While jams and jellies come in dozens of flavors and varieties, from the standard grape jelly to the more exotic chocolate jam, nine flavors account for more than 80% of total U.S. production. The most popular are grape jelly and strawberry jam. They are followed by grape jam, red raspberry jam, orange marmalade, apple jelly, apricot jam, peach jam and blackberry jam, in that order. An additional 28 flavors are commonly produced that account for less than 20% of total production.
Preserves currently represent 34 percent of the total sales in the overall fruit spread category (jams, jellies, preserves, fruit spreads, marmalades). Jams make up 22 percent of sales with jelly sales close behind at 21 percent of sales. Fruit spreads are 17 percent of sales, and marmalades make up the rest of the category with 5.4 percent of sales. Annual retail sales for jams, jellies, fruit spreads and preserves are approximately 632 million dollars.
Jelly is most popular among kids, while preserves are prefered by adults. In fact, the average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by high school graduation. Consumers who regularly purchase jam, jelly and preserves usually buy two different flavors to have at home. And at home, adults and children eat the products with equal frequency.
Jams and jellies boast quick energy, delicious flavors and only 48 calories per tablespoon (less for jellies made with low-calorie sweeteners). On a tablespoon-for-tablespoon basis, jams and jellies have about half the calories of butter (or margarine) and they contain zero fat! For instance, a tablespoon of butter is loaded with 102 calories, not to mention 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 31 milligrams of cholesterol.