Jelly Belly® Jelly Beans and Ronald Reagan
When Ronald Reagan ran for Governor of California in 1966, he began eating "Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans" as part of his successful attempt to give up pipe smoking. Herman Goelitz Candy Company, the Oakland-based producer of the jelly beans, sent a monthly shipment to the Governor's Office throughout Reagan's two terms in Sacramento. The company also made a custom-designed jelly bean jar for Reagan.
After Reagan left the governorship, he continued to receive shipments of Goelitz Mini Gourmet Jelly Beans directly from the company. When Herman Goelitz introduced its Jelly Belly® brand of jelly beans in 1976, it began including the new brand in Reagan's regular shipment. Within two years, the shipment consisted entirely of the Jelly Belly® brand.
Three and a half tons of red, white, and blue Jelly Belly® jelly beans were shipped to Washington, DC for the 1981 Inaugural festivities. Blueberry, one of Jelly Belly® brand's most popular flavors, was developed in 1980. Its blue color completed the other flag colored Jelly Belly® jelly beans, the red (Very Cherry) and white (Coconut).
Herman Goelitz Candy Company provided the Reagan White House with Jelly Belly® jelly beans for all eight years of Reagan's presidency. In February 1981 Herman G. Rowland, the president of Herman Goelitz and a fourth-generation descendant of the company's founders, received official Government authorization to develop a Jelly Belly® jelly bean jar with the Presidential Seal on it. These Presidential jars of Jelly Belly® beans, each in its own blue gift box, were given by Reagan to heads of state, diplomats, and many other White House guests.
President Reagan's favorite Jelly Belly® flavor was licorice.
Note: From 1978 to 2001 Jelly Belly® jelly beans were jointly manufactured by two Goelitz-owned companies, with headquarters in California and a plant in North Chicago, Ill., respectively. In 2001 the two companies, Herman Goelitz Candy Company (California) and Goelitz Confectionery Company (Chicago area), combined into one corporation named Jelly Belly® Candy Company headquartered in Fairfield, California.
Revised January 2013