candy for candy buffet

Best Candy for a Candy Buffet

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Candy buffets are not just about miniature-sized candies or blindly adding diverse candies in a bowl – no! It is about getting the right balance between flavor, shape, and texture! 

If you want to create the best candy buffet for kids (or adults), then you are at the right place!

What is the best candy for a candy buffet? Pair soft and hard candies individually to create a diverse and balanced candy buffet. We recommend going with either fresh candy from a candy store or commercial classics like M&Ms, Jelly Beans, Gummy bears, Skittles, Hershey’s Kisses, Mini Snickers, and more.

Read below to unlock the secrets behind a successful candy buffet and how you can cleverly use a few techniques to get the most out of the buffet without spending too much money!

Candy Buffets – Getting it Right

Whether it’s birthdays, weddings, or random events that warrant an array of sweets – candy buffets are an excellent way to add a sweet touch to your events without going overboard with the budget! 

Candy buffets are all about variety, presentation, and most of all, balance. You might have noticed that we have repeatedly mentioned the word “balance” in this guide, well the reason why is that we have seen too many buffets with lots of variety but virtually no attention to texture and presentation.

Imagine this: you take out a bunch of candies thinking that you would get a mix of soft and hard candies but end up with just hard candy – or just 1-2 selections of soft candies mixed with 3-4 hard candies. 

Trust us, you are likely to waste money and value on the buffet if you don’t keep a strict balance. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can do this without getting too analytical.

But even before candy, we need to talk a bit about the candy bowls.

The first step in developing a balanced candy buffet is to start with the bowls. Seriously. Spend some time deciding on the shapes and heights of the bowl! It will make all the difference when setting up your candy buffet for the party!

We recommend going with large glass bowls and vase-like containers with a wide opening. These types of bowls are an excellent starting point for most candy buffets as they add presentation and you can fill them to the brim with different types of candies. 

Picking the Right Candy

Once you have the right bowls for the candy, it’s time to decide the type of candy for your buffet. There are three types of candies that you can choose from:

candy buffet
  1. Commercial Candies
  2. Fresh Candies
  3. A mix of Fresh and Commercial Candies

Commercial Candies

Commercial candies are a no-brainer for many people and are the ideal choice for smaller buffets. Since these candies can cost a lot, it is better to use them for smaller or family events. For example, if you are hosting your kid’s birthday party with a guest list of 10 people, then we recommend going with commercial candies.

You can buy several value packs online and there are many miniature candies to choose from! An advantage of going with commercial candies is that you don’t need a lot of planning or preparation time to create the buffet. Just empty the contents in a container and mix them up! 

Fresh Candies

Going with fresh candies is by far the best and most economical way to get the most out of your candy buffet. Visit any candy store nearby and pick the best candies for your party. Fresh candies are ideal for large events like weddings. 

We also suggest that you “read the room” and purchase candy according to the theme of the event! For example, elegant weddings call for a selection of chocolate candies while a beach theme would warrant tropical hard and soft candies. 

You can also experiment with colors too! Go with rainbow candies for the best experience. The more colorful your selection, the more eye-catching the buffet will look.

Combination of Fresh and Commercial Candies

This strategy works best for smaller events and is an excellent way to reuse leftover candy. Candies typically last a long time as long as they are stored correctly. So, if you have both commercial and fresh candies then try to make a mixed bowl of both!

Keep fresh candies at the top and commercial candies at the bottom so that people eat the fresh candies first. You can use a non-transparent bowl to store the candy, this way kids won’t know the contents of the jar and every type of candy will have an equal chance of being picked – well, that is until the kids catch on.

Hard vs Soft Candies 

So far, we have talked about the type of bowls and candies that you should use for a great-tasting candy buffet – now it’s time to choose between hard and soft candies!

hard vs soft candies

Hard candies are an instant hit with kids and are a great choice when you are hosting a kid-friendly party like a birthday. Hard candies might not be a great choice for the elderly, but you can go with fruit-flavored hard candies that are meant to be sucked for the best experience. 

You can also go with lollipops which are a big hit with children and can add a lot of visuals to your buffet as well. Try going with hard lollipops and swirls for bonus points!

There are similarly several variations of soft candies that you can choose from too. Soft candies like taffies are an excellent and cost-effective way to populate your buffet without going overboard with the budget. 

Jelly beans are a fantastic choice too because you can get them in different flavors. There are jelly beans that taste like Krispy Kreme donuts, tropical mixes, smoothies, and more.

Of course, we also can’t forget chocolate candies! Chocolate candies are an instant hit and a must-have for any good candy buffet. There are hundreds of chocolate candies that you can choose from!

Try going with chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered stars, and more. You can also stick with classics like eclairs or other simple chocolate candies to populate your buffet. 

Mixing and Arranging the Buffet 

Now that you have the right selection of candy, it’s time to mix them up! There are several ways you can prepare the buffet

The first step is to fill up the bowls. Use the fistful method to get an even selection of every type of candy. Just grab a fist full of the candies and put them in a bowl. Fill them up 3/4th of the way and then give the bowl a toss. 

Make sure that you toss the candies for 10-15 seconds so that they are evenly distributed. You can also mix separate bowls for hard, soft, and chocolate candies. This is ideal for adult parties since it gives people a greater choice – and they can choose a candy that they like. 

mixing and arranging the buffet

For kids, we recommend sticking with a mixed bowl. Keep a separate container for the lollipops too! Arrange the bowls over a round table and keep them at the center. Put the vase-like or taller bowls at the back and arrange the lollipops at the center back. 

You can also add a bit of flair to your buffet by decorating it with confetti. Remember, these tips don’t cost much and you can add a whole lot of value by adding a bit of presentation to your candy buffet.

Want your guests to go home with a bit of dessert? Then we recommend going with smaller gift boxes. Gift boxes are a fun way to give your guests something to remember your party. A benefit of going with individual boxes is that you can create pairings of candies.

Each box can contain 3-4 candies as per its size and you can use both commercial and soft candies. You can also add a cute little note with each box if you truly want to up the ante! 

Related Questions

Candy buffets don’t have to be extravagant to be great! With just a few smart tweaks you can create a delicious and attractive candy buffet for virtually any type of party! Now that you know the best candy for a candy buffet, its time to look at a few related questions: 

Is It a Good Idea to Go With Sour Candy for a Candy Buffet?

Sour candy is usually only suitable for kid-centric events. You can also go with sour candies for adults, but most adults like sweeter candies rather than sour ones. 

If you are hosting an event for both kids and adults then the best way to incorporate sour candies in the buffet is by storing them in a separate bowl. You can also put a bit of labeling on each bowl so that your guests know the types of candy in your buffet. 

Should You Add Wafers or Non-Candy Items to Your Buffet? 

Mini wafers are a great way to add diversity to your candy buffet! You can also cut up wafers and put them in a separate bowl for your guests. There are countless wafers to choose from and their crispy texture will be appreciated by people of all ages!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *