Do Jelly Beans Go Bad? How Long Do Jelly Beans Last?

Jelly beans are fun, small candies that have a firm shell and come in many flavors. They are popular among both adults and kids alike. Do they ever go bad? Let’s find out!

Quick Answer

Jelly beans are made to last a very long time. If kept away from sources of heat, jelly beans can last for 10 months to a couple years at room temperature. If you live in a hot, humid area, you may want to store them in the fridge to keep them cool. With refrigeration, jelly beans can last for a year at the least, and many years after that. While it’s not necessary, jelly beans can be stored in the freezer. Keeping them frozen in a container will make them last for a year minimum, and indefinitely beyond.


Let’s look into why jelly beans last so long, and if one method of storage is better than another.

Do Jelly Beans Go Bad? How Long Do Jelly Beans Last?

Jelly beans are made mostly from sugars. Because of this, they can actually last a very long time (months or even years) in just about any way you want to store them. As long as they don’t get too hot, you should be good to go.

How Long Do Jelly Beans Last Outside?

Jelly beans can last months, even years outside. It doesn’t matter if the bag is opened or unopened, jelly beans can last for months, even years before they go bad.

Like many other candies, the manufacturer will produce a “best by” date somewhere on the package. This does not necessarily mean that you have to eat the product by this time, but it gives a general timeframe when the jelly beans will be at their best.

If you live in a very hot and humid environment, you may not want to store your jelly beans outside. Heat is the main thing that will cause jelly beans to go bad, so be sure to store them in a cool, dry place.

How Long Do Jelly Beans Last in the Fridge?

Jelly beans can be stored in the refrigerator if you live in a hot and humid environment. Keeping jelly beans in a cool place will help them to last longer as it prevents them from melting or developing mold. You can expect a typical lifespan of at least 10 months, and you may get a couple years out of them.

If you’re going to store jelly beans in the refrigerator, make sure they are in their original packaging. If this is not possible, a container with a lid will work just fine.

Keep in mind that this method of storage may make the jelly beans harder to eat. When you decide you want to eat some, simply let them thaw for a couple minutes before you eat them.

How Long Do Jelly Beans Last in the Freezer?

While it’s not entirely necessary, you can store jelly beans in the freezer. The freezer will provide a cold place to prevent any melting of the outer jelly bean shells.

If you decide you want to store your jelly beans in the freezer, they will stay in good condition for at least a year. You may also be able to store them indefinitely. Just be sure to place them in a container with a lid.

When wanting to eat your frozen jelly beans, just be sure to give them a few minutes to thaw. You sure wouldn’t want to break a tooth trying to eat one before its ready!

Jelly beans are made to last a long time, no matter the method of storage. Just remember, cool and dry is crucial to maintaining tasty jelly beans!

How To Tell If Jelly Beans Have Gone Bad / How To Know Jelly Beans are Fresh

While jelly beans do have the potential to last a very long time, there may come a point where you’re wondering if they are any good anymore. Have your jelly beans gone bad? There are a few things you can run through if you’re ever not sure.

  • Appearance: If you notice that some of the jelly beans have melted or stick together, you may question their quality. And of course, if you ever notice mold or mildew growing on the jelly beans, it’s definitely time to toss them.
  • Taste: If it’s been a few months and you’re not quite sure, you could taste one. If you notice any strange, bad or abnormal flavors, you may want to discard them.

Now, when you buy your jelly beans from the store you can typically expect them to be fresh, or at least not terribly old. Fresh jelly beans will often have a clear coating, are generally brightly colored, and will not have individual beans stick to each other. They should be free from any signs of mold or mildew as well. When you pop some in your mouth, fresh jelly beans will have a firm outer shell, and a chewy inside. You should not notice any strange tastes.

How to Store Jelly Beans?

Jelly beans are made primarily of sugar. Any type of sugary candy is best stored away from high temperatures. Cool, dry storage locations such as your pantry or drawer are ideal. Keep away from windows where light or heat can come through. The light is not such a problem, although it may fade the color of the jelly bean over time. The biggest factor is the heat. You can also store them in the refrigerator or the freezer, although it is not entirely necessary. Storing them using the latter two methods will not necessarily increase the jelly bean’s shelf life.

Can You Freeze Jelly Beans? How?

Yes, you can definitely freeze your jelly beans. If you want to go this route, you can place them in their original packaging or find a container with a lid to put the beans in. Then, find a place in your freezer and pop them in there!

Unlike many other food items, the risk of freezer burn is not terribly high with frozen jelly beans. The main problem you might face is the hardened texture of the exterior shell, but this is easily remedied by allowing them to thaw for a few minutes before eating them.

Freezing jelly beans is not totally necessary, but if you want to make very sure that they will not go bad for years to come, then you can take the safest route and freeze them. Your friends might think you’re crazy, but you’ll be the one happy with jelly beans years down the road!

How to Thaw Jelly Beans?

Once you pull your frozen jelly beans out, it’s time to thaw them. You would not want to just pop a frozen jelly bean into your mouth, or you may need to visit the dentist shortly after to fix a broken tooth.

When thawing your jelly beans, simply take out as many as you want to eat and let them thaw on the counter for a few minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jelly Beans

Does the Brand of Jelly Bean Affect the Shelf Life? You might be wondering if your generic-brand jelly beans will last as long as name-brand jelly beans. The good news is that jelly beans are more or less all made the same way, so they should have the same shelf life no matter who the manufacturer is.

Do Big Jelly Beans Last Longer Than Small Jelly Beans? Some candy manufacturers make their jelly beans larger than others. Does this affect the shelf life of the jelly bean? Thankfully, no, size does not matter when it comes to how long your jelly beans will last. They are made from virtually the same ingredients and will last around the same time.

Wrap Up

Jelly beans are fun to eat, and can last for a long time. Their hard shell exterior helps preserve them for month, even years at room temperature. If it gives you peace of mind to store them in the fridge or freezer, you can do so. This method can preserve them indefinitely. Are you a fan of jelly beans? Let us know in the comments below!

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