Freeze dried sweets

As freeze dried sweets go viral on social media, quick-thinking convenience retailers are creating a frenzy by luring TikTok Shop customers back to their local stores with the promise of reasonable prices and instant gratification. 

If you haven’t heard already - freeze dried sweets are the next big mega trend on TikTok. They are candies that have been frozen and then dehydrated, creating a crunchy texture, with a melt-in-the mouth taste. The process is often used for army survival food or astronaut rations, but has now taken off on social media where popular sugar confectionery brands are being converted into puffy, crunchy treats.

Sophie promotes freeze dried sweets

Sophie Williams of Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs, near Edinburgh, has doubled her next order of freeze dried sweets after the first batch sold out in a matter of hours. “It’s really good, but it’s crazy,” she says. “I’ve never seen a trend like it since Prime, with people travelling to the store specifically for that, I’ve not felt that buzz since Prime.”

After seeing the puffy treats trending on Tiktok, she put in an order with Exploded Sweets Wholesale. “We knew they were popular, but we didn’t want to make a massive order and then be left with loads of stock, so we  ordered 50 bags to start with and put them on shelf at about 3 o’clock, alongside a couple of videos on Facebook and on Tiktok,” she says. “And they were all sold by the time we shut the shop that night at 9 o’clock.”

The store makes around a 50% margin on the sweets. “We were selling them at introductory price of a fiver and when we get our next drop of stock, we’re going to put them up to £5.99,” she says. “In comparison to TikTok shop, it’s still very good price-wise and also you have a wait time on TikTok Shop, whereas our customers can come straight here and have it right then and there.” 

The bags come from the wholesaler with a Natasha’s Law sticker on the back highlighting ingredients and allergens and the store has also added its own ‘Broadway Premier’ stickers to the front of pack.

Binny and Nishi stretch

Nishi Patel, who owns three Londis stores in London, is on his sixth order of freeze dried sweets. He got his first whiff of the new trend early last year when he saw them being promoted on TikTok and began stocking them last August. “I was searching around everywhere and there was no actual channel for us to get them - it was all TikTok shops,” he explains. “We were looking for a supplier for three or four months. Then [my business partner] Binny [Amin] managed to get a contact for someone in Luton that was doing products and actually wanted to start up in the wholesale side, so we were one of the first wholesale customers at Freeze Dried Sweets UK.”

Nishi sells the sweets for £3.99 a bag, which is around a 30-35% markup. He claims that this is on a par with TikTok Shop, but the key difference is that TikTok customers also have to pay a delivery fee and wait anything from three to seven days for delivery. Whereas, customers at Londis stores in Bexley, Eltham and Thamesmead, can simply walk in and buy their products straight off the shelf.

“When it comes to the kids, they all know all about it,” says Nishi. Their reactions are: “Oh my God, they’ve got freezed dried branded bags!”

The products are also attracting additional sales from older customers. “When you get someone in their 30s, 40s, 50s, they haven’t got a clue - but they look at it and go ‘wow!’ and you have to talk to them about what it is.”


@elthamlondis Freeze dried sweets just came into #elthamlondis I just tried some they are banging it’s a tough job but happy to take one for the team. Let me know what you think of them. Starting from 3.99 #fyp ♬ original sound - Eltham Londis


He stocks 10 different lines and claims that Squishies and Skittles are the best sellers. “Some of the variations aren’t as much profit, but we tend to shy away from them and go for the better profit ones,” he says. “Things like Jolly Ranchers are more expensive … and the quality of them isn’t as good, so we stopped doing some of them because people are touching them and they just crumble away to dust.”

Stocking freeze dried sweets gives Nishi a true USP, he claims. ”These are the kind of products I like having to make us a destination store,” he says. “It just shows we’re down with the market and we’re bringing in what the kids want and what people want to try and not have to go on TikTok Shop. They can come down to their local shop and pick up a pack of freeze dried - it’s a differential. A normal corner shop would never have that whereas we do and people know we do it.”

Serge Notay_headshot

Serge Notay of Notay’s Convenience in Batley, Leeds found out about the trend through Nishi and Binny. “They said because I do well on Tiktok and social media, that we would do well with them,” he says. “I was still hesitant to get them in because of the investment and the price point. But in February I took the plunge and you know what - we’ve done really well with them. I put in a £500 order to begin with just to get the free delivery and within two days we sold out!”

Serge has also opted for a £3.99 price point for most bags, and is also selling Jolly Ranchers for £5.25. “Normally on something like this, I like to make a 50% markup, but because of the exclusivity of the product and looking at TikTok shop prices, I went for a conservative 30% margin,” he says. “There’s not enough teeth for anybody else to come in and undercut me now, that’s the way I see it.”

He promoted the products on the store’s social media pages and even got daughter, Kangha, to make a product tasting video.  

He has found that many customers are choosing to have the sweets delivered via his Snappy Shopper platform. “The new Snappy customers are TikTok customers,” he says. “They used to go into TikTok Shop, and now I’m offering it for £3.99 and they can get it delivered with the rest of their groceries and get everything within half an hour, rather than wait three days and paying the delivery charge.”

Freeze Dried Sweets_Serge Notay

Ordering stock has to be managed carefully. “The problem is, they [the wholesaler] freeze them fresh to order, so when you put in an order, that’s when they put them in the freezer,” says Serge. “It takes a week and a half for them to come back in. 

“I’ve got a waiting list [of customers] for the next batch. The Skittles and Starbursts have gone well. Jolly ranchers, which is the most premium priced product, have sold well. Because the moisture is taken out of them, the flavour is enhanced. That’s why they’re so popular.”

Both Serge and Nishi accept that the trend won’t last forever. “They’re still doing well now because they’re still doing well on TikTok,” says Nishi. “It’s probably a matter of time before the trend might go. So I want to just get in, be the first, and not be stuck with too much stock when the fad goes.”

Serge agrees: “It’s going to be one of those things like the Little Moons and everything else,” he says. “We’re just going to ride the rainbow as long as we can.”