“ Brand: Candy King / Type: Candy „
I have eaten Candy King pick and mix many times. It is offered at our local Cineworld in their sweet shop and it is also the pick and mix available in our local Tesco stores. They are purchased in a cup - the local Tesco offers two sizes, a medium one for £3 or an extra large one for £4. I always opt for a medium one for myself so that I can pick at it over a number of days but the extra large one is a good size for sharing. The medium cup I normally get is around 22cm high and has a diameter of around 12cm.
The idea is that you fill the cup with the pick and mix sweets via a scoop available in the shop and then when it's full, place a lid on the top and take to the till. The cup and lid remind me of those you get a drink in at fast food restaurants, except without the hole in the lid. We always try to fill ours up as much as possible, using smaller sweets like smarties on the top as they fall down through the gaps throughout the cup just to get as much value from our purchase as possible.
I find that the selection of sweets is quite varied. I like quite traditional sorts of pick and mix such as milk bottles, cola bottles, cherries, sour cherries, sour cola bottles and those are all available in our local Tesco. I will say though that the choice on offer is entirely dependent on the store. A smaller Tesco we visit does not offer half as much choice as the larger Tesco Extra in our town. Other sweets on offer include:
- Toffee Chocolates (I picked these out as I normally love toffee and chocolate together but these were a bit disappointing)
- Smarties style chocolates (their version)
- Chocolate cones (these are small cone shaped pink chocolates with hundreds and thousands on)
- Strawberry sugar coated laces
- Large jelly crocodiles
- Chocolate raisins
- Chocolate counters (their version of minstrels)
- Sweetie Fried Eggs
- Pink chocolate pigs
- Fudge pieces
There are also other types available that I can't think of from memory so I feel that Candy King offers a wide range of sweets, I'd say the split is around 2/3 of jelly style or traditional sweets and the remaining 1/3 are chocolate based. That's about right in my view as I usually choose a selection from both types. The sweets are of good quality for the most part and taste delicious. Although the chocolate used on some of them isn't fantastic (not a patch on cadbury's for example), I find it's quite tasty all the same.
There are a couple of downsides for me. The cup idea really gets annoying. I understand why they are sold in this way as it's easier and quicker for the person on the till serving - one flat price instead of having to weigh bags as it always was when I was younger in somewhere like Woolworths. The problem is though that the cup gives no room for rummaging around to get to your favourites! I either have to empty the contents out when I get home, into a another larger container or just eat them as they are in the cup but this means I end up eating three or four of the same sweet before moving onto the next type. A bag is so much better for finding the ones you want to eat. What I don't understand is how the sharing cup would work at the cinema - being in the dark as well as having to try and dig out your favourites from the cup is not a good combination at all!
The other thing is the price. I find that £3 is quite a lot for the amount of sweets that you get in a cup. I would say I probably had around 60 sweets at very most in my last cup at best guess and that's counting the small smarties style ones individually - I don't think that's a huge amount given the price. I think the £4 one probably works out as being slightly better value - I don't know the exact sizes of the extra large cup but from memory I think it would fit quite a lot more in for an extra £1.
I've rated the Candy King sweets 3 stars overall. I feel that the quality, taste and selection of the sweets on offer is great but the cup is annoying and I don't think they're fantastic value. I will purchase again in the future but that's really because they're the only pick and mix available in our local stores.
Thanks for reading :o)
Now that Woolworth's is gone its difficult to find anywhere decent to buy little bits and pieces for the cinema which in my town centre is conveniently placed only an escalator away. One of my favourite treats I used to love when I was younger was pick n' mix and in recent trip to Wilkinson's I noticed they had an entire section dedicated to this all neatly under the brand Candy King.
I must admit that until I spotted this in Wilkinson's, I'd never heard of this brand. A quick google search tells me that it is originally a Swedish brand that expanded across Europe and now caters to Scandinavia, Ireland and the UK. Their website is not strictly limited to selling pick n' mix however and also has wallpapers to download, options to create your own invitations (such as for a children's party)
and games. As well as this however, there are also sections dedicated to healthy eating and also a neat little 'toothbrush school' which aims to "keep the cavities away". I think this is a great addition as it shows that a healthy medium need be met especially for young children, when treating oneself to so many sugary treats.
Instead of what I'm used to to grab yourself some pick n' mix instore you use a cup rather than a bag. Each cup is a set price depending on whether they are regular, medium or large and are the following prices:
regular - 1.99
medium - £2.99
large - 3.99
If bought at the cinema complex itself however I have noticed that they sometimes cost more than this, so its worth popping into a Wilkinson's or WHSmith's if possible.
The treats that are available to buy are categorised in the following way:
covered sweets - such as jellybeans and mini eggs
foam - such as snakes and fried eggs (the kind you find in a Haribo bag)
hardboiled - pear drops etc
jelly - american hard gums, coca cola bottles, jelly babies
others - pink pigs/ice creams/white mice, jazzies
The products they use all appear to be of good quality and tend to taste exactly how I remember. The display is often very varied and there is lots of variety. It is very easy to grab the sweets you want as all you have to do is lift up the plastic lid of the case they are kept in and use a scoop to get the amount you want.
While the cup is a little awkward to use and sometimes is a little heavy I must admit it is useful knowing that you have the right amount of change to cover the cost of it. I remember being younger and worrying that my pocket money wasn't enough to cover what I had gotten and having to rough estimate the weight of what I'd chosen. This way however it does mean I cram as much as I can in and because I'm pretty frugal have been know to position the pieces in a specific way to ensure I can get as much for my buck as possible!
I would definitely recommend choosing Candy King if you can and you are looking to buy some pick n' mix. Every time I have purchased pick n' mix since discovering the stand in my local Wilkinson's I must admit they have always been high quality and great tasting. They make a nice treat to have once in a while as I'm sure the products aren't necessarily the healthiest thing to eat regularly. It is the perfect compliment to any cinema viewing if you don't want (or can't afford!) the popcorn sold at the cinema. If you are looking to purchase some pick n' mix online and have it delivered however I would definitely recommend a website called clicknmix.co.uk which offers reasonably cheap products and postage delivered to your door.
Thanks for reading
I am normally a Cadburys kind of girl and live for eating bar after bar of chocolate, but last week my friend dragged me down to our local Wilkinsons to grab some pick and mix. It has been years since I have indulged in pick and mix and boy did I enjoy myself!
Literally there was a whole wall filled with sweet boxes filled with childhood delights- bananas, jelly beans, jelly babies, pink shrimps, snakes, sour cherries, fudge, toffees, caramel bonbons, strawberry bonbons, smarties, fried eggs, chocolate raisins, liquorice sticks....the list is endless. I really could go on! It was like I'd been sent to heaven.
The sweets can either be placed into a beaker, as in the picture, or in a paper bag. I opted for a paper bag. It costs around 80p for 100g, so by the time you've popped in some fudge and a bonbon or too its surprising how the cost increases! My friend spent £4 on sour treats!!! Her bag was pretty full to be fair though.
The sweets weren't of the best quality I have ever had- the chocolate was of the cheap advent calendar variety though all of the chewy sweets like jelly babies and bananas taste great.
Overall, great for a reminisce of the olden days but be careful how much you pop in your bag...it soon mounts up!
Following the closure of Woolworths in early 2009 the Candy King Pick n Mix seems to have spread ten fold. Now Thorntons, WHSmiths, Tescos and others all stock Candy King. At the time of writing these Pick n Mix are sold at prices:
Thorntons: 99p per 100g
Tescos: 71g per 100g
WHSmiths: Not sold by weight. (Cups only)
Odeon: £1.21 per 100g
Cineworld: £1.15 per 100g
At all retailers a 'small' cup usually weighing between 350g-500g costs £2.99. While a 'large' cup (between 600g-900g) is £3.99. The heaviest I have ever known in 1000g which was mainly squashed fudge.
The Candy King offers a large variety of sweets including, jelly bellies (snakes), smarties, jelly beans, dummies, chocolate eggs, juicy strawberries, juicy hearts, teeth, foam bananas, shrimps, sugared strawberries, chocolate raisins, white mice, strawberry and apple laces, fruit pastilles, etc.
The sweets themselves are (depending on where you buy them from) very nice. From experience, when bought at WHSmiths and Tescos, the sweets are 50% of the time stale, which seriously affects the taste. The cinema chain are normally the best at taking care in making sure the sweets remain fresh, hence the heavy price you are expected to pay. The staleness of the sweets is usually caused by holes in the bags at the back of the Pick n Mix stand or otherwise the way in which the sweets are stored...the freshness of the sweets normally lasts a few months by themselves.
All in all the Candy King sweets are very nice and make a nice snack whilst watching a film or being dragged around shops.