My good friends at Jelly Belly sent me this fantastic box of Jelly Belly jelly beans for National Jelly Bean Day. I love it! Such a great idea and I'll definitely continue buying and reviewing their fantastic products. Thanks Jelly Belly! I hope you all enjoy this day and go out and pick up some jelly beans, there are millions of options this time of the year.
I'm not sure if this is something people celebrate, but I wanted to make a post and mention that I've been writing this site for ONE year now. It has been a great year and I've enjoyed every minute of writing this blog. I started with my first review of Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolates and I've done almost 200 reviews since then.
I've gone from 0 visitors and page views to several hundred unique visitors per day with 500-1,000 page views on a normal day. I got to attend the 2010 Sweets and Snacks EXPO in Chicago which was a dream come true for a candy fanatic like me. I've eaten a ton of great candy and I've loved reviewing it with my family.
I've achieved several of my goals that drove me to start a blog....My writing and photography skills have both improved. I've explored and tried so many new candies I probably would not have tried before. I've found that I'm branching out in other areas as well, like trying new foods and drinks and enjoying the small things in life. I know it sounds sort of "dreamy" or "odd" that candy would help with this, but it is true. I've learned to find the odd food, drink or candy that might surprise you with how great it tastes and that ordering the same old thing at a restaurant isn't that fun and it doesn't allow me to find new favorites and really enjoy life.
I've really enjoyed watching my 6 yr. try new candy with us. His impressions are often hilarious. He has adopted this persona that he uses to review candy that cracks me up every single time. He switches from fun-loving 6 yr. old to New York Times Restaurant Critic and tries to use big words he's heard my wife and I say but he doesn't understand how to use them or how to say them. He even uses a different tone of voice. I love his take on candy made for kids and he loves hunting for new candy with me at stores. I can't tell you how many times he's asked "have you reviewed this" or "have you seen this before" and I love talking to him about candy and what is out there. We also talk a lot more about other food, like new fruit and healthy snacks. (My wife made me add that in, although it is true.) He is way more willing to try new foods with a reviewer's mindset, than a six year old mindset. He even tried octopus at a restaurant and shrimp with the eyes still on.
Out of my 200 reviews I've noticed that chocolate is my most reviewed item. I especially love Ritter Sport bars and I'm so excited that they've sent me free samples to review. Before starting this blog, I would have never imagined that one of my favorite candy companies would send me free stuff to eat! I have a love of chocolate and peanut butter and my favorite post was probably the 1lb. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. It is also my most visited review with over 5% of all my traffic going to that one review. The second most visited review is my comparison of chocolate covered cherries. The funny thing about the chocolate covered cherries review is that I did that one on a whim based on what my 6 yr. old said on the way out of the store. "Wouldn't it be fun to compare ALL three brands, Papa?" I thought he was just trying to get more candy, but I've realized his perspective on candy and food in general is pretty darn good.
The picture above is probably my favorite of all the pictures I've taken. There's something about the lighting, the peering into the bag and the blue color that makes it really appeal to me. It doesn't hurt that I love Red Vines either.
This is getting to be much longer than I thought it would be. However, I also want to thank my readers and great Search Engine Optimization from Typepad for making this site into what it is today. I enjoy the comments and questions people post and email me and I've really enjoyed finding other great food, snack and candy sites that I've listed on the right hand side of this site. I hope the next year is just as fun as this one. Thank you and remember to check your sugar pressure!!
I love a good marketing campaign and this is a good one from Mars. Just in time for Valentine's Day, they are playing off the idea that Green M&Ms chocolate candies are an aphrodisiac. I did not find these in stores until today (see camera phone picture below of the display at Walgreen's). This isn't a full review because these are just the same Peanut M&Ms you can buy any time of the year....only all green.
Mars has started a full Twitter, Facebook, Internet and store marketing campaign for Valentine's Day. The package has great slogans on it: "The New Color of Love" "Sweetie...it's all true" "What is it about the Green Ones?" "Mportant Notice: Consumption of The Green Ones may result in elevated Romance Levels." Mars launched a similar campaign the last few years, but I don't really remember how far back it goes. I know they added Green M&Ms to the package in 1997 but I'm not sure when they started the All Green campaign. The great thing about campaigns like this is that it costs Mars nothing in R&D, this is all marketing/advertising dollars. Great Marketing Campaign for a great candy. Pick some up at a store near you, it's good fun to support companies that do great marketing in my opinion.
Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It Calorie Counter: 1 bag (1.5oz) = 1 serving = 220 calories, 11g fat Price: $.79 at Walgreen's
Hershey is doing some major advertisements during the College Football BCS bowl games. So far they've shown a Kit Kat, York Peppermint Patty and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups commercial in every game I've watched. Normally I don't see very many candy commercials during sporting events. Beer, chip and Ford Truck commercials seem to be the most prevalent.