Being the candy lover that I am, you would think I’d know about a huge candy company only an hour away from where I live, in an area I frequent often. However, even though Albanese has been making candy since 1983, I only discovered the company this year. Albanese Candy produces high-quality chocolates in their Merrillville, Indiana, factory, as well as award-winning gummi candies. You can buy all of their candies in the outlet store adjacent to the factory.
Gummies are my favorite non-chocolate type of candy, but until I tasted Albanese gummies, I thought they were all about the same. One taste of Albanese gummi bears tells a different story. Made with a technology that Albanese invented, the flavor bursts from the candy. The gummies come in sixteen flavors, including wild cherry, banana and mango. Besides bears, you can buy gummi worms, rings and special holiday shapes.
The gummies are so deliciously different that Disney contracted Albanese to make gummies for them. Albanese also won the 2002 Professional Candy Buyer’s Product of the Year award for their innovation in gummi candies.
Not sure by sight whether you’re about to eat an Albanese gummi? Check its tummy. Albanese bear tummies are imprinted with an “A.”
Whether you’re a dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate fan, you’ll find it at the Albanese outlet. The chocolate layer on their candies is about an eighth of an inch thick, not just a thin coating. Although I’m not big on super-sweet centers, I found a lot of choices that suit my tastes, including Dark Chocolate Mocha Meltaways, Dark Chocolate Dried Cherries (cherries from Michigan), and Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nuts.
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Touring the Albanese Candy Factory
You can watch candy being made through big windows that separate the outlet from the factory with videos describing the candy making process. Guided tours are available for groups of 12 or more with reservations.
Shopping the Albanese Outlet
WARNING TO CANDY LOVERS: The minute you walk in the door of the Albanese outlet store, you’ll get sucked in. If the sweet smell and the colorful candies don’t do it, the three-story chocolate fountain will.
Besides gummies and chocolates, the Albanese outlet sells lots of other candy favorites as well, making it a one-stop shop for candy buying. They also offer lots of pre-packaged gift items, boxed or in baskets, each decorated with a pretty bow.
If you go
The Albanese Candy factory outlet, located at 5441 East Lincoln Highway in Merrillville, Indiana, is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Self-guided tours are available anytime the store is open, except November to December and March to April. (You might catch Santa or the Easter Bunny during those months instead.)
Check the Albanese Candy web site for further details about the candies and the outlet store or to order online.
Accommodations: I stayed at the Comfort Inn Hammond during our visit to Northwest Indiana. Find the best hotel deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Disclosures: Our visit to the Albanese Candy outlet was hosted by the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, and we received several complimentary candy samples. However, all opinions in this article are my own. Photos by Skip Reed.
This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room through the TripAdvisor link above, I will receive a small commission, with no additional cost to you.
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