Jelly Belly distances itself from ‘gold ticket’ candy factory giveaway

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FAIRFIELD, CA – APRIL 2: Jelly beans sit in a bin waiting to be packaged on the assembly line at the Jelly Belly Factory April 2, 2007 in Fairfield, California. The Jelly Belly Factory produces approximately 14 billion jelly beans a year. With less than a week before Easter Sunday, retailers stock their shelves full of jelly beans, chocolates, and other traditional candies for Easter. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — A spokesperson for Jelly Belly says its company has nothing to do with a contest that sounds like it’s straight from a movie script: a golden-ticket treasure hunt where the winner gets a key to a candy factory.

According to a press release, David Klein, a founder of Jelly Belly, says his current company has hidden “gold style tickets in the form of necklaces in places they come across with an interesting story.”

Klein, who was the original developer of the Jelly Belly branding, sold his stake in the company 40 years ago. His current candy company is named Spectrum Confections.

As you might imagine, many people who’ve read the story have reached out to Jelly Belly thinking they might soon be operating one of its factories. However, the company says it has had no association with Klein in decades.

“Due to confusion in the marketplace, Jelly Belly Candy Company would like to take this opportunity to clear up the misconception that it is involved with a contest that purportedly offers a candy factory as its grand prize,” the company said in an online statement.   “In 1976, Mr. Klein, an independent third party, came up with the name ‘Jelly Belly’ and other novel marketing ideas. Jelly Belly Candy Company has not had a relationship with Mr. Klein since 1980 when it acquired the trademark.”

In the online statement, Jelly Belly says its company dates back to 1869 when it was known as the Herman Goelitz Candy Company.

According to Klein, those who wish to participate will need to pay an entry fee of about $50 to receive a clue in their state. Each treasure hunt is limited to 1,000 participants. The first clue will be released in Georgia on Sept. 30, with more being revealed in the other states following months, according to a news release.

“We’re gonna have the ultimate treasure hunt where the winner will be receiving a key — a key to one of our candy factories,” Klein, who is known as “The Candyman” said in a video announcing the game.

Few details exist about what factory the winner will receive, though multiple media reports indicate the facility will be in Florida.

“We’re looking for you, Charlie, out there,” Klein said in a nod to Roald Dahl’s classic novel, “Charlie and the Charlie Factory.”

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