Jelly Belly Mystery Package

Starting in January 2013, Jelly Belly fans can take a crack at another one of life’s great mysteries.

Jelly Belly Candy Company will launch the “Jelly Belly Mystery Flavor Sweepstakes,” a 7-month promotion that allows consumers to guess the flavor of a new bean through Facebook and possibly win $10,000 among other prizes.

Rob Swaigen, vice president of marketing, says this promotion — which will occur during the 2013 Easter season — will build off one the Fairfield, Calif.-based confectioner did in 2006.

“It was by far our most successful promotion ever,” Swaigen says.”We kind of looked at that, and decided it was time to bring it back with a unique twist. It generated a ton of incremental sales for us. We saw great participation, and a significant increase in sales and sales velocity at the shelf, which is what we always look for.”

Specially marked packages containing white beans with red question marks will ship to stores in December. Additionally, the company will also offer retailers three pre-packed floor displays to help promote the contest.

Swaigen says that in addition to increasing sales and consumer engagement, the promotion will create a strong fanbase for a new flavor should Jelly Belly decide to officially release it.

“We are able to build awareness for this mystery flavor,” Swaigen says. “It gives us the opportunity if we choose to launch that flavor later to bring it out with an open audience. There will already be a solid fanbase for it.”

After registering on Jelly Belly’s Facebook page, consumers interested in winning the $10,000 can enter a code found in the Jelly Belly mystery flavor package and choose from a list of possible flavors. The winner, to be announced in August 2013, will be selected randomly from participants who guessed correctly.

Otherwise, participants can play a game similar to Plinko from “The Price is Right” on Jelly Belly’s Facebook page and win Jelly Belly merchandise.

And while online interaction is a main component of the contest, Swaigen says flavor is key.

“We already knew consumers were very responsive to flavors,” Swaigen says. “The idea of not letting people know what it was, and this sort of ‘intriguing’ white bean with a red question mark we thought would be very compelling. We were right. I think people were very attracted to this idea of, ‘even if I don’t win $10,000, I know when I buy that bag, I’m going to get something new and different.’ Leveraging one of our core competencies, which is flavors, and building a fun promotion around it made a lot of sense.”