Category Archives: Localization

Case Study: Local Concept and Jelly Belly Candy Company

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Local Concept partnered with Jelly Belly Candy Company® in order to localize flavor translations that can fit into any culture and palate. To say that this candy company pushes the creativity envelope is an understatement. It seems as though they have set out to re-create flavors after real-life experiences, tastes and smells. They have a lab that puts smells in a vacuum in order to recreate them.

Here are some examples: Stinky Socks, Dirty Dishwater, and Skunk Spray. Coming up with the correct localization for these nasty tastes is not easy.

Michael Cárdenas inside Jelly Belly Factory

President of Local Concept, Michael R. Cárdenas, inside of the Jelly Belly Candy Factory in Fairfield, California.


Let’s take the BeanBoozled flavor “Dirty Dishwater”. We all know what it is. Let’s say we want to translate this into Spanish. This is easy, “agua de lavar los platos sucia”. However, we need to limit the translation to two words. Here is the difference between translation and copywriting or adaptation. We first tried to keep the word water in the name, but could not do so correctly without using too many words. Moreover, we wanted to convey the idea of a dirty dish washing environment. Consequently, we focused on both the concept of dishwashing and dirty. We were therefore able to limit the name to “lavavajillas sucio”.

Jelly Belly BeanBoozled Candy

Jelly Belly BeanBoozled Candy

In English, the word “hot” can refer to temperature and spiciness, or Jalapeño hot. However, the word hot can’t be used interchangeably in other languages like Norwegian. If we translate the word ‘hot’ directly it means hot as in a temperature hot (“varmt”). Norwegians either keep the English word hot, or use the word ‘sterk’ which means ‘strong’ in English when referring to spicy hot.

In some cases we have to create localized copy that is catchy but does not follow the English. The English candy name “Skunk Spray” was most likely created by someone living in America. If you live in the U.S. some of you have probably smelled skunk spray. If this Skunk spray flavor is going to be sold in a different continent where no one can relate to the smell, we have to come up with a term that is understood by someone who hasn’t encountered it. How about “skunk fart”?


Local Concept has put together an online glossary tool for both clients and Local Concept which can be updated as we go. Style guides and the use of copywriting have helped Jelly Belly gain a global presence no matter how crazy the candy is.

Are you ready to talk about your next localization project? Contact us today for a free consultation.