The Jelly Bean Factory


Aran Candy Ltd T/A “The Jelly Bean Factory”, specialises in the manufacture and export of gourmet jelly beans worldwide. The Dublin based confectionery company was set up in 1998 and produces jelly beans under “The Jelly Bean Factory” brand.

The company is now among the largest producers of gourmet jellybeans worldwide, with 98% of production from its Blanchardstown factory exported to almost 50 countries.

Father and son team Peter and Richard Cullen founded the company in 1998 when they recognized an opportunity in the European Confectionery market for a high quality gourmet jellybean. With over 40 years of combined experience in the confectionery market they set about creating their own gourmet recipes.

Joint Managing Directors, they also divide their roles internally with Peter responsible for operations and Richard for Sales and Marketing.

The product is styled as an American type gourmet bean with a multitude of flavours, it’s smaller than the traditional jelly bean and it’s better tasting. Importantly the flavour is 100% throughout the bean, i.e. the centre has the same flavour as the shell. The product is only made with natural colours, flavours and fruit juice.

Significant emphasis has been placed on highly styled design , brand identity and packaging innovation to meet the company’s vision to bring gourmet beans to outlets that traditionally did not stock this niche product.

It is a fun product and its personality is important so marketing activity has been significant in helping to develop the characteristic of the bean. This is constantly evolving and the team look to influences around the globe to inspire new ideas. Labelled “There’s never been a better bean” – this strap line lends itself to the quirky nature of the product.

Strategic marketing initiatives have been employed to exploit the opportunities in individual markets. Offices have been opened in the US, UK and Middle East and there are distributors in all key markets. There has been a significant amount of travel to these markets to understand each one, to assess their individual needs and with each distributor a strategic plan has been implemented to grow the brand with year on year sales growth.

The company lists Debenhams, Wal- Mart USA, Trader Joe’s USA, REWE Germany, Julian Graves UK, Disney Europe, BP, Blockbuster, Tesco IRL and UK, GSK, Airport Duty Free worldwide (Dubai, Dublin, Kuwait, Venezuela, Fiji etc, etc), Avoca, Emirates Airlines, Stena Line, Carrefour, Merlin Theme Parks, WH Smith, Boots, ASDA, The Bay (Canada), Sobeys (Canada) Spinneys Dubai, 7/11 Canada to “The Warehouse” in New Zealand as among some of its customers.

While a huge number of manufacturers produce traditional large jelly beans, there are only a small number who produce a gourmet bean, which is a complicated process taking over two weeks to make a single bean.

The company has clearly decided that the product is jelly beans and while the factory could produce other confectionery products and the know how to do so is within the current team, its vision is singular, to grow the gourmet jelly bean brand to be the best in Europe and ultimately around the globe.

Their natural jelly beans are the first of their kind in the world Created in response to the growing consumer demand for natural ingredients. The product is GMO free, Gluten free and Fat free, Kosher and Halal compliant– all benefits which have been used in marketing activity and the Halal compliance in particular has opened up the ethnic markets and Middle East Markets.

In 2010 they have also launched an innovative sports bean with multinational pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline which is jointly branded with the Lucozade brand name and a full range of FAIRTRADE products using FAIRTRADE sugar.