Washington County

Supply chain issues impacting jelly beans at Sarris Candies

CANONSBURG, Pa. — While Sarris Candies has a boundless number of Easter candies and chocolates for the season, customers won’t be able to purchase their jelly beans this year.

The unique recipe contains both pectin and starch, which come from Ukraine, according to President/CEO Bill Sarris.

The Canonsburg-based company makes all of its chocolates in-house, but the jelly beans are produced by an outside supplier. With pectin and starch in short supply, the supplier has been using its machinery for different purposes.

For customers, the news is disappointing. Shoppers on Wednesday told us that other jelly beans just can’t compete.

“They’re tender and they have a soft shell and our customers really go crazy if we don’t have them,” Sarris said.

Sarris said the issue has been ongoing for quite some time. Last year, they tried to sell a different type.

“The repercussions were so bad!” he said.

They didn’t want to let people down with an alternative this year, so they decided not to sell jelly beans at all.

Sarris said that they sampled other jelly beans, even some imported from Europe, but they just didn’t have the special taste that longtime Sarris customers have come to expect.

“We’re fighting the same issues everybody else is fighting,” he said. “Please be patient, we’re doing all we can to make sure we can get the Easter basket filled with some jelly beans for next year. That’s our goal!”

Prior to the issues, Sarris sold hundreds of thousands of jelly beans each year. Not being able to sell them has impacted their bottom line, he said.

Other than the beans, they aren’t currently facing any shortages with other candies and treats.

They have, however, faced additional supply chain issues surrounding the construction of a new production facility.

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