Halloween Candy…


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!!!


31 Responses

  1. MM…those jellies in a cup…3rd picture from the bottom…are they the ones with a fruit-flavoured center? If they are , it was recalled at one time here because it poses a hazard when consumed by small children…the center can be hard to chew and can get dislodged in the throat making it hard for kids to swallow and they can end up choking!!!

    OH, I can see you have my favorite of all candy brs..Nestle crunch!!!! Hubby’s friend and one of my BFF buys those for me over at Bellingham to give away for Trick or Treat!….any leftovers are ours…I believe in giving something that we would eat ourselves…since we wouldn’t eat the crappy ones, so why would others eat them?

  2. BTW..your pumpkin…is it locally grown?…After Halloween…what do you do with the pumpkin besides soup, fritters(okoy) or glazed? …Have you had the Starbuck’s Pumpkin Bread or Loaf?…It is soooooo good…After 2 experiments, I finally got the right balance of spices and moistness.

  3. Trick or Treat in our village can be a nightmare. No matter how much candy we stock up, there is never enough for everyone. I think the kids tell each other which house gives candy. One time, a kid grabbed the basket of candies from my daughter which traumatized her that the next year, she barricaded herself by the fence. hah.

    Anyway, it’s a fun celebration. enjoy your day with the kid.

  4. awww. . . no spooky printed foil wrapped chocos this year, you’ll definitely miss that if you’re concerned about the melamine stuff. . .

  5. I live in a Chinese neighborhood so I was kinda paranoid about what the kids brought home during trick-or-treat (our village celebrated Halloween early, last Oct 25, on the assumption that most everyone would be out of town for the All Saints Day weekend). Surprisingly, my kids’ loot bags were filled with only 10% candy. The rest were toys, pencils, puzzles, tetra pack juices, peanuts, chips and a variety of cheese puffs & junk food in small-sized packs. And of the candy selection, everything was either local (Mentos, Frutos, Jellyace, etc) or well-known Western brands (Tootsie Roll, Nestle, etc). Not a Chinese-looking candy in sight as compared to last year. I guess even the local Chinese community isn’t taking chances.

  6. By the way, this year I splurged on my first real pumpkin! Freakin’ expensive at nearly 700 pesos in Rustan’s but I finally got to experience carving a pumpkin, for the first time in my life! :) We put a tealight in it and it looks and smells awesome! Actually, I only got to do it because of a friend visiting from the US — she’s won several pumpkin carving contests in the past years, so she brought her carving knife set and taught me how to use it. After Halloween, she makes them into pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding and pumpkin creme brulee.

  7. For sure the kids will remember to go back to your house next year because you got the good stuff.

  8. We also buy only stuff that we like to eat so that if there’s any leftovers disposing it won’t be a problem. This year costco has a big bag of assorted chocolates also bought cracker and cheese snack packs. We usually get a lot of trick or treaters though.

  9. Happy Halloween to all!The first ever and only Halloween party we celebrated in our house was a few years back.It was a reunion of sorts since we have balikbayan relatives from the US.As expeceted, we were all(young and old) in our best costumes(scary or not).Digging up our cookbooks and foodmagazines we prepared a really halloween buffet just like they do in the US of A.We played games and awarded prizes to the best costume, scariest etc.And we really sang karaokes till the wee hours of the night– enough to really wake up the dead!That was one of the best party we ever had!Wish we could do it again but alas!–the kids are growing up and we’re getting old!
    MM, I really appreciate that you are being responsible and concern about your choice of halloween treat give aways.This melamine scare is really freaking us out!The people who did this should really get punish–DEATH SENTENCE several times over,no clemecy!

  10. “what part of Argentina China was in” …. classic MM! she must have been assigned originally to the corned beef section, MM :-)

    sure the caramels do not have melamined milk?

    happy halloween! wonder what folks are bringing to the sementeryos tomorrow.

  11. Trick or Treat pickings were pretty slim this year. We’ve done lots of home baking to compensate.

  12. Hi, Betty Q.!

    Like you, we don’t buy the crappy stuff to give away. We usually get M&Ms, Reese’s peanut butter cups, 3 Musketeers, . . .We normally don’t eat this stuff, but the kids are really happy to get the “good” candy.

    If you are ever in Seattle, you really should try Fran’s Chocolates. Their Gray Salt Caramels, Tas de Noix, and Giandujia truffles are TO DIE FOR!! If you don’t feel like making the 3-hour drive, you can order them online:


    They’re pricey, but so worth it. They beat a Nestle’s Crunch bar any day ;) These are not chocolates to give away to trick or treaters ($60/lb!!), but to enjoy with friends and family.

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  13. MM, its my family’s and my first time to celebrate halloween at the village where we just recently transferred to. My kids and I had fun buying goodies and stuff and decorating the house but few kids went up to do trick or treat and now we are stuck with lots and lots of candy.

  14. happy halloween mm. the first thing i notice when i saw the 1st photo is the yellow thing at the back. he he he. beautiful.

  15. Down here south, in Alabang, very festive mood earlier with all the villages opening for trick or treaters. Happy halloween to everyone!!!

  16. My daughter years ago had banned candies on her house as give way for the trick’o treaters, and she made caramel apples instead. She made 2 doz. and she thought they were enough. Maliit lang kasi ang neighborhood niya at pulos matatanda pa ang mga nakatira. Well she was wrong, news spread around and teenagers started knocking on her door. She immediately made some caramelized bananas instead and they were also a hit.

    I just bought large packs of candies and I did not get to check if they from China. Siguro ok, kasi kumain na ako ng 2 package of MM’s eh.

  17. Happy trick or treating to all!! those paws-shape mallows are soo cute, i remember those jellos, those are my faves..i would love to receive a bag of treats from MM.

    On the other hand, we have to be smart when buying and when opening the treats at the end of the night as well. It’s been a habit of mine to check all the candies first before letting her eat some…I’d empty the bag on the table first, disregarding any candy that’s already been open (accidentally), it’s a good thing that she doesn’t suffer from any allergies compare to other kids with severe peanut allergies… I’m excited tonight, my sister bought a fog machine, so we’ll see if it’s a hit or not! heheh

  18. Happy Halloween to everybody. Here in Canada this is a big day.It is the Kids day. Do they know that it is supposed to be the day for those who passed away? Trick or Treat!!!!

  19. Be extra careful with candies made in Mexico. They have lead content. Here in our school district,we are given warnings especially during this time of the year.

  20. It’s funny how some kids here in the US don’t just bring small baskets or bags when they go treat or treating but sacks or even pillow cases for their loot! I heard they can really fill up them up too. Sad thing is the enormous amount of candy may end up in the trash but it’s a much anticipated event and what’s important is for the kids to have fun! Thanks & happy Halloween to all.

  21. Being a dental professional, it breaks my heart to see kids with multiple caries especially those under the age of 4. I’ve opted to dress up as the tooth fairy and pass out toothbrushes instead. To my surprise, the kids really liked it and the parents were thrilled to boot!

  22. A friend of mine lets her 5 year old daughter go trick or treating in all her neighboring villages here in Laguna. At the end of the day, they go to the depressed area and give the goodies away. I say, that is the best education you could give your child.

  23. I had a “second childhood” when I was in the 6th grade or so and would go trick or treating with friends … and we’d play poker and blackjack in the evening with our candies as currency. =)

  24. Real pumpkins…I would love to get my hands on those so I can try making Pumpkin pies. Where can we purchase them here in Manila? I heard you can get them in the Seedling bank?



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