Jelly Babies have long been a favorite sweet in households in the United Kingdom. Even though they have been compared to gummy bears and jellybeans, there is really nothing quite like them. They are unique in shape (think about it, you’re eating babies) and history, and due to their role in the popular Doctor Who TV series they have become better known in the United States.
Jelly Babies date back to World War I when they were originally called “Peace Babies” to mark the end of the war. Production was halted during World War II due to wartime shortages, but in 1953 Bassett re-launched the product as “Jelly Babies.”
Each jelly baby has a name and a specific flavor (for example, Bubbles tastes of lemon), and as of 2007, Jelly Babies changed to include only natural ingredients. While they can be considered gummy sweets, their texture is rather unique. The outside of a jelly baby is hard, but the inside is soft (not rubbery). Jelly Babies are also traditionally packaged while still dusted in starch left from the manufacturing process.
In popular culture, Jelly Babies have been linked to both The Beatles and Doctor Who.
After it was reported that George Harrison liked Jelly Babies, fans of the Beatles pelted the band with the sweets at concerts. Jelly Babies became associated with Doctor Who due to their frequent appearance with the show’s fourth doctor, Tom Baker, in the 1970s. They continue to be mentioned on the show to this day.
Although they have risen in popularity in the US due to Doctor Who, Bassett Jelly Babies have also become increasingly harder to import. Luckily, The British Connection has a stash ready for you Jelly Baby fans, so get them before they’re gone!