Best jellies and jams

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

(Photo courtesy

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.

Recommended for You

  • 4 Reasons Why a Man Breaks Up With His Partner

    Wondering why a man breaks up with his partner? Here's why.

    The Cheat Sheet q
  • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

    Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

    Washington Post q
  • Dancing With the Stars Week 7 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

    We’ve reached Week 7 of Dancing With the Stars‘ 23rd season, and you know what that means: It’s become very clear which contestants stand a chance at the Mirrorball… and which ones, well, don’t. As the remaining couples performed iconic styles from different eras in history, a handful of duos proved exactly why they should be […]
  • 13 Ultra-Comforting Potato Casseroles (14 photos)

    These hearty recipes need to be in your fall casserole rotation. From Delish

  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Is Losing Its Showrunner

    It can be hard to pinpoint what makes a late-night show work so well with audiences, but The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon seems to have cracked the code. Over the last few years, the series has become one of the most popular late-night offerings, consistently dominating in the ratings season after season. While much of this has to do with the charisma of the man in front of the camera, it's important to remember those behind the scenes as well. With that in mind, it now seems The Tonight Show has suffered a major loss, as showrunner Josh Lieb has officially left the series. After serving as the late-night series' showrunner for several years, Josh Lieb has decided to step down from The

  • When the ‘love of your life’ is no longer interested in making love

    Carolyn Hax is on leave. This column originally ran March 18, 2013. Dear Carolyn: Although we’ve had sex before, my boyfriend of two years has zero interest in sex with me or anyone else. He just doesn’t feel the need (we used to have sex often, before the relationship was committed). This makes me feel unwanted, unloved and incredibly self-conscious and paranoid. He’s been to therapy (I am also in therapy), but his psychiatrist flat-out told him she didn’t know how to help him (!), so he stopped going. He turns down every other suggestion I make to try to overcome this issue, and talking about it leads to his anxiety and my tears. Yet, he says he loves me and he would spend the rest of his life

    Washington Post q
  • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says replay decision was the ‘worst call he’s ever seen’

    Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday. Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials […]

    NBC Sports: CollegeFootballTalk q
  • Ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle sues company

    The ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is suing the restaurant chain for damages, saying the company received at least three reports indicating his sexual interest in children but failed to ...

    Associated Press
  • Donald Trump just got some of his best polling news in weeks

    A CNN poll released on Monday showed Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by five points...

    Business Insider
  • Dear Abby: Should I report a baby with bruises?

    DEAR ABBY: I’m a 20-year-old college student and have had a job at the same retail store for two years. A few weeks ago, a mother walked in holding a baby that appeared to be about 6 months old. The first thing I noticed was that he had numerous bruises. There were pronounced bruises under both eyes, another large one on his temple, and several more visible on his arms and legs. I have heard horror stories about parents whose infants have a medical condition that causes them to bruise easily, but the parents are accused of child abuse. This mother seemed attentive to her baby, and I saw nothing in her behavior to make me think her child was in any danger. I didn’t say anything, but I keep wondering

    Chicago Sun-Times q
  • NFL morning after: The decline of Colin Kaepernick

    Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field, a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society. That has been the subject of thousands of commentaries. But it’s…

    NBC Sports: ProFootballTalk q
  • A Royal rift as Princes Charles and Andrew row over Beatrice and Eugenie's taxpayer-funded duties

    The Queen is said to be at the centre of an extraordinary row within the Royal Family as her two eldest sons have come to blows over the futures of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as taxpayer-funded working royals.

    International Business Times UK q
  • Nurse who survived Ebola settles with Texas hospital system

    DALLAS (AP) — A nurse who contracted Ebola two years ago while caring for the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S. with the deadly disease settled a lawsuit Monday against the parent company of the Dallas hospital where she worked.

    Associated Press
  • Pregnant Mila Kunis Goes Grocery Shopping With Ashton Kutcher Weeks Before Her Due Date: Pics!

    The couple looked laidback ahead of welcoming their second child.

    Entertainment Tonight
  • Now Galaxy S7 Edge Is Reportedly Catching Fire (Update: Samsung Responds)

    Samsung's troubles have apparently just spread from the Note 7 to another flagship phone. According to Android Headlines, a Canadian man says his Galaxy S7 Edge caught fire while he was driving home from work. Separately, Phone Arena reports that an employee of one of the big U.S. wireless carriers told the site that one of its customers' Galaxy S7 Edge devices had exploded while it was charging overnight using the included charger.

    Tech Media Network (Tom's Guide)
  • It looks like Brock Osweiler made a mistake leaving the Broncos this offseason

    Brock Osweiler talked on Monday night about how much he loved the Denver Broncos, and it felt sincere. The Denver fans don’t love him anymore, not after he left them as a free agent for a big payday with the Houston Texans. “They meant a lot to me,” Osweiler said.

    Shutdown Corner
  • What 'The Walking Dead' Just Did With Negan Is A Trick They Should Never Pull Again

    'The Walking Dead's year-long cliffhanger finally ended last night as Negan's decision was revealed, but AMC has to seriously rethink the ways they're trying to manipulate and deceive their audience going forward.

    Forbes q
  • Donald Trump rejects polls as inaccurate: ‘All the fair polls have us winning’

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who once boasted about his robust poll numbers, has turned to criticizing them as ineffective and “rigged” now that most show his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, with a commanding lead. Trump made the dubious claim in a morning tweet –– the latest example of his pattern of messages of mistrust and skepticism aimed at all things that portray his campaign efforts in a negative light. Monday morning on “The Chad Adams Show,” a conservative radio program in North Carolina, Trump said that pollsters focused on Democrats when asking about which candidate won the second and third debates.

    Yahoo News
  • 12 Next-Level Twists on Sweet Potato Casserole (13 photos)

    Your Thanksgiving table deserves something new and exciting this year. From Delish