Kristy is a licensed registered dietitian nutritionist and trained culinary professional. She has worked in a variety of settings, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rouge Tomate.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Jams, jellies, and marmalades—all fruit-based preserves—have become more than the ubiquitous grape jelly and orange marmalade. If you are looking for a way to elevate your PB&J, complement an artisanal cheese board, or incorporate some pizazz into a baked good, small-batch preserves made with high-quality, peak-season produce of all kinds are the perfect pantry staple. Jam makers use less-common fruits, like pink guava, and create flavors like cranberry bourbon or raspberry habanero that work in both sweet and savory dishes.
Some of these artisanal preserves may be found at a local farmers' market but haven't entirely made their way to mainstream grocery stores. Luckily, producers are shipping their specialty products directly to consumers via their online shops and offering subscriptions to guarantee you have a regular supply on hand. These also make great gifts for the holidays, a housewarming, or just because. We have selected the best jam and jelly of the month clubs to give you a taste of these one-of-a-kind, limited-batch preserves.
Why We Chose It: Amazing Clubs aggregates top-quality, limited-batch jam and jelly preserves from around the world and offers them at a great value.
Pros & Cons
Variety of flavors and styles of preserves
Supplemental jelly lover’s newsletter
Minimal details about ingredients
Limited information on the artisan producers and brands
Inconsistent jar size
As one of the numerous subscription programs available through Amazing Clubs, the Jam and Jelly of the Month Club do not disappoint. Subscribers can choose between three-, six-, and 12-month clubs or the Seasonal Club (quarterly). Each delivery comes with two different jars (10 to 20 ounces) of limited production jams and jellies from small boutique artisans. Flavors often include seasonal favorites and are sourced from some of the best preserve makers around the world. Previous deliveries have included Apple Pie Jelly, Bumbleberry Jam, Cranberry Orange Jam, and Michigan Blueberry Preserves.
Subscriptions come with an option for a personalized gift announcement, and each monthly delivery includes a newsletter dedicated to jelly lovers titled The Daily Spread. Subscribers and gift-givers can also select which month the subscription begins. Pricing for three-month and Seasonal Clubs is $26.95 per month, with further discounts on the six- and 12-month subscriptions. All options come with free shipping.
Why We Chose It: Small Batch Jam Co. combines seasonal fruit with sweet and savory aromatics for one-of-a-kind combinations.
Pros & Cons
Flexible subscription length
Store discounts with a subscription
Steep price for the portions received
Based in Pacifica, California, Small Batch Jam Co. specializes in handmade fruit preserves, such as jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butter. All products are made in small batches with high-quality ingredients sourced from local farmers' markets and regional growers using traditional canning techniques. Available as a three-, six-, or 12-month subscription, the Jam of the Month Club delivers new jams (and marmalades) to your doorstep monthly.
Small Batch Jam Co. stands out for its unique flavors such as Pink Guava Jam, Orange Chai Jam, Strawberry Basil Balsamic Jam, Apricot Ginger Habañero Jam, and dozens more. The Monthly Club features 6.5-ounce jars of two of the company's latest flavors made in micro-batches that haven't yet gone into total production at a 15 percent discount. These savings are also available for club members to use on any other products through the online store during the subscription period. Subscriptions are prepaid, and upcoming flavors for the next month are announced about a week in advance. You have the option to note any allergies upon placing an order, but requests for substitutions are otherwise discouraged.
Why We Chose It: We love Gus & Grey’s commitment to highlighting regional flavors and clean ingredients.
Pros & Cons
Mix of sweet and savory flavors
Supports regional ingredients
Only one subscription type
Detroit-based Gus & Grey uses local Midwestern ingredients to make a mix of both sweet and savory jams. Fruit-based jams include Peach Bourbon Vanilla Jam, Blueberry Lavender Jam, Clementine Marmalade, and Razzle Dazzle Plum Jam, along with the classics. You can spice things up with the company's Ghost Pepper and Raspberry Habanero Jams. Each 10-ounce jar of jam contains approximately a half-pound of fruit. The only ingredients you will find are the namesake ingredients plus cane sugar and possibly vinegar or additional spices. There is no extra pectin or preservatives of any kind.
The three-month subscription box program includes two handpicked jams per month and comes with suggestions on how to use these products beyond spreading on toast. For gift-givers, there is an option to have a handwritten note. Note that jams are selected by Gus & Grey, and substitutions are not allowed. Pricing for the Jam of the Month Club is $63 plus $12 flat-rate shipping.
Why We Chose It: Little Black Box subscriptions include mini-sized jars of the company's small-batch preserves.
Pros & Cons
Commitment to supporting local businesses
A mix of the bestselling and seasonal flavors
Lower added sugar
Flexible subscription length
Most jams feature alcohol
Can’t continue buying limited-edition jams from sampler packs
Founded in Jacksonville, Florida, Little Black Box creates handcrafted, small-batch preserves that are fruit-forward with minimal added sugar. The company prides itself on supporting its local food community, sourcing the jars, labels, and most ingredients from businesses in the Jacksonville area. Little Black Box primarily makes jams but also a few jellies and baked goods. Jam flavors include standby favorites like strawberry jam and more unusual sweet and savory combinations such as Banana Rum Lime Jam, Blackberry Bourbon Vanilla Jam, and Blackberry Brandy Cinnamon Cinnamon Jam.
The company's products are available in numerous retail locations in Florida. If you aren't local, an online shop makes Little Black Box's jams accessible to everyone. Choose a three month subscription and receive three different 4-ounce jars of jams each month. Every delivery will include one jar of a bestseller and two seasonal, limited editions and not otherwise available for purchase. Subscriptions start at $55. Check out the Little Black Box blog for recipes and tips.
Why We Chose It: Lemon Bird sources fruit from local farmers markets to make its preserves.
Pros & Cons
Use of local, seasonal ingredients
Use of herbs and spices
Delivered every other month
Limited flexibility with subscriptions
Based in Southern California, Lemon Bird Preserves makes handcrafted jams using seasonal fruit from local family farms. Though not certified organic, Lemon Bird pledges to only pesticide-free source fruit. It uses the freshest fruit possible by getting it the day or the day after it was picked. In addition to jams, Lemon Bird makes pickles using local produce.
The Lemon Bird Jam of the Month Club can be purchased as a three- or six-month subscription that includes delivery of two 6-ounce jars of jam every other month. The three-month subscription will total four jars over two shipments, while the six-month option totals six jars over three shipments. Jams are preselected but may include unique flavors such as Bourbon Fig with Vanilla & Smoked Sea Salt, Peach with Lavender, or Apricot with Sage, Honey, and Pistachio. Jam making is a true labor of love at Lemon Bird—preserves are all cooked in small batches in French copper kettles, and each batch takes several days to complete. The three-month subscription is $75, and the six-month option is $115, both of which include shipping.
For jam and jelly lovers, monthly clubs are a great way to branch out of the common flavors found in chain grocery stores and try something new. Most subscriptions offer a mix of classic flavors but also include seasonal limited-edition varieties only available to subscribers or during certain times of the year.
For the most outside-the-box flavors, we recommend trying one of the subscriptions from small-batch producers like Small Batch Jam Co., Gus & Grey, Little Black Box, or Lemon Bird, but these include preserves made by their companies only. If you want to try the most variety and sample jams and jellies from lesser-known producers around the world at the best price, Amazing Clubs is the fit for you. We also like that Amazing Clubs contains a jelly-themed newsletter with some extra tips and fun facts. For these reasons, along with flexible subscription plans, we chose Amazing Clubs as the best overall choice.
What Is the Difference Between Jam, Jelly, Marmalade, Conserve, and Preserves?
Jam is made with whole fruit and is chunkier in texture, whereas jelly is made with fruit juice and does not contain whole pieces of fruit. Conserve is a mix of two or more fruits and typically contains freshly cooked fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. Marmalade refers specifically to cooked citrus fruit sweetened with added sugar and will have pieces of the peel in the jelly. Lastly, fruit preserve is used as the general category name for cooked fruit with sugar and sometimes acid (as a preservative) stored in glass jars and used as a condiment or spread.
How Are Monthly Subscriptions Different From Preserves at the Supermarket?
The jams, jellies, and marmalades featured in these monthly subscriptions offer unique flavor combinations and are often handmade in small batches that are not available in a local supermarket. Some may be similar to something one would find at a local farmers market, but subscription services offer more variety and allow customers to experience different flavors from different producers around the country.
Do All Preserves Contain Added Sugar?
Unless stated otherwise, all preserves contain some form of added sugar—cane sugar, honey, or fruit juice concentrate. This helps with the actual preservation and aids in thickening and forming the jelly consistency. In some products like marmalades, which use citrus that does not have a lot of natural sugar, the added sweetener also helps achieve a more balanced flavor.
Numerous jam and jelly of the month clubs were evaluated from around the country. The variety of fruit-based jams, creative flavor combinations both sweet and savory, and commitments to using quality ingredients were all primary factors when making these final selections. Pricing, user-friendly ordering, subscription types, and customer reviews were also considered.
We chose Amazing Clubs for its wide variety of jam selections from producers around the globe, all available at much lower prices compared to subscriptions from more artisanal producers. We selected Small Batch Co. for its creative and unique flavor combinations. Gus & Grey showcases Midwestern ingredients and commits to making jam with no additives. Little Black Box stands out for its shipments of smaller jars that include a taste of classic and limited-edition flavors. We love Lemon Bird Preserves for its sourcing practices and labor-intensive handmade cooking process.