Iconic Candy Companies to Merge

Ferrara Candy Co. to acquire Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Lemonhead candy
Ferrara Candy Co. is known for classic candies like Lemonhead and SweetTarts.

Ferrara Candy Co. is acquiring the Jelly Belly Candy Co. Chicago-based Ferrara’s holding company entered into a deal this week to combine its candy portfolios with Jelly Belly’s jelly bean and gourmet specialty candy lines.

Jelly Belly currently operates facilities in Illinois, California and Thailand.  Ferrera, known for brands like Black Forest, Nerds, SweetTarts and Trolli, is privately owned and runs more than 27 locations in North America, Brazil and China.  The companies share a similar heritage, both founded in Illinois more than a century ago.

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As part of the agreement, Jelly Belly’s current EVP of global operations and distribution, Jeff Brown, will become that organization’s CEO.

“As we considered the future of Jelly Belly Candy Co., we have been steadfast in our commitment to create a win-win situation for our employees, consumers and products,” said Herman Rowland Sr., chairman of the board at Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly. “When I met with the Ferrara team, I recognized a like-minded group that shares our knowledge and passion for the candy business and has the talent and resources to grow our products and the careers of our people around the world. I am confident of the continued success of Jelly Belly as part of the Ferrara portfolio.”

Ferrara CEO Marco Capurso agreed that the arrangement is mutually beneficial. “We are excited to bring Jelly Belly’s imaginative products and talented team into the Ferrara community,” he noted. “Our dedication to creating high-quality, innovative sugar confections for the world and our deep relationships with retailers align perfectly with the Jelly Belly track record and passion for quality, reliability and customer service. We look forward to working together to build on the success of all our brands.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. It’s the latest expansion for Ferrara, which revealed earlier this month that it has completed the acquisition of Brazilian sweets and snacks company Dori Alimentos.

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