Thursday, 23 October 2014

All about Candy buffets

Some of you may know that I am not a big supporter of the traditional party pack. The one pre filled to the brim with sweets - some of which the origin is totally unknown and the kids feel obliged to either eat or bring home. Mine in general end up not eating most of it in any event.  In stead, we have switched to the Candy buffet idea. First of all - it looks wonderful. Ok, mine not as great as the ones the professionals do, but still pretty. Secondly the kids love it! They love to pick what they want and what may seem to them to be big amounts of sweets. They love dishing in themselves with a scoop, carefully choosing what looks great and avoiding what they do not like.

But let me tell you the secret - they take way way less that what would be in the traditional party pack. And they take only what they eat or want. There is almost zero wastage as whatever stays uneaten you can use at home later. Kids in general will not take anything they do not like if they have a choice. I am also convinced that it costs you less because you can buy big quantities bags and not more expensive smaller bagged units.

Another thing I totally love is that the parents are not shy to help themselves. I will even go so far that I think the parents like it even more than the kids. You will see parents enjoying a jelly snake as if they do it every day. Sneaking in a mini fizzer or especially those apricots that I am convinced I buy solely for the parents every year.

So I thought I will do a post on how we did our last 3 candy buffets and what was popular or not to help you on your way to what may be your first one.

Space Party:

I used plastic, stainless steel and foil containers to go with the theme. We also named every sweet something that had to do with the theme. The kids dished their sweets into foil containers and dispensed to take home what was left (or add to it) in celophane bags that was dropped into themed silver paper bags. We used silver paper plates for cake or boerewors rolls.

 What was offered:
Jelly feet, sherbet packets, popcorn, monster pops, coloured cachous( you may know the pink only version), jelly domes, other jelly domes with the white bits in, apricots, those coloured candy corn rings, liquorice, smarties and cheese curls
 Most popular eats:
Sherbet - Actually you can never have enough sherbet and will never be left with any. It's a golden candy buffet rule.
Apricots - we never have any left but this I think is 60% parents. But some kids love them too.
Cheese curls - need I say more.
Popcorn - every bit eaten.
My worst buy of the party:
Those candy almost chip like sweet rings. I find them disgusting but it looked to me like children like them and the fit the theme. Very little eaten . I actually just gave the huge bag that was left to the school to use for baking day.
Moment I loved most:
When Marcia took a party pack home with those 'Space capsules" which she loves.

Horse farm party:

We used buckets and brown paper bags to hold the items. Because it was in a dusty place I bought small packets of chips (and a lot). The kids dished their sweeties into decorated brown paper bags (I forgot to take a photo of them!) and added to take home.

What was offered: 
Home made brownies, sherbet bottles, marshmallow cones, coconut coated marshmallows, elegance fruit toffees, chocolate echlair toffees, monster pops,  candy watches, similar candies like ziffers on a stick and small bags of crisps. 
 Most popular eats:
My MIL chocolate brownies - seen here in one red and green bucket. These were completely swiped not even half into the party regardless of the fact that we first served boerierolls and prego rolls. I thought we would have left for tea the next day but we re filled the buckets 4 times. I think this is possibly 80% parents.
The apricots - once again parents mostly I think.
The sherbet bottles - only 2 left at the end of the party.
The coconut covered marshmallows.
My worst buy of the party:
Will you believe it - the monster pops! Only 2 taken out of the whole bag. It seems that if kids have the choice they do not take lollypops.
Favorite moment of the party:
The mom that refuse to leave without the brownie recipe scribbled on the back of her boys' party pack by my MIL.

This year's Lego party. 

I got the kids involved this year and let them build containers out of Lego Duplo and used some tins I have been collecting and a cupcake stand. Once again packets of small chips. For containers to dish in and take home I made Lego boxes with their names on (contact me if you need the template)

What was offered:
Fruit chews, sour worms, jelly snakes, sherbet, apricots (but not the nice type - could not find them), cola mini fizzers, coloured cachous, chocolate echlairs, jelly beans, chomps, home made chocolate drops, home made rice crispie marshmallow treats and petty nice lego blocks.
Most popular eats:
The jelly snakes disappeared in minutes and not a single bag of sherbet was left. The chomps were also totally swiped. But what totally floored me was the fact that 96 cupcakeholder sized marshmallow treats were eaten. I by accident took the two containers that was meant for school the next day along with the party's container. All 3 totally eaten. I decided early on to unpack the others when I saw how popular they were.
My worst buy of the party:
The wrong type of apricots. I did not even buy lollipops this time around.
Favorite moment:
Two dads begging me to find more rice crispie cakes - which triggered me bringing out the next days' too. They each blatantly took 4 and went on to eat. 

So what do you do for parties? And have you considered this? Come to think of it - this is much more like we used to have in our simple uncomplicated parties when we were kids.


  1. I've not done anything like this cos Kade's been to small (in my mind anyway) but I definitely think I will consider this for next year! It's a GREAT idea.


  2. Very creative, Cat!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great idea :-)

    I think those apricot sweets reminds the grown-ups of when we were kids :-)

  4. Ek is ook nie 'n groot fan van die party pack idee nie. Vir presies dieselfde redes as wat jy genoem het. Ek doen ook dieselfde en laat elke een vir hom of haarself opskep. BAIE Beter. Jy is baie kreatief.


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