Candy Kittens

Vegan palm oil-free gourmet sweets

It’s coming up to that time of the year again when we have 3 family birthdays in one weekend, I guess that wasn’t the best family planning? Birthday celebrations feel a big deal this year having not been able to celebrate properly last year due to the pandemic. Our eldest son has opted for a laser tag party with a whole bunch of bouncy boys. All I can say is that I am glad we are not having them tearing around our house for a party at home. We did that one year and vowed never again!

My son really wants to give out party bags for his friends. Part of me dreads having to then think about what boys of his age actually like but also realising that he is growing up and how many more parties will he want me to do that for him? I’m therefore relishing the chance to get some “mum points” with great party bags.

Being eco-conscious, can be really challenging and one of the things that I am sensitive to is that choosing eco options should not mean that anyone should feel they have missed out or cannot have what others have. It takes quite a lot of maturity especially for children to say no to things like single use plastics and cheap tatt in party bags that they would actually quite like to have if being honest, at least feel they are included in the fun.

For the party bags, we decided together that everyone would like some kind of sweets. Most pre-teen boys have a sweet tooth and would enjoy tucking into some pick’n’mix. I thought this was going to be an easy option but how wrong could I be? Amongst the boys on the invite list there is a strict vegetarian, a vegan and a child with a epipen after eating some kind of blue sweet at a party early last year and having a severe allergic reaction. That then ruled out any loose pick’n’mix bags as everything has to labelled for allergies, no chocolate footballs and any sweets containing animal derived gelatin or milk…

After doing a lot of research and finding out most on-line retailers were selling grossly overpriced vegan jelly babies, I came across this company selling Candy Kittens. These fruit gummies are made with natural flavouring and are certified vegan and palm oil free. The prices are reasonable and within budget for a party. My only frustration is with the plastic packaging, although I can see the compromise on the fact they are resealable pouches that are technically recyclable if taken to the right places. This is still better than other sweets like a refresher bar packaging that are completely non- recyclable.

Sometimes being eco does require a way to meet in the middle, there is still much work to do to make products that are truly sustainable but it is a step in a better direction whilst being inclusive of everyone. Perhaps there is a gap in the market for natural vegan candy that comes in paper bags, all labelled up properly. I would love to be ale to select a pick’n’mix with an online tool where you can create your bags, add to basket and they then send to you through the letter box all in eco friendly wrapping.

Maybe that is a business idea for the future when I am not so busy with my own kids’ birthday parties?

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