Are the Jelly Bean Factory beans gluten-free?

Quick Answer

Many people wonder if Jelly Belly jelly beans contain gluten. The good news is that most Jelly Belly jelly beans are gluten-free. However, there are a few exceptions. Jelly Belly states that all of their jelly beans, with the exception of those containing wheat, barley, rye, or oats, are gluten-free. Most of their regular jelly beans do not contain these ingredients and are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, some specialty flavors do contain gluten, so it’s important to check the ingredient list for any jelly beans containing wheat, barley, rye or oats. When in doubt, contact Jelly Belly to inquire about the gluten-free status of any particular flavor. With just a bit of caution, most people who avoid gluten can enjoy Jelly Belly jelly beans.

What is Gluten and Why Do Some People Need to Avoid It?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It helps give elasticity to dough, which is why it’s found in foods like bread, pasta, and baked goods. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health problems.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body mounts an attack against itself when gluten is consumed. The immune system mistakenly sees gluten as an invader and damages the small intestine. This can cause severe symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloating, and fatigue. It can also lead to serious complications over time like malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and even cancer. Celiac disease affects around 1% of the population.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition where people experience adverse reactions after ingesting gluten, but they do not have celiac disease. Symptoms are similar to celiac disease but generally less severe. There are no tests to diagnose NCGS, so it is identified through the process of elimination by removing gluten from the diet and observing if symptoms improve. About 6-7% of the population may have NCGS.

The only treatment for both celiac disease and NCGS is following a strict gluten-free diet. This means avoiding any foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats (unless certified gluten-free). With so many common foods off limits, sticking to a gluten-free diet can be challenging. That’s why gluten-free labeling and awareness at companies like Jelly Belly is so important.

Are Classic Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Gluten-Free?

The good news is that Jelly Belly’s classic jelly bean flavors are free of gluten-containing ingredients like wheat, barley, rye, and oats. On their website, Jelly Belly states that all jelly beans, excluding those containing wheat, barley, rye or oats, are gluten-free. They have contacted their suppliers to confirm that the ingredients used in their classic flavors are gluten-free.

Jelly Belly’s classic flavors include:

  • Very Cherry
  • Buttered Popcorn
  • Bubble Gum
  • Tangerine
  • Lemon Lime
  • Juicy Pear
  • Green Apple
  • Licorice
  • Cotton Candy
  • Root Beer
  • Grape Jelly
  • Blueberry
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange Sherbet
  • Piña Colada
  • Island Punch
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Mango

As long as you stick to these classic flavors, you can enjoy Jelly Belly jelly beans on a gluten-free diet. However, it’s still important to check the label each time you purchase a new bag, as ingredients are subject to change.

If you ever see an indication that a classic flavor may contain gluten, reach out to Jelly Belly’s customer service for clarification. They are very responsive to customer inquiries about gluten.

Are the Specialty Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Gluten-Free?

While Jelly Belly’s classic flavors are gluten-free, some of their specialty jelly beans do contain gluten. Specialty jelly beans have flavorings modeled after popular food and drink brands. Some examples include:

  • Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce
  • Cappuccino
  • Mai Tai
  • Margarita
  • Pina Colada
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Sizzling Cinnamon
  • Toasted Marshmallow

These specialty flavors use different ingredients from the classic jelly beans. According to Jelly Belly, their Tabasco® jelly beans contain wheat-derived ingredients. It’s likely other specialty flavors use gluten-containing ingredients as well.

So before eating any specialty jelly bean flavors, it is crucial to check the ingredients list on the back of the bag. Look for any indication of wheat, barley, rye or oats. If any of these ingredients are present, that flavor is not gluten-free. You can also contact Jelly Belly directly if the ingredient list is unclear.

As a general rule, steer clear of limited edition and seasonal flavors as well. Even if they sound safe, it’s impossible to know if gluten was used without seeing an ingredient list. Stick to the classic gluten-free beans to be on the safe side.

Some Jelly Belly Products Besides Jelly Beans Contain Gluten

In addition to jelly beans, Jelly Belly produces many other candies and snacks. Some of these products do contain gluten, so it’s important to check labels carefully.

Some Jelly Belly products that are not gluten-free include:

  • Jelly Beans in seasonal shapes for holidays like Easter and Christmas
  • Jelly Belly Sport BeansTM
  • Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe® candies
  • Jelly Belly Candy Corn
  • Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips

The gluten-containing ingredients in these products may include wheat, barley malt, and maltodextrin. Always inspect the label carefully on any Jelly Belly product besides the classic jelly beans. Don’t assume they are gluten-free based on the Jelly Belly name alone.

Jelly Belly does indicate gluten-free items with the blue and yellow gluten-free symbol on the packaging. Look for this symbol when selecting other Jelly Belly candies and snacks to ensure they are safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.

How to Enjoy Jelly Belly Jelly Beans on a Gluten-Free Diet

Here are some tips for safely eating Jelly Belly jelly beans with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity:

  • Stick to the classic, standard jelly bean flavors like Lemon Lime, Very Cherry, and Buttered Popcorn.
  • Avoid limited editions, seasonal shapes, and candy corn.
  • Check the ingredients list on specialty and soda flavors for wheat, barley, rye or oats.
  • Call Jelly Belly if you’re unsure about a certain flavor.
  • Look for the certified gluten-free symbol on Jelly Belly products besides jelly beans.
  • Enjoy classic beans as a sweet treat without worry!

As long as you take some simple precautions, the delicious classic jelly bean flavors can be a gluten-free candy staple. Just be vigilant about checking labels and ingredients. With so many gluten-free options, there’s no reason jelly bean lovers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should miss out.

Contacting Jelly Belly About Gluten-Free Status

If you ever have any doubt about whether a certain Jelly Belly product contains gluten, contact their helpful customer service team.

You can reach them by:

  • Phone: 1-800-522-3267
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: Jelly Belly Candy Company
    1 Jelly Belly Lane
    Fairfield, CA 94533

The customer service team is very responsive to questions about gluten and allergens. They can let you know conclusively whether any flavor or product is gluten-free or not. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any concerns.

Jelly Belly also has thorough information about allergen and gluten information on their website FAQ. But if you don’t see the answer you need, go straight to the source and ask. They will appreciate you reaching out to confirm the gluten status before consuming their products.

Other Candy Brands That Offer Gluten-Free Options

While Jelly Belly is great about labeling for gluten, you may want even more variety in your gluten-free candy options. Here are some other major candy brands that offer gluten-free sweets:

Brand Gluten-Free Candy Options
Skittles Original Skittles, Wild Berry Skittles, Tropical Skittles
Starburst Original Starburst
Lifesavers Original Five Flavor Rolls, Wild Berries, other classic hard candies
Smarties All Smarties candy rolls
Airheads All Airheads bars

Like Jelly Belly, it’s still essential to check the ingredients list and look for gluten-free symbols on any candy packaging. Formulas can change. But these major brands do offer at least some gluten-free sweets for those with dietary restrictions.

You can also look for smaller gluten-free candy companies making chocolate bars, gummies, fudge, and other treats. There are many niche brands catering to the gluten-free community. Doing some research will help you find even more candy options to enjoy safely.


In summary, most standard Jelly Belly jelly beans are gluten-free and safe to eat for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Just be cautious of specialty flavors that may contain wheat, barley, rye or oat ingredients. Also inspect all other Jelly Belly products carefully for gluten-containing ingredients. As long as you stick to the classic beans and flavors labeled gluten-free, Jelly Belly can still be an enjoyable treat on a gluten-free diet. And if you ever have any uncertainty about the gluten status of a Jelly Belly product, reach out to their helpful customer service team. With just a bit of extra care reading labels, millions of Jelly Belly fans without gluten can still partake and enjoy these iconic candies.

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