Thursday, 26 May 2011

Battle of the handmade rock candies - Sweet Enchantment VS. Sticky Comparison Post and Review

Apologies for the lack of updates - I promise to update more regularly! I've been "getting used" to my holidays and catching up with old friends for the past few weeks and now it's back to blogging here for all you great readers :)

Today, I'll be reviewing something sweet and sticky that has recently been both on and in the mouths of Singaporeans both young and old... Yes, I'm talking about homemade rock candies! I'm sure most of you have heard of Sticky by now. It's the first brand of handmade candy that opened in the Central and also retails online at the Sticky website. I bought an assorted packet of candies and the "Together We Can Help Japan" candies (they donated the profits to aid for Japan) and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Lychee and cherry flavoured rock candies!

Things started to get interesting when I saw another handmade rock candy store in Vivocity one day... Named "Sweet Enchantment", it struck me as a smaller but quainter shop front. How will it measure up to Sticky? Read on to find out!

Champagne flavoured rock candies!

If you're wondering why there's a random purple and white piece of rock candy at the top of the jar, that's 'cos my SO bought another flavour (Lavender) and we swapped some candies :)

First of all, let me just say how much I love rock candy! From the kitschy and miniature designs on the candy to the yummy goodness that satiates my sweet tooth. It's one of my most favourite candy!

I'm going to do a thorough comparison between Sticky and Sweet Enchantment here, based on the flavours I've tried from both (I tried a lot, trust me). I bought the rock mix (many different flavours in there) and the Japan candies (lychee and cherry flavours) from Sticky, and the Champagne, Lavender, Earl Grey Tea, Sakura, Yuzu, Sour Lemon (and probably a whole lot more) from Sweet Enchantment.

I won't compare the packaging because different amounts of candy have different types of packaging. Sticky has both re-sealable bags of candy (that are pink and white and have extremely adorable designs on the back) and jars. I only saw jars of candy at Sweet Enchantment the last time I went.

When I first tried Sticky, I loved it. That was probably because I had no other rock candy for comparison. Then I tried Sweet Enchantment and realised that Sticky was actually very much sweeter and their flavours tasted more "artificial", especially the banana flavour (there were many banana candies left over in my bag...)

According to the staff at Sweet Enchantment, they only use natural extracts, with no artificial colours or flavourings. There is no description of ingredients on their labels. Sticky uses refined sugar from SIS, but they also include permitted flavourings and colourings. The ingredients are on the label (which I didn't capture, unfortunately).

In terms of variety, Sticky has more flavours (71 at last count) while Sweet Enchantment has at least 20+ but definitely less than Sticky as it is relatively new. However, Sticky's flavours focus more on fruit and sound more common and less interesting compared to Sweet Enchantment's adventurous and sophisticated flavours. I liked Sticky's lychee and cherry candies but they tasted quite standard. On the other hand, I was especially impressed with Sweet Enchantment's Champagne candies and Earl Grey Tea candies, and ended up buying Champagne, while my SO bought Lavender (also a very nice and floral flavoured candy).

A sampling of 21 Sticky flavours (quoted from Sticky website): Apple rock, banana, blackcurrant bursts, blueberry rock, disco rock, kiwi rock, lychee pillows, panda rock, sour cherry cola, strawberry rock, smiley rock, scooby rock, raspberry lemonade, pink grapefruit rock, rainbow rock, mangosteen rock, mango rock, purple love hearts, orange rock, froggy rock, strawberries and cream

A sampling of 21 Sweet Enchantment flavours (quoted from Sweet Enchantment facebook page):

1) Lemon

2) Orange
3) Sour Lemon (Lemon Sunrise)
4) Sour Orange (Orange Sunrise)
5) Strawberry
6) Bergamot
7) Muscat
8) Mango
9) Raspberry
10) Blueberry
11) Honeydew
12) Pink Peach
13) Geranium Rose
14) Damascus Rose
15) Lavender
16) Sakura
17) Ume
18) Yuzu
19) Champagne
20) Rum
21) Citrus Mix 

Overall: Sweet Enchantment wins in terms of flavour as their candies taste more natural and they provide a more interesting variety of candies based on four main themes of fruit, floral, afternoon tea and happy hours (I am serious! Look at this article about Sweet Enchantment on Lifestyle Asia). Look at no. 20. Rum! I can't wait to try that :)

Depends on the amount of candy you buy. I didn't think there was a huge difference in pricing, at any rate. One jar of Sweet Enchantment candy (the bigger jar) cost about 8 SGD. One large packet of Sticky cost around 7 SGD.

Sticky has friendly candy-making staff who smiled at the passers-by and made the little school children giggle. I stood there for half and hour and watched the staff swing the candy onto the hook and toss it and stretch it - fascinating stuff! Sweet Enchantment has very friendly storekeeping staff. They encouraged me to try many of the different flavours and told me to take my time to decide which ones I preferred/come back another time to buy. I was impressed by their service, which was done with a smile at all times. Both Sticky and Sweet Enchantment have their merits, but the staff at Sweet Enchantment seemed more enthusiastic about introducing their candies to me, while the storekeeping staff at Sticky didn't seem very bothered about promoting their products to me. Perhaps because Sweet Enchantment is new in the market and needs more promotion.

Sticky is definitely the more established brand, having been the first and original Australian rock candy company to set up shop in Singapore in 2008. Sweet Enchantment is a very recent entrant into the local rock candy industry, as it was founded in 2010. Only time will tell which is the more successful business, or if both can have a share of the candy pie ;)

Both Sticky and Sweet Enchantment sell little rock candies with designs on them which are customisable for events. They also sell lollipops. That's about it, I think. Sticky products can be ordered online at Sticky's website, while Sweet Enchantment can currently only be bought from their store at Vivocity #01-159.


The Verdict

I think you can probably guess who won the battle, no?

Sweet Enchantment wins hands down because 1) it provides cooler flavours and tastes more natural 2) pricing is about the same between both brands. Do head down to Sweet Enchantment at Vivocity; you're in for a treat, I promise :) Sticky fans, trust me, this newcomer is worth watching out for!

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .