Sponge candy goes by a few different names. You might know it as sea foam sponge chocolate, chocolate molasses candy or even honeycomb toffee.
It’s all the same stuff and there’s a great selection available online that you can have shipped to almost any doorstep.
This time we are checking out perhaps the most affordable sponge candy on Amazon to see if you really can get good quality sponge candy at a great price. To make the deal even better it’s shipped fast with Amazon’s Prime 2-day shipping.
The chocolate sponge candy from Niagara By Frey is offered in milk chocolate coated, dark chocolate coated and orange chocolate coated. I ordered the dark chocolate coated sponge candy to review as I think it should balance the honeycomb sponge well. At least that was the plan.
I was a little concerned how something as delicate as sponge candy would ship, as the individual pieces are culpable to shatter if they’re met with any sort of high impact.
As they were shipped from their place of manufacture in Buffalo New York, to an Amazon warehouse and then to Treat Buyer HQ, there is a lot of opportunity for the box to be tossed, knocked, dropped and stressed as it’s passed from truck to person to truck.
Still, it’s affordable price and good feedback from buyers were enough for me to investigate.
So let’s check out this box of dark chocolate sponge candy treats and see what’s inside.
Niagara By Frey Chocolate Sponge Candy is available on Amazon and you can get it delivered with their in-house Prime delivery service. That means if you’re a Prime member (about $13 a month), it will ship to your door in two days or less just like the other thousands of items that Amazon stocks in warehouses across America.
The chocolate sponge candy arrived on time, on schedule and was packaged in an envelope that also doubles as the return shipping envelope in case you decide to return it.
Now, earlier I mentioned my concerns about how the condition of the chocolate sponge candy would arrive. With it being in an envelope and no way of assessing which way was the right way up, my worries about broken chocolate sponge candy were starting to increase.
Presentation & Packaging
When I opened the envelope and removed the chocolate sponge candy, some of the sponge candy had escaped the main inner candy package had collected between the plastic wrapper and the actual box. Not much, but you can see it in the bottom left corner below.
I’ve been met with this before, when reviewing Enstrom’s Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee, except the almond dust was absolutely everywhere. Here, it wasn’t nearly as bad, but presentation is part of the experience and first impressions absolutely count. If the outside looks like this, what about the inside?
Here’s the back of the box with ingredients, nutritional information and more sponge candy dust/bits.
The ingredients: Dark chocolate (sugar, chocolate cocoa butter), soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, nonfat dry milk, butterfat (milk), sugar, corn syrup, sodium bicarbonate, gelatin, salat
Other than the loose sponge candy dust, the box is vibrant and presentable.
Inside, the dark chocolate sponge candy awaits. Here’s what I saw once I pulled out the tray.
It was disappointing to see that some of the dark chocolate sponge candies had shattered causing the dust to cover the rest of the candies and also escape out the box.
My only thought is that they could have added plastic wrap around the inner tray to secure the individual pieces more securely. That would have fixed the leaking sponge candy dust, but I don’t know if this would have prevented breakage during transit.
Another thought is to design a tray that has individual pockets for each of the sponge candies to sit in – like a box of chocolates. That way the sponge candies won’t be able to move about.
The tray is split up into three sections, but I think that’s not enough. I think if one sponge candy piece is shattered and since that piece isn’t a cube shape any more, it creates enough room for the other solid pieces to move around and bump into each other and unfortunately some break apart.
A tray with individual pockets would stop that happening. Maybe?
Honeycomb or sponge candy looks like it should have a rich caramel honey taste. The ones from Niagara by Frey did have a light caramel/honey taste, but it wasn’t very pronounced.
The dark chocolate that covered it was the star flavor in my eyes as it was bold and with just enough bitterness that stopped short of being too bitter. It was a very good dark chocolate and it would work excellently with a honey sponge center.
I didn’t really get that.
Once you try a piece, the sponge candy melts very quickly and you’re essentially left with six pieces of dark chocolate from each cube (top, bottom, sides, front and back). I wanted more sponge candy flavor.
I’ll say it again – the dark chocolate was very good, but it would have been even better with a touch of golden honeycomb deliciousness.
Value For Money
This is where Niagara By Fray Sponge Candy shines. It’s very affordable – you’ll have change out of $14 and it’s delivered fast. You’re getting a full box of sponge candy, alternative sponge candies come in gift bags or just simply bulk bags.
Other sponge candy options on Amazon are from the mid to upper $20’s and more. Granted you do get more – a full pound rather than 9oz here, but there’s a noticeable difference in price. It’s yet to be seen if there is a noticeable difference in quality.
Etsy is about the same – with one pound of chocolate sponge candy ranging from the mid $20’s to mid $30’s.
For value for money, this is a good option but maybe not so much if you’re shopping for a gift due to the breakage and sponge candy dust that escaped the box. If you’re just planning on enjoying this for yourself, then there aren’t much better options for the price. You’ll have to overlook the breakage though.
To compare, a 5oz chocolate sponge candy bag on Etsy goes for $16 and a 1lb bag goes for $24. This candy from Niagara By Fray sits somewhere in the lower to middle range. I’m curious how well the sponge candy in bags ships and if it’s also met with the same demise as these broken candies were. That’s for another review.
Here’s a comparison to a banana to show you how big the box and individual pieces are.
They have to figure out a better way to ship these sponge candies so that they don’t fall apart and escape out the box. Having a dirty looking gift box with honeycomb dust just doesn’t really deliver a good reflection on its contents. People do judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to food and gifts.
It’s a shame because you get a gift box that’s even been wrapped in plastic to preserve freshness.
When you remove the inner tray from the box, discovering broken and shattered sponge candies is a downer and wouldn’t reflect well on the gift giver. So it’s hard for me to recommend these sponge candies for gifts.
If they fixed the tray and added the plastic wrap around it (in addition to the box) it might hold up better. Of course, none of these visual improvements really effect the taste, but the first bite is with your eyes bodes true.
The box is vibrant with nicely positioned logo and buffalo (these sponge candies are made in Buffalo NY), it doesn’t feel super premium and sturdy, but it’s workable. The tray slides into one end of the box, rather than the box having two halves nested together and you lift one off the other. That would feel more premium, but maybe that’s an extra cost that we (the customers) would have to pay for.
Niagara By Fran Sponge Candy is the most affordable we’ve found to date that comes in a gift box and is delivered super fast with Amazon’s Prime. It scores well for shipping and buying convenience.
For presentation and packaging, it needs some improvements.
The sponge candy dust trapped between the clear plastic wrap and box is unsightly and the three or four broken sponge candies were disappointing to discover. The remaining whole sponge candy pieces had sponge candy dust all over them.
Taste wise, the dark chocolate is very good and surprised me. The sponge candy does melt incredibly fast in your mouth and you’re left with a sort of very light caramel/honey taste, but I think it could have been more pronounced. Perhaps the milk chocolate sponge candies balance better with the mild sponge candy taste? It just felt that I was left with only dark chocolate to enjoy mere seconds after placing one on my tongue.
You’re getting reasonably good value for money here, you get quick delivery, a real gift box and a decent quantity for a treat. While it’s not a full pound and only 9oz, it feels like more.
If you’re planning on keeping this for yourself, don’t expect to be able to only have half a sponge candy cube and save some for later. They fall apart when you bite into them, so either you’ll have a bite and a handful of sponge candy pieces left over or a too-big mouthful.
I can’t recommend the sponge candies from Niagara as a gift because they arrived broken and sponge candy dust leaked out the box. If they fixed the tray and added a second plastic wrap, that might work better, but as of now, it wouldn’t make a good impression. I even said out aloud “oh no!” when I slid the plastic tray out of the gift box. I was hoping to find intact candies and I did not. Even the ones that were still in once piece were cracked, probably from a drop or a toss during shipping.
Even considering the low price, I expected more.