Just to completely unglue the jittery moms of America, Jelly Belly has come out with a new beer-flavored jelly bean meant to emulate the "effervescent, clean, crisp and wheaty taste" of a German Hefeweizen ale. ("No alcohol, but all the flavor," Jelly Belly insists on its Facebook page.)
While some find the new flavor concept thrilling, others think the tiny piece of candy (4 calories per bean) will encourage kids to drink and create a slippery-slope back to lost weekends for recovering alcoholics.
"I am so angry and disappointed about this decision," Facebook user Mindy Chemaki wrote on the company's Facebook page. "I have been a big fan of Jelly Belly since I was 13. And now you have developed a flavor that that may encourage minors (like I was 20+ years ago or my own children today) to develop a substance abuse problem."
Amy Mehalko added, "It's just so wrong to have this flavor. Very disappointed. Why not just make a cigarette flavor while your [sic] at it."
Or, as Inari Porkka so cogently argues, "The kids that do [eat them] will be adjusted to get over the barf-inducing flavour of beer so that they'll be able to start drinking earlier."
Several said they would boycott the brand because of the new flavor, which is called "Draft Beer."
However, others were fine with the concept. "Its not beer thats bad, its people who drink it depending on how," said Joshua Faylert.
Tanya Long Martin filled Facebook users in on the cultural history of children and beer: "Ok, It's beer flavored, woopee. Beer was used as payment to children in several different cultures through time, including America where it was given to field hands and to the children of farmers to load them up on carbs so they could work longer hours. Educate yourselves."
Now, this raises a larger issue: Is there a way to stop these people from procreating?
Draft Beer is not Jelly Belly's first alcoholic beverage-inspired flavor. The company has actually been creating them since the late 1970s, according to Jeff Brown, Jelly Belly's vice president of operations and distribution. It even has a collection called Cocktail Classics.
"We started with the Piña Colada and Mai Tai, and now we are very proud to add Draft Beer to that line," Brown said in a video ad for the new flavor, saying the new bean involved "a lot of trial and error."
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Mai Tai debuted in 1977. Other Jelly Belly cocktail-inspired flavors have included Blackberry Brandy, Strawberry Daiquiri, Piña Colada, Margarita and Mojito, all of which created many child candyholics. Draft Beer, in fact, could be a gateway jelly bean to these "harder" jelly beans.
How 'bout a Xanax-flavored Jelly Belly for Mom?