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Featured Business: Jelly Belly Visitor Center

4/2/2018 - Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Family-Friendly, Featured Business, Foodie, Shopping
free train tour at Jelly Belly Visitor Center
family shopping, store, Jelly Belly Visitor Center
Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Kenosha County
Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Kenosha County
Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Kenosha County
Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Kenosha County

Did you know the top Jelly Belly® jelly bean flavors are Very Cherry, Buttered Popcorn and Licorice? Or that Jelly Belly Candy Company is run by the 4th, 5th and 6th generations of the candy-making family? That’s right, it’s a family business and it has a visitor center right here in southeast Wisconsin. Jelly Belly Visitor Center opened at the corner of Highway 165 and Green Bay Road (Highway 31) in Pleasant Prairie in 2001. Jelly Belly Candy Company offers only two public tours: one here and one at its headquarters in Fairfield, California. The actual factories are in Fairfield and North Chicago, Illinois, while the Jelly Belly Visitor Center here is home to its warehouse, which fulfills Internet orders and stores goods needed for production in North Chicago. The Jelly Belly Tour in Pleasant Prairie is a museum-like experience with interactive exhibits and games; a free Jelly Belly Express train tour; and a large store with a fudge counter, Sample Bar, and Jelly Belly Snack Bar.

In October 2017, a new, free tour experience was unveiled. Visitors now start their confectionary journey at Jelly Belly Station, which is an area filled with fun and educational activities. You can play the Bean Blitz game, which is a computer-generated soccer experience where you become goalies in front of a jelly bean-shaped “net,” and try to block large virtual Jelly Belly beans that appear to be hurling your way. At six Smell Stations, try to guess Jelly Belly bean flavors based on scent alone. You also have the opportunity to sample Jelly Belly jelly beans at the various stages of production. History buffs will enjoy exploring a retrospective of the company and its current operations; new wall exhibits share a timeline of events. There are also historic candy making equipment and tools on display.

Following a stop at Jelly Belly Station, learn how the company creates Jelly Belly beans while you ride aboard the Jelly Belly Express, a train that travels through the Jelly Belly warehouse. Updated HD/4K videos on new, high-definition monitors show a Jelly Belly jelly bean’s journey, and new audio equipment in the train cars creates surround sound. The videos also include subtitles for the hearing impaired. You learn about the entire candy-making process of Jelly Belly beans from the kitchen where the candy starts, all the way through to packing the tasty treats into bags and boxes before sending them to stores across the country. The tour route includes Jelly Belly Art mosaics, giant jelly beans, and Jelly Belly bean-inspired couture fashions. At the end of the tour, visitors receive a free bag of Jelly Belly beans and get to keep the hat that is worn during the tour as a souvenir. More than 150,000 people take the train tour each year.

Annual events held at Jelly Belly Visitor Center include a summer carnival, a Munchkin Masquerade before Halloween, a tree lighting ceremony in November, a holiday event with Santa in December, an Easter-themed event, and holiday sales. You never know – maybe you’ll even see Mr. Jelly Belly!

The company was founded in 1898, and began making Jelly Belly jelly beans in 1976. In 2001, the company that was known for four generations by the family name Goelitz, was renamed Jelly Belly Candy Company. Here are some fun facts about Jelly Belly beans: It takes between 7 to 14 days to finish one bean. Jelly Belly can make 1,680 Jelly Belly beans per second. Here’s a visual for you: 24 elephants are the equivalent of how many pounds of Jelly Belly beans are made in a day! There were 15 billion Jelly Belly beans eaten last year. If you laid that number of Jelly Belly beans end to end, they would circle the earth more than five times. There are 5 billion Jelly Belly beans eaten at Easter.

Jelly Belly’s most well-known fan was President Ronald Reagan, who started eating the company’s original jelly beans in the 1960s. Jelly Belly beans were the first jelly beans in space, sent on the 1983 Challenger mission by President Reagan as a surprise for the astronauts. You will find Jelly Belly jelly beans in more than 80 countries.

The company makes more than 100 flavors of jelly beans, including the Jelly Belly jelly beans you know and love, BeanBoozled® jelly beans that are weird and wild, Organic Jelly Beans, sugar free varieties, Sport Beans® jelly beans formulated for athletic performance, and so much more. Jelly Belly jelly beans are certified OU kosher, vegetarian, and free from gelatin, gluten, fat, and dairy. There are only four calories per bean. The company also makes more than 50 other fine confections, including: Candy Corn, Jordan Almonds, Fruit Sours, Chocolate Dutch Mints®, Chocolate-covered nuts and candies, Gummi worms and bears, and much more.

Jelly Belly Visitor Center is located at 10100 Jelly Belly Lane in Pleasant Prairie, which is located in Kenosha County. The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the tours take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour experience is truly a joy for all ages. It’s a draw for families, school groups, and adult bus tours – and at least one couple has gotten married here! The route is decorated for various holidays, ensuring you’ll see something different each time you visit. Next time you’re in the area, take a break to tour and shop at this sweet stop!

(866) 868-7522, JellyBelly.com

The KACVB thanks Jelly Belly Candy Company for supplying us with information.

April 2018

Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Brought to you by the team at the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. We're here to help you find fun in the Kenosha Area. 

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