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All Candy Expo 2009 – Part 5

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When I got the job writing for this site, very nearly a year ago, I was ecstatic. I’d have an excuse to try all kinds of exciting new candies and share my opinions of them with the world. I’d have a super-cool contract writing job that would also provide me with published writing samples for my resume. And maybe, just maybe, someday, I’d get to go to the All Candy Expo.

Now, I’ve wanted to attend the All Candy Expo ever since I heard it existed (like many people, from the Food Network show Unwrapped and that episode of The Simpsons with the gummy Venus de Milo.) It seemed like such an unlikely and far-away dream for your average writer and Candy Addict. But in the end, it came true!

I met up with fellow Candy Addicts Robby and Caitlin at Chicago’s McCormick Center bright and early on Tuesday morning. I knew I wasn’t in Kansas any more when, upon registration, I was presented with a big green tote bag – filled with candy! The press room wall was lined with full-sized chocolate bars and candies – Flings, Crackheads, and the new Skittles Crazy Cores and Fudge Snickers, to name a few. Robby and I immediately began to dig into the heap of freebies, which resulted in our being called newbies by expo veteran Caitlin. And, indeed, the sugar rush was only beginning.

What can I say about the All Candy Expo that hasn’t been said before? You’ve doubtless heard the ACE referred to as “trick-or-treating for grownups” or “like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” or possibly “a diabetic’s worst nightmare.” I can assure you that all of these things are true. Imagine a giant auditorium all filled with candy companies, from the very big to the very small, all waiting to load you up with free samples of cool and exciting new products – more kinds of gourmet chocolates, gummies, mints, and even savory snacks like jerky and chips than you can keep straight in your head. I came away with an array of “nuclear sour” candies, caffeinated lollipops, new siblings for Reese’s Pieces, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, and a whole lot more, all of which we’ll be telling you about in a lot more detail in the coming weeks.

In addition to sampling tons of new products, I got to hear all about Mars’ exciting new Real Chocolate Relief Act from their own press conference. I got to have lunch with some preeminent candy and food bloggers (even if they did spend the whole time talking about bacon rather than candy). And coolest of all, I got to meet and hang out with fellow Candy Addicts Caitlin and Robby.

In the end, my candy-fu proved weak – I lasted only a day and a half before I had to pack it in. (Too much sugar and not enough real food does not-good things to my stomach.) I didn’t even make it to the third day, when I’m informed that the candy companies start unloading full-sized items instead of little sample packs. That’s probably why my own haul clocked in at a relatively restrained 22 lbs (which didn’t feel so restrained when I had to lug it all over the airport later). Still, it’s more than enough to share with my friends, family and coworkers, write a bunch of reviews for the site, and even have a little left over for myself.

And though our coverage of the expo proper has ended, there’s still lots more to come. From new special editions of everyone’s favorite treats to brand new items, we’ll be providing in-depth reviews of all these candies in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!



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2 Responses to “All Candy Expo 2009 – Part 5”

  1. 1
    Amanda says:

    Did you take pictures of the booths at the expo, or your loot? I’d love to see the pics!

  2. 2
    Cadence says:

    Oh man, Laurie it sounds like you had a blast. I can’t wait to read your reviews. Nuclear sours? Yummmm.

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