The confectionary were launched by Bassett's in 1918 in Sheffield as "Peace Babies" to mark the end of World War I. Production was suspended during World War II due to wartime shortages. In 1953 the product was relaunched as "Jelly Babies". In March 1989 Bassett's were taken over by Cadbury-Schweppes. Each Bassett's jelly baby has an individual name and shape, colour and flavour: Brilliant (red - strawberry), Bubbles (yellow - lemon), Baby Bonny (pink - raspberry), Boofuls (green - lime), Bigheart (purple - blackcurrant), and Bumper (orange). The introduction of different shapes and names was an innovation, circa 1989, prior to which all colours of jelly baby were a uniform shape. In 2007, Bassett's jelly babies changed to include only natural colours and ingredients.
There are currently several other brands of jelly babies, as well as supermarket own brands. A line of sweets called Jellyatrics were launched by Barnack Confectionery Ltd to commemorate the Jelly Baby's 80th birthday.