Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate this sugar ridden holiday. If you have kids in the house, I suspect this holiday may have been forced upon you… We have always celebrated the holiday, if only for an excuse to eat sweets, and every year we prepare enough candy for at least 1,000 trick or treaters in the area that we live in. This year, however, was a real nightmare while shopping for candy. Freaked out by the melamine scare, I decided to ban anything made in China from canned goods, to veggies, to candies from our home. I know it penalizes lots of innocent businesses, but until China gets its act together on food and other product safety issues (mind you, Filipino laws and vigilance are equally suspect, in my opinion) I think consuming less of what they make is the way to go… So what does that leave in the candy department when you are buying in bulk? Not a whole lot!
First stop was Shoemart, where I have always stocked up on bulk halloween purchases. For the families of our crew, that we invite for a halloween gathering and trick or treating, I usually pull together large bags of all kinds of treats. But this year, after checking out several bags of assorted goodies at shoemart, I asked the saleslady where their candies were from and she immediately said “Argentina!” To which I was genuinely surprised. And indeed some of the candies were from South America. But of the ones I picked up, a good 80+% said “Made in China” and when i asked the saleslady what part of Argentina China was in, she looked at me sheepishly and said she had to check with her supervisor. After eons on the phone, she returned to say, it’s made in China. Now if there is something that irritates me more than not knowing the product you are selling, it is LYING about it. So much for Shoemart candy… Oh, but I did these colorful lollipops made by a local manufacturer who has been around for decades. At PHP4 each, they make a great halloween giveaway.
Next stop was the Landmark grocery, and frankly, finding locally manufactured candies with no milk powder content was not so easy. I ended up with mentos and other local brands, but noticed that so many of the old brands have disappeared, replaced by all sorts of colorfully packaged imports… from, where else, but China. Still, I managed to get a few hundred candies here.
At S&R, I found nice halloween marshmallows manufactured locally, and lots of imported goodies, albeit at a relatively steep price. Still got some because they look great in a bowl and visitors can just pick and choose what they want.
But the real finds this year came from Metro Grocery at Market!Market! where I found these small packages of assorted candies from a U.S. distributor for PHP48-52 for 150 grams of candy, some 30 pieces or so in a cellophane bag. Perfect giveaways for your apos or special halloween guests and the candy is all clearly labelled and made in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil. They also had caramels, gummies, etc. I got at least two dozen of these packages…
And yes, that pumpkin in the photos is real… Happy Halloween from Marketman & Family!!!