After 154 Years, Family-Owned Jelly Belly Just Sold Their Company to a Conglomerate

Jelly Belly, a 154-year-old family-owned candy company headquartered in Fairfield, California in the San Francisco Bay Area, just announced plans to sell the company to Ferrara, a Chicago-based food conglomerate.

Jelly Belly headquarters
Jelly Belly headquarters

The sale was announced in a press release issued by the two companies.

Since the 1860s, the Rowland family has operated Jelly Belly. Ownership of the company is now in the sixth generation of the family.

Jelly Belly headquarters
Jelly Belly headquarters

The Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California is an iconic place where visitors and tour buses often stop in the Bay Area. It’s also a popular place for locals to take their kids since the tour is inexpensive and you get free candy.

Jelly Belly even opened a museum, documenting the company’s history, last year.

According to the press release, the Rowland family chose Ferrara based on its shared values; the company has also been around for over a century. It’s the organization behind some iconic American candies like Nerds, Sweet Tarts, Black Forest, and more.

“Since our inception almost a century and a half ago, Jelly Belly Candy Company has been focused on providing exciting new flavors and continuous innovation,” said Lisa Brasher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jelly Belly. “Ferrara’s interest reflects the substantial value of our storied brand, built on our team’s many successes, and the opportunity to drive continued growth.”

We can attest to the “continued innovation” part–we recently tried Jelly Belly’s new bubble tea beans!

Jelly Belly headquarters
Jelly Belly headquarters

The sale isn’t official yet, but is expected to close in late 2023.

We hope the new deal brings sweet things for this iconic Bay Area company and for the family.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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