I was just in Target this past weekend and saw that they already had an endcap of Easter candy on display. It’s still January! Ridiculous as that was, it at least served the purpose of reminding me that I’ve been sitting on some jelly bean tasting notes from last Easter-ish (ish because I bought them after Easter. I love post-holiday candy sales!)
There’s nothing on the packaging of Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans to indicate that they’re holiday-specific. I think I caught them on sale post-Easter, though, so I’m not sure if these guys are available year-round. They’re made by Brach’s, and they boast of containing loads of vitamin C and real fruit juice.
I find the real fruit juice/pectin claim amusing, as they come in colors that are definitely not found in nature. “Hawaiian Punch” (dark red) has a deep artificial red candy flavor. I can’t remember what Hawaiian Punch the drink tastes like, but I imagine it’s similar to that.
“Fruity Juicy Red” (pinkish red, I think) just tastes generically of red hard candy, while “Green Berry Rush” (kiwi green in the back) tastes mutedly of green apple.
“Berry Blue Typhoon” (psychedelic blue) tastes of gnarly artificial blue raspberry flavors. “Lemon Berry Squeeze” (not pictured but probably yellow) had a sweet and tart lemon flavor with a cherry finish.
“Mango Passionfruit Squeeze” (yellow-orange with orange speckles; the prettiest ones, I think) had a decently authentic mango finish to the flavor, with that slight seediness that you get as you eat closer to the pit. Finally, “Orange Ocean” (orange) just tasted sweetly of muted citrus.
While there was nothing wrong about these guys, per se, I found them generically sweet with flavors that were too weak to hold up in the strong Easter jelly bean market (check out a 2008 round-up from Candy Addict; Cybele from Candy Blog has also reviewed loads of them).
Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans get an O, with the caveat that it looks like they may have been reformulated since I bought them – Candy Warehouse has a photo of them with far more speckles than mine had – so they may taste different now.