Solano County candy giant Jelly Belly expected to be sold to Chicago confectioner

Fairfield-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. has entered an acquisition deal with the maker of Nerds, SweeTarts and Trolli confections.|

The iconic Fairfield-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. announced Wednesday it has agreed to be bought by a Chicago confectioner for an undisclosed amount.

The Ferrara Candy Co. — which manufactures brands such as NERDS, SweeTARTS and Trolli — is poised to acquire nearly 800 Jelly Belly employees and its facilities in California, Illinois and Thailand, according to a Wednesday news release.

Jelly Belly said in the news release that the deal is subject to certain closing conditions that still must be hashed out by the end of this year.

It’s unclear whether the Fairfield facility will close after the transaction is complete.

The popular site, visible from Interstate 80, serves as a candy factory and the company headquarters. Visitors, including students throughout Northern California traveling to the popular field trip destination, for decades have taken daily tours of the candy-making process, perused through the Jelly Belly museum and gone on factory train rides.

For six generations, Jelly Belly remained under family ownership.

Lisa Brasher, the president and CEO of Jelly Belly, said in a statement that Ferrera’s interest reflects the substantial value of the Jelly Belly brand and provides the opportunity for continued growth.

“We look forward to being a part of this impressive company,” Brasher added.

Former President Ronald Reagan called the sweet treat his favorite, a taste that he developed as governor of California. After he was elected president, Reagan could even be spotted munching on Jelly Belly jelly beans while hosting important meetings.

Ferrara, a privately owned company, said it has more than 7,500 employees delivering sweets to more than 66 million U.S. households annually.

It also recently gained ownership of Brazilian candy and snacks maker Dori Alimentos. That transaction, announced in July, is also contingent upon certain closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:
  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.