I landed back home in Delhi last friday after a rare on-time arrival by the Bhopal Shatabdi this winter.
I skipped the staid dinner served onboard and saved the calories for something nicer. Excited like a little boy, the first thing I did after reaching home was rip open a small brown carton which had arrived earlier that week. It was my Candyhero shipment of Hero Energy Mints and their assorted candy bag - Odds & Ends, all the way from England.
Caution: If you love all things sweet and are watching your weight or sugar levels, please stop reading at this point. What I am about to reveal below will overcome even the most doggedly- determined sweet tooth.
If Willy Wonka ever decided to set up a store online, it would probably be like Candyhero.com! From Jellybeans in every imaginable flavor (and then some) to the downright-disgusting/quirky-delectable Strawberry Scorpion Lollipop, this website has it all.
I came across them while looking for energy mints online. A caffeine-addict, I need these to perk me up when I can't whip up my Aeropress or grab an espresso, like those ultra-boring review presentations. I was introduced to these mints by Pow Energy mints in Mumbai, during my TISS days a few years ago. Sadly Pow disappeared from the Indian market soon after and there was no replacement available, not even online.
I found some great stuff on Amazon.com, but they don't ship anything edible to India. I had almost given up when I stumbled upon Candyhero. They not only had the biggest collection I had ever seen of candies, energy products and other things yum, they also shipped to India!
Obviously, I ended up ordering much more than just energy mints. I mean, how can you resist a packet of Haribo Dinosaurs or a vintage Cherry Cocktail! The shipping charges are quite nominal and the website even shows prices in INR now. If shipped by the untracked Royal Mail option (the cheapest one), the shipment usually takes 7 days to reach an Indian metro.
Shipping & Customs Duty
The bigger your order, the cheaper shipping charges per item. I was under the impression that there's no custom duty on candies. Once, in a particularly low state of self-control I ended up ordering a dozen boxes of Jelly Bellys and assorted candy bars. Brimming with excitement, when my security guard called to say that I had a shipment from the UK, I rushed out only to be rudely surprised.
I had to pay nearly 100% of my total product plus shipment cost to DHL as custom fees, before they would release my package. I later found out that the duty-free shipping only works on relatively small shipments through the Royal Mail. Since then, I have exercised greater self-control and have had no customs trouble.
Pro tip: Selecting the 'Gift' option during checkout also helps, as I believe gifts don't attract customs duty in India.
Anyway back to Candyhero, the website is neat and well categorized. You can browse through candies from different countries, flavors or wacky stuff like those scorpion lollipops. Worth bookmarking is their discount section, with near/past date candies going for as much as 10% of their original MRP. I did some looking up and found that candies are mostly safe to eat till couple of years after their 'best before date' - owing to high sugar content which acts as a preservative.
My top picks on Candyhero are (so far) :
- Hero Energy Mints - the most economical option for energy products and they taste alright
- Mlilitary Energy Gum - apparently developed for US Airforce pilots, these gums are by far the most effective caffeine delivery edibles I've come across
- Sheets Energy strips - Caffeine-mints on a strip, fits into my wallet for emergencies like a groggy morning drive
- Cherry Cocktail and Idaho Spud - Classic American candy bars. Also calorie bombs
- Sugar Free Jelly Bellys - Guilt-free candy!
|Odds & Ends - what was left of them after 10 mins|
The checkout process is pretty smooth - you enter your address after registering, select your shipping option, put in your card details and bam! Candy is on it's way. Like other foreign e-commerce websites, there's no two factor authentication. They also have a loyalty program and you can shave off a few a pennies with coupon codes you can find online.
If you have a particularly intense sweet-tooth, then by now you are either cursing me or are eternally grateful. Anyway, I'm going to go and rip open my shipment of Liquorice sticks!
Note: Inspite of my adulation for Candyhero, this post is not sponsored by them. I'm just really happy I found these guys,