Because I have collected more fall products than I'd anticipated, I'll be ringing in October with a trio of Halloween chocolate candy bags covered in the next three days instead of three weeks. I'm not overly fond of Halloween, but I do like dressing up and I like candy and I'm always after seasonal chocolate products to review. So the increasing availability of seasonal products around this time of year can get even me excited.
Tony's Chocolonely has certainly been showing up for the candy holidays. They make the Chocolate Eggs for Easter (this has turned out to be one of my most-viewed reviews--perhaps because there is indeed demand for such a product?) and now they have an option for Halloween, too. The thing is, I don't necessarily think it's sustainable to have all Halloween candy be fair trade chocolate. For me, part of the idea of fair trade cocoa is consuming less cocoa (I am aware that this can sound hypocritical coming from a chocolate blogger). So if I were handing out candy, no, I wouldn't be handing these out--and not just because the bag of 27 pieces is about $9. But if you knew you were only going to be handing out a small amount of candy or if you were just having them at home for your own circle of friends and family, then this works.
Philosophy aside, let's get back to the product. Of the three brands of Halloween chocolate I've had so far (I don't think there'll be anymore, but you never know what else you find), this was the only one that had an accurate count. The bag says that there are 27 pieces inside and there are 27 pieces inside. That comes out to 33 cents each, which is also the best value of the three options. I'm not going to start counting grams, but they're decent-sized chocolates, too.
The bag is pretty cute. A standard Halloween orange comes with a pattern of little skeletons and brooms and ghosts and jack-o-lanterns. Again, being that I'm not big on Halloween, I prefer this cute, goofy look to anything truly spooky. It's neutral, too. It can be the candy you buy for your kids or it can be for adults--the packaging doesn't lean too much in one direction or the other.
It's a paper bag, too, which is kind of cool. The individual wrappers are "recyclable plastic;" while maybe we should give them some credit for trying, the fact is that probably not a single one of these will in fact get recycled--even if someone wanted to, finding the right place to send them would be an issue.
All three of these companies kept their standard packaging for the small wrappers. But I do like the Tony's look best of the three. They already make these Tiny Tony's as part of their product line, and the Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt is already orange (the milk chocolates are red and the dark chocolates are blue, neither of which would look very Halloween--perhaps they'll bring out the milks for Christmas, though?). The bright orange wrappers have a fitting Halloween look. These are the only individual wrappers of the three brands to not include the ingredients list on them, but there is a link to their website to view that info.
I've never had any of the Tiny Tony's before. They're pretty cute. It's just one little link on a circular piece of chocolate. The chains (which are part of their message/goal about ending slavery, particularly child slavery, in the cocoa industry) look like they're a Halloween design. Again, they just used a product they already make, but the look is great for the season. And it's a great way to link the season with their message. "Hey, did you know that these grotesque chains don't belong to a Halloween monster, they represent the huge issue of child slavery?" (Now I'm picturing someone on the street passing them out as part of a campaign . . . . )
As I mentioned, these candies are the Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt. I've covered it before, both the whole bar and in the Easter eggs. Probably it is most favorable in this form, though that may just be my own bias (the large Tony's bars are so big that they put me off). The chocolate is sweet, nice enough in small doses like this. Lots of caramel and vanilla flavor to it. The caramel itself comes in those little small crunchy bits, along with some big chunks of sea salt. I definitely feel like there is more prevalent salt in here than there was in the bar, though that could just be my memory being fallible. These are big hits of sea salt.
You know, the price tag may be higher on these, but you're paying for more than just fair trade. Not only are these candies possibly slightly bigger than some of the fun size chocolate candies (just a guess), but they also have more chocolate. This is solid milk chocolate except for the sprinkles of salt and crunchy caramel. While Tony's milk chocolate doesn't top my list for milk chocolates, it is certainly better than what probably all of the standard chocolate candy brands make. So the value here is pretty decent.
I started with Tony's because it was the first of the three bags I came across. I don't want to peak too soon, but I definitely score it the highest of the three based on value, quality, and visual appeal.
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