresh pair has a lot of liquid in it. In fact, the juicier they are, the more watery you may find a pear to be. However, a jelly bean pear does not incur the same fate.

Pear jelly beans offer a concentrated pear flavor, and unlike many fruit candies, the pear flavor feels close to authentic. Perhaps this is why we enjoy a pear-flavored jelly bean so much. We just love when a fruit has its flavor accurately captured in candy form. You may not immediately think to reach for a pear jelly bean because, as a fruit, it simply isn't as exciting as others, but give a pear jelly bean a try. We think you'll be impressed with just how juicy this jelly bean can actually be.

11. Pomegranate

We love pomegranates. Even if the fruit can be difficult to peel, it remains one of our favorites. The pomegranate jelly bean simply did not live up to our expectations. Like other fruit flavors, this one suffers from the certainty that it can't live up to the actual taste of a pomegranate.

While the tart flavor is there, it just doesn't match what we typically like to see from a pomegranate. Considering that pomegranate seeds are relatively small to begin with, enjoying a pomegranate jelly bean also tricks the brain just enough to make you believe that you are consuming pomegranate arils. However, since the flavor is just not quite there, the confluence of what your brain wants to enjoy versus what your eyes and mouth are experiencing is just not very enjoyable, especially since the deep red color of a pomegranate jelly bean is pretty close to the real deal. Plus, it looks lovely as a compliment to other colors.

10. Strawberry cheesecake

When it comes to ordering dessert at the end of a meal, more often than that, we will choose a cheesecake. While some people will like a super chocolatey option, fruity cheesecakes are often even better. This may be why we are so interested in the strawberry cheesecake jelly bean.

Unfortunately, this one doesn't quite live up to its name. It's hard to capture a texture in a jelly bean, but with cheesecake, that's pretty much a necessity. Otherwise, you are left with an attempt at trying to capture the milky, tart, and strawberry taste of a cheesecake. The problem with the strawberry cheesecake jelly bean is that it comes close to these flavors but doesn't quite achieve them. In the case of both the strawberry and the milkiness, it gets close but not quite there.

9. Island punch

Island punch flavoring is a close approximation of the classic fruit punch juice you love from childhood. It is ultra sweet and vaguely fruit-tasting, without being a specific fruit. This jelly bean brought us right back to a little juice cup filled with the red, sugary liquid, and even though it was a jelly bean, we think it got pretty close.

Like the coconut flavor, however, the only drawback of this jelly bean is that it is not in liquid form. To be an accurate comparison to fruit punch, we would need it actually to be liquid-y. Therefore, the jelly bean's consistency and texture are what hold this one back. And when it comes to jelly beans, you cannot do much about either of those things. Even still, if you're hoping for a trip back to your toddler years, this jelly bean might do the trick.

8. Lemon

When it comes to candy preferences, there's a good chance that you are either a citrus lover or prefer the taste of berry flavors. If you fall into the camp of preferring that bright yellow and orange candy, then you will probably absolutely enjoy a lemon jelly bean.

Like other citrus-flavored candies, the lemon jelly bean offers that not-quite-authentic lemon flavor that most lemon candies have. While still refreshing, tart, and just perfectly sweet, the lemon jelly bean is also light and enjoyable. However, the simple fact is that we enjoy other jelly bean flavors more than we do the lemon flavor. That said, we love to throw a lemon jelly bean in every now and again as something of a palette cleanser.

7. Orange

If you love lemon-flavored items, there's a non-zero chance you also like the citrus burst of orange-flavored candies. If that's you, then the orange-flavored jelly bean is one you'll probably enjoy. And while the orange flavor isn't necessarily bad, it simply isn't our favorite jelly bean flavor, either.

Unlike the lemon, however, orange-flavored jelly beans taste more like the actual fruit than many other fruit-flavored beans. We also prefer orange jelly beans to lemon ones because they aren't quite as tart but offer more sweetness. Additionally, we find that orange flavors are pretty similar from brand to brand, unlike other jelly bean flavors. We must caution you though: Don't be fooled by mandarin-flavored jelly beans, as those are entirely different and have a distinct taste that is all their own.

6. Strawberry

When it comes to strawberry jelly beans, we find that the flavor varies wildly from brand to brand. With some flavors, like starburst, the strawberry flavor is ultra-strong, even a little tart. While other flavors tend to taste something closer to a strawberry smoothie, and the tartness is toned down quite a bit.

However, the flavor is good no matter what brand you choose. We like the strawberry flavor for the smoothness of the sweet berry, but also that it is a little bit closer to the taste of a real strawberry than other fruits. Since the flavor of strawberries can vary wildly within their ripe season, we find that the different flavors of strawberry jelly beans taste like a strawberry at any given moment throughout its season. Not to mention, that bright pink color is super pretty and an excellent accent around the Easter season.

5. Grape

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that grape flavor items tend to be fairly popular. And although grapes come in many colors, sizes, and flavors, grape-flavored treats tend to be the same, modeled after a Concorde grape flavor.

Although we tend to enjoy grape-flavored snacks, we find that we have to be in the mood for them. Plus, grapes tend to become too sweet over time. The flavor can become overwhelming to the point that we need a little bit of a break in our snacking. We prefer when our jelly bean popping can continue without feeling overwhelmed by the flavor. That's why when we enjoy grape jelly beans, we like to have them with many other fruit options. We create a fruit salad of jelly beans with strawberry, lemon, orange, and grape pieces.

4. Cinnamon

For us, cinnamon flavoring can be very hit or miss. Some cinnamon candies are perfectly delicious, while others taste like you are attempting a viral cinnamon challenge. In any case, the cinnamon jelly bean is perfectly spicy without being overkill.

We really enjoy pairing a cinnamon jelly bean with an apple jelly bean for an apple cinnamon pie taste. Given that cinnamon is a spice, it makes sense to pair this jelly bean with other flavors that you would find in your kitchen. In fact, that's part of the fun when it comes to jelly beans. They are easy to eat with multiple different flavors. First, however, make sure that you try the cinnamon jelly bean all on its own before mixing it with other crazy options. You have to know what you're starting with, after all.

3. Chili mango

Typically, you expect that your jelly beans are going to be sweet flavors. Cases like buttered popcorn simply don't come around very often, and when they do, they tend to be joke flavors like the disgusting options featured in the Harry Potter series with the Every Flavor Beans. However, chili mango is another type of jelly bean that isn't really sweet, but it's definitely delicious.

If you are a fan of slightly spicy food with a little bit of sweetness to it, you are going to love the chili mango jelly bean. This one reminds us of mango salsa if it didn't have tomatoes with it, and we love how it pairs with a margarita. This is undoubtedly a non-traditional jelly bean, but it is also one of our favorites. For an unexpectedly delicious jelly bean, this one could be a perfect choice.

2. Green apple

Come fall, we tend to surround ourselves with pumpkin spice-flavored offerings and apple-scented everything. So perhaps it's no surprise that the green apple flavor jelly bean is one of our favorites. We prefer the green apple option over the red apple because we think the green apple has a delicious kick that you often get from a refreshing and crisp Granny Smith apple.

Plus, unlike other fruits that tend to be ultra soft, apples have a little bit of bite to them, so a green apple-flavored jelly bean can taste and even slightly feel like the actual fruit. You just don't get this from many jelly bean flavors, and we like how it tastes and feels for this flavor. The jelly beans aren't a favorite snack for the fall and are much more of a spring treat, we still think this one is delicious.

1. Cherry

Regardless of the brand, you can almost always guarantee that the cherry jelly bean in any handful of beans will be absolutely delicious. The Jelly Belly company goes so far as to create a very cherry flavor to create a maximum flavor experience for cherry lovers.

We love how sweet this one is, and since it is such a commonly favorite jelly bean, it also reminds us of the days when we used to enjoy jelly beans in our Easter baskets. Like all other cherry-flavored things, the actual bite of a cherry jelly bean tastes more like a maraschino cherry in syrup you can find in the baking aisle than the cherries in the produce section. All told, it's exactly what we hope for in a cherry candy.