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It Can Take 2 Weeks to Make 1 Jelly Bean—Here’s Why

Jelly beans are one of the most popular Easter candies, and they’re a tasty treat year-round. Jelly Belly certainly keeps up with the demand, making a whopping 347 beans every second. Despite that high production, it’s not a quick process from start to finish. In fact, it takes a week or two to make a single bean.

Jelly Belly beans start with cornstarch, sugar, corn syrup, water and flavoring all cooked together, according to a factory tour from Refinery29. That mixture is then poured into bean-shaped, cornstarch-coated molds, where they sit overnight to harden, creating their distinctive chewy texture. The next day, they’ll be steamed to make them sticky before getting misted with sugar. Then they rest again, so they can dry.

“Part of what takes so long is that the candy rests a lot in between the steps,” says Lisa Rowland Brasher, president and CEO of Jelly Belly. “Sometimes it’s for a day; other times it’s for several days; it depends on the flavor.” Sour flavors tend to take the longest because they need more time to rest in between steps, she says.

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