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

    • South Korea hits back at Trump for demanding $1bn for Thaad missile deployment

      South Korea has slammed US President Donald Trump's suggestion that Seoul should pay for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile system that is now being deployed in the country. Trump had earlier questioned why the US was paying for the system that he valued at $1bn (£775m). "I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid.

      International Business Times
    • Family sues after school janitor charged with raping boy

      KINGSTON, Tenn. -- The family of a 16-year-old Tennessee high school student has filed a lawsuit against Roane County Schools and the contractor who employed a female janitor accused of raping the boy during school hours.  Citing the lawsuit filed Monday, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that the Midway High School student's family is seeking $4.5 million in damages from the school district and Compass One Services of Tennessee for negligence in allowing the rape to occur. Twenty-nine-year-old Jessica E. Galyon was arrested in February on multiple charges related to the assault. Authorities said at the time that high school officials received reports in October 2016 of Galyon exchanging sexual

      CBS News q
    • Man kicked off Delta Air Lines flight for needing to use the bathroom

      Kimi Hamilton was travelling from Atlanta to Milwaukee on a Delta Air Lines plane when he urgently needed to use the toilet as take-off proceedings were underway. In fellow passenger Krista Rosolino's view, Hamilton's removal from the April 18 flight was an outrage and so was everyone else's forced exit from the plane when it returned to the gate in Atlanta. The Delta Air Lines quick-take on this incident is that federal law requires passengers to comply with crew instructions or run the risk of being seen as a security threat.

      International Business Times
    • “I Think I’m Going to Hang It Up, LOL”: Aaron Hernandez Note to Prison Boyfriend

      Aaron Hernandez knew his prison boyfriend before either of them was locked up, says the attorney for that inmate.

      Newsweek
    • ESPN layoffs continue for second day

      Layoffs continue at sports broadcaster ESPN. The notorious Britt McHenry was just the latest big-name talent who has been told to go home . Recall in 2015, when McHenry was suspended by ESPN for berating a parking-lot attendant with incendiary remarks.

      New York Business Journal q
    • The One U.S. Submarine That Could Completely Destroy North Korea

      In the event of a nuclear exchange, a boomer would likely receive its firing orders via Very Low Frequency radio transmission. While a submarine’s missiles are not pretargeted, like those in in fixed silos, they can be assigned coordinates quite rapidly. The first eight Ohio-class boats were originally built to launch the Trident I C4 ballistic missile—an advanced version of the earlier Poseidon SLBM. However, by now all of the boomers are armed with the superior Trident II D5 ballistic missile, which has 50 percent greater range and is capable of very accurate strikes, which could enable them to precisely target military installations as a first-strike weapon. Ohio-class submarines also come

      The National Interest q
    • The lawyer for the United passenger dragged off a plane is suddenly singing the airline's praises after settlement

      Thomas Demetrio, the attorney for the passenger who was dragged off a United flight...

      Business Insider
    • Missing Man`s Body Found Encased in Concrete

      Police say the body of a Missouri man who had reportedly walked away from an assisted living center was found in a shipping container filled with cement.

      Tribune
    • The Latest: Physician dragged off flight settles with United

      The Latest on the story of the settlement between United Airlines and he man who was dragged from a jet earlier this month(all times local): 2:55 p.m. The attorney for the passenger who was dragged off ...

      Associated Press
    • Mom lets daughter's school know her 10-year-old is 'done' with homework

      Making tough calls for your children is a vital aspect of parenting. One brave mother stepped up to the parenting plate for her child, sharing an email she sent to her daughter's school explaining that her 10 year old is "done with homework" because of the undue stress it causes. SEE ALSO: Instead of telling women who might get pregnant they can't drink, study suggests trusting them Bunmi Laditan, a mom blogger in Quebec, explained on Facebook that she told her daughter's school that her child would be "drastically reducing" the homework she'd be completing, but that she "was trying to be polite because [her daughter is] finished." “I just sent an email to her school letting her know she’s all done,” the mother wrote. "Over the past four years I've noticed her getting more and more stressed when it comes to school," the troubled mother wrote, "And by stressed I mean chest pains, waking up early, and dreading school in general." Laditan explained that her daughter often does homework until 6:30 p.m., with little to no time to relax after dinner. “Is family time not important?” she wrote, “Is time spent just being a child relaxing at home not important? Or should she become some kind of junior workaholic at 10 years old?" “Children need downtime after school the same way adults need downtime after work. They need to play with their siblings," she continued. Laditan later commented on her own post to further explain her point of view. Image: bunmi laditan/facebookThe mother clarified that she wasn’t blaming her daughter’s "incredible" teachers, and that she simply feels the system isn’t working for her child. “I can’t watch her unravel anymore and be filled with so much stress at age 10,” she explained. Parents, teachers, and even therapists sounded off in the post's comment section in support of Laditan, relating similar experiences with children in their own lives. Image: kim tang/facebook Image: Katie chavarria/facebook Image: Erin avirett/facebook Image: jamie ellam davis/facebookSeems like this mom might be on to something. WATCH: This NYU student went undercover as a worker in a Chinese iPhone factory

      Mashable
    • Stephen A. Smith fires back at criticism that he should have been among ESPN layoffs

      In the wake of ESPN’s mass firings, news of which continued into Thursday, some joked that it might be easier to list network employees who weren’t fired. Others took the next step by pointing out certain ESPN figures who they would have preferred to see laid off. Given that Stephen A. Smith is arguably ESPN’s best-known personality and, less arguably, its most polarizing, it was inevitable that his would be a prominent name pointed out by those arguing that, if the network had to let some people go, he should have been among them. On his ESPN radio show Thursday, Smith took issue with one source of criticism in particular: Jeff Pearlman, an author and former writer for Sports Illustrated and ESPN.

      Washington Post q
    • Nick Cannon Says This Is the Most Diva Thing Mariah Carey Has Ever Done

      The star opened up about his ex-wife's diva tendencies. See what he had to say.

      InStyle
    • Putin Warns North Korea Situation Has ‘Seriously Deteriorated’

      Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow.

      Bloomberg
    • 49ers commit highway robbery, get 3 picks from the Bears so Chicago could move up one spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky

      The San Francisco 49ers made a savvy trade with the Chicago Bears early in the NFL Draft to acquire three extra picks to move back one spot. According to reports, the Bears gave the 49ers their No. 3 overall pick, 2017 third- and fourth-round picks, and a 2018 third-round pick to move up to No. 2. As a result, the Bears pulled a stunner, taking UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, considered to be the target of the Cleveland Browns with the No. 12 pick, at No. 2.

      Business Insider UK
    • I Am One Of The Women Who Booed Ivanka Trump In Berlin. Here's Why

      My name is Beate Wedekind. Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is the one who invited Ivanka Trump to the W20 Summit, and it was a smart move. Articles and comments on Ivanka flooded in almost instantaneously.

      Refinery 29 UK
    • Met Gala Red Carpet, Best Olsen Twins Met Gala Gowns (11 photos)

      Met Gala 2015 Red Carpet, Best Olsen Twins Met Gala Gowns

      People
    • South Korea rebuffs Trump's $1 billion use-charge for a US missile-defense system

      President Donald Trump hinted at stipulations for the US deployment of the Terminal High...

      Business Insider
    • United Airlines has reached a settlement with the passenger who was dragged off a plane

      United Airlines has reached an out-of-court settlement with David Dao. According to Thomas...

      Business Insider
    • Attorney: Hernandez hinted at suicide weeks before his death

      BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Hernandez hinted about suicide weeks before he was found hanging by a bedsheet in prison last week, according to a jailhouse friend who once sought to share a cell with the former NFL star.

      Associated Press
    • High School Teacher Charged With Having Sexual Relationship With Student in 1995

      An Ohio high school teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student more than two decades ago.

      Tribune