The Surprising Reason Blueberry Jelly Beans Were Invented

Jelly Belly jelly beans might not be as American as apple pie, but they're pretty darn close. With 50 official flavors and 17 additional flavor collections, including their Cold Stone and Krispy Kreme collections, currently on their roster, Jelly Belly isn't afraid to take chances on new tastes. Whether you love or hate less conventional flavors like Margarita, Toasted Marshmallow, or Cappuccino, there's no denying that the brand is one seriously cutting-edge candy company.

Shockingly, the ultra-popular Blueberry bean didn't make the cut when the brand was introduced in 1976 (via Jelly Belly). The original eight flavors were Very Cherry, Tangerine, Grape, Root Beer, Green Apple, Cream Soda, Lemon, and Licorice. Although Very Cherry is the long-reigning "most popular" flavor, Buttered Popcorn snagged the top spot in 1998 and held the title until 2003, when Very Cherry reclaimed its throne.This is ironic considering Jelly Belly reports that Buttered Popcorn is the most controversial flavor in its portfolio. Apparently, people either adore this atypical jelly bean taste, or absolutely despise it.

Blueberry, however, is far less of a sticking point. It's beloved for its authentic blueberry flavor and vibrant hue. So, how did it work its way into an already successful brand?

The origin story of Jelly Belly's Blueberry jelly bean

As one of the most popular colors in the world, it seems like a blue bean would have been a given in the original Jelly Belly batches. However, it wasn't until the company decided to put together a red, white, and blue set in recognition of a presidential inauguration that their Blueberry flavor was born (via Jelly Belly). Apparently, at that time, it became painfully obvious that this color was missing from the collection, which led the masterminds behind the company to add it to their main lineup.

That's not the only presidential link to the brand, however. Former President Ronald Reagan was a huge fan and ate a bunch during his time at the White House, Jelly Belly jelly beans were always on hand. He even arranged to have some of his favorite candies sent into space with the 1983 Challenger astronauts.

In addition to its rich hue, the brand prides itself on the blueberry bean's authentic flavor. In fact, they're made from blueberry puree, along with other ingredients. So, blueberry-lovers report that they actually taste sweet and juicy just like real blueberries. Patriotic and tasty? Don't mind if we do.