Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration


jellybelliesSoon after Ronald Reagan became Governor of California in 1967, he began eating pectin jelly beans made by Herman Goelitz Candy Company, in order to help him give up a pipe-smoking habit. When Herman Goelitzs Jelly Bellies first appeared on the market in 1976, Reagan quickly switched to them.

Three-and-a-half tons of Jelly Bellies were shipped to the White House for the 1981 Inaugural festivities. Blueberry, one of the most popular current flavors, was developed for President Reagans inauguration so that there would be red, white and blue jelly beans at the festivities. A jar of Jelly Bellies on the Cabinet table.

Before Reagan became President, his Jelly Bellies were supplied by Herman Roland, who lived in Los Angeles, and who was a cousin of the two Goelitz brothers who founded the candy company in 1869. After Reagan moved to the White House, his Jelly Bellies were apparently supplied directly from Goelitz headquarters in the Chicago area.*

President Reagans favorite Jelly Belly flavor was licorice.

* From 1978 to 2001 Jelly Bellies were jointly manufactured by two companies, based in northern California and the Chicago area 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.