Best jellies and jams

Consumer Reports
Bonne Maman and Trader Joe’s have big fruit flavor and big strawberry pieces.

(Photo courtesy bonnemaman.us)

Some inexpensive brands tasted better than pricier ones.

Smucker’s (“bringing you the goodness of jams, jellies, preserves, and smiles”) and Welch’s (“makes the most delicious jams, jellies, and spreads”) are two of the biggest names in jellies and jams. And most of their products did well in our tests. But other brands­—365 Everyday Value grape, Bonne Maman, and Trader Joe’s strawberry—scored at least as high. And Smucker’s Simply Fruit was just OK.

Among the lower-rated products was the priciest one in the bunch. The label on Stonewall Kitchen, $7.05 per jar (31 cents per tablespoon), says, “Whole, sun-ripened, sweet strawberries make our strawberry jam an exceptional American classic bursting with memories of summer.” Not according to our trained tasters, who found a musty off-taste in some of our samples.

MORE AT COnsumer Reports

View photo

.
365 Organic Concord Grape

Grape jellies

The top four all have a strong grape flavor and are quite sweet. Differences weren’t very noticeable. The lower-rated Market Pantry is a looser gel and creates a gummy feeling in the mouth. “Concord,” by the way, simply refers to the type of grape used to make jelly and juice.

(See also: Baking chocolate taste test)


Strawberry jams

Bonne Maman and Trader Joe’s have big fruit flavor and big strawberry pieces; Welch’s strawberry flavor has a hint of grape; Smucker’s Seedless is thicker than most of the tested jams, with a uniform texture; and Smucker’s Low Sugar has some fresh strawberry flavor but is a bit sour and more runny than others. The lower-rated strawberry jams have off-tastes. Archer Farms lost points for a slight medicinal flavor; Polaner and Smucker’s Simply Fruit taste a tad pruney.

Bottom line.

The very good grape jellies taste similar, so choose by price. The very good strawberry jams have slightly different textures. Choose Bonne Maman or Trader Joe’s if you favor strawberry chunks; Smucker’s Seedless if you don’t like seeds. Try Smucker’s Low Sugar if you’re looking to limit sugar. And note that the words “all fruit” or “simply fruit” didn’t guarantee a tastier jam. Our experts also rated the nutrition of each jelly and jam—based on calories, sodium, and sugars—and judged the products good or very good. Polaner All Fruit is the only one with fiber (3 grams).

Copyright © 2006-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Game Of Thrones actor and UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton dies aged 36

      Game of Thrones actor and former UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton has died at the age of 36. The successful actor also appeared in Doctor Who and X-Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron, after a basketball career that saw him play professionally in Spain, China, Italy, Greece and England. Raised in County Durham, he starred in HBO's iconic Game Of Thrones series as the giant Mag The Mighty in 2014.

      International Business Times UK q
    • No Oscars for Trump: Donald and Melania Trump Will Host Lavish Governors’ Dinner Sunday

      As the world watches the Oscars Sunday evening, the White House will be hosting its annual Governors’ Dinner. The black-tie event marks the first major social gathering of the Donald Trump administration, CNN reports. The National Governors Association’s annual meeting and dinner in Washington, which honors the governors of the 50 states, is considered one of the year’s “major events,” Jeremy Bernard, President Barack Obama’s former social secretary, told the network.

      People
    • These fisherman caught a manta ray on camera that’s so big, it’s making us wonder if the Loch Ness Monster might be real

      If you’re not familiar with manta rays, they’re super cool sea creatures who look like a cross between a shark and an…

      Hello Giggles
    • People are sharing hilarious online shopping fails, and who among us hasn’t been there?

      Online shopping is a bit of a crap-shoot. There’s no way to know for sure that what you order is what you…

      Hello Giggles
    • Street Style Trend Alert: The Chain-Strap Bag (14 photos)

      Ciao from Italy! Fashion editors and influencers alike have hit the streets of Milan for the fall shows and their go-to carryall is the chain-strap purse. Widely popular amongst fashion crowd this week, the chain-strap bag is trending. Wear this crossbody style, crumple up the chain, and carry it short handled or simply drape over your shoulder, and voila! VIDEO: Watch Our Recap of Milan Fashion Week 5335874705001 Take a look as we show you the best chain-strap bags from Milan street style and where to shop for this coveted accessory.

      InStyle
    • 6 charged in death of UConn student run over after party

      Six University of Connecticut students were charged Friday with alcohol-related offenses connected to the death of a student who was run over by a fire department vehicle after leaving a party last fall.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • Jerk alligator steals a huge fish off a little boy's line

      Today, a little boy named Connor learned the brutal lesson that Mother Nature has no manners. In a clip posted to the Bass Masters And Fish Experts Facebook Page, a thieving alligator had an easy lunch thanks to some humans fishing off a pier. In the clip, a young boy hooks a pretty sizable fish, and as one man encourages the boy to reel in the fish all on his own, another spots an alligator lurking near the pier. The man tries to distract the gator by hitting the side of the pier with his arm, but the reptile was determined to get its eats. "You need to cut your line," one the of the men tells the little boy as the gator swims away with his catch.  Although it's unclear where the incident occurred, many commenters insisted it happened in Florida.  [h/t: UPI ] BONUS: Giant nets harvest fog to solve water crisis in Morocco

      Mashable
    • Steph Curry leaves timeout huddle to help fan win $5,000

      During a timeout in Saturday’s Nets-Warriors game, Golden State had a little game show for a couple fans. Steph Curry was also sneaking by while this was happening, and when she rolled the third ball onto the ramp, he intercepted the ball and threw it into the $2,500 bucket. Curry ran back to the Warriors bench as if nothing happened, and when the announcer said they’re giving Carly the money, he raised his arms in excitement.

      SB Nation q
    • Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki Have Called It Quits: Report

      Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki are reportedly no longer an item. According to Page Six, the retired Yankees legend, 41, and his entrepreneur girlfriend have called their relationship off after having been together just short of a year. “They were an unusual couple, from very different backgrounds, but they are both smart business people, and had quite a few things in common, including a fascination with the tech world,” a source told the outlet.

      People
    • S. Carolina law makes it tough to lower Confederate flags

      In the aftermath of the racially motivated Charleston church slayings in 2015, the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina Statehouse during an elaborate nationally televised ceremony. Twice in the last month, Confederate flag supporters cited the law as they forced the banner to return to a Confederate monument and a newly renovated courtroom in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina. In the Blue Ridge Mountain gateway town of Walhalla, Luther Lyle, a descendent of Confederate soldiers and former caretaker of a Civil War monument there, had lowered the flag following the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

      Associated Press
    • Bernie Sanders Just Shut Down Trump With A Brutal Reality Check

      If President Donald Trump is in need of an ego boost on Saturday, Twitter may not be the place to find it. The president was slapped with a scalding reality check, compliments of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), after suggesting his supporters have their own rally. “It would be the biggest of them all!” Trump proclaimed on Twitter Saturday. Exciting idea, except that Trump had a rally just last month, for Inauguration Day, as Sanders reminded him. “They did. It wasn’t,” Sanders smartly snapped.  Sanders, backing up his pointed statement, shared side-by-side photos showing Trump’s patchy inauguration crowd compared with what appears to be the Women’s March on Washington, which took place a day later. 

      The Huffington Post q
    • Magician Daryl Easton, 61, Found Dead After Killing Himself in Hollywood’s Famed Magic Castle

      Magician Daryl Easton was found dead inside Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle on Friday, according to multiple reports. Police have ruled his death a suicide, the New York Daily News reported, after the Los Angeles Fire Department had responded to calls from the popular venue at 7:25 p.m. local time. The Magic Castle, which opened its doors in 1963, confirmed Easton’s death early Saturday in a statement on their Facebook page.

      People
    • Spicer cracking down on White House staff to prevent leaks: report

      White House press secretary Sean Spicer is reportedly ramping up security measures to try to prevent leaks. The effort includes checks of both government-issued and personal electronic devices for White House staffers, according to Politico. Politico reported that details of a meeting with several of Spicer's communications staffers had been leaked. He reportedly assembled the group in his office, where he conducted the phone checks, monitored by White House attorneys, and discussed his frustrations with the leaks that have been revealed in news reports. He also warned his staffers about leaking the details of the phone checks and new security measures. During the same meeting, Spicer chided

      The Hill q
    • Bill Paxton, Star of 'Twister' and HBO's 'Big Love,' Dies at 61

      The longtime actor died due to complications from surgery, ET has learned.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Robert De Niro snaps at wife for 'spending all my money'

      Trouble is brewing over Grace Hightower’s coffee company. We’re told that her husband, Robert De Niro — who is a major investor in the firm — is steamed because the 5-year-old Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda brand is turning into a money pit. The New York Post reports that Hightower has frustrated business associates — as well as the legendary actor — by dithering over simple decisions, and “changing her mind about how to run the business depending on who she spoke to last.” A source tells the paper that, in a moment of frustration, De Niro boiled over while bickering with Hightower in public at a Manhattan bar, telling her, “I wouldn’t have to keep making s - - tty movies if you didn’t spend

      Fox News q
    • Trump Administration Just Took Its First Step Toward Building the Mexican Border Wall

      It's the first major step toward constructing the proposed border wall

      Fortune
    • Baylor women's coach says parents concerned about sexual assault scandal should be 'knocked right in the face'

      Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Baylor University, had strong words for parents who were concerned about female students’ safety on campus. After the women’s team clinched the Big 12 regular season title on Saturday, Mulkey used her postgame speech to defend her school, which has been under fire for a sexual assault scandal under former football coach Art Briles.

      The Dagger
    • ISIS drones capture shocking new view of terror attacks

      ISIS is now using high-tech drones to capture video of its devastating ­terror attacks. The savage militant group released stunning new recordings Friday from a high-definition camera mounted on a drone as its deadly missile destroys an armored Iraqi army ­vehicle. The bomb can be seen as it twists through the air and nails the vehicle — causing a massive, fiery explosion. An Islamic State-affiliated news agency claimed the attack took place southwest of Mosul.

      New York Post q
    • Trump to address nation sandbagged with record low approval rating: NBC News/WSJ poll

      A mere 44 percent of Americans approve of the president's performance as president, while 48 percent disapprove, according to an NBC News/WSJ survey.

      CNBC.com q