Nothing screams October more than gigantic bags of candy filling the supermarket.
While many holidays have their own candies associated with them, Halloween reigns overall as the confectionery king. For millions of Americans, the experience of traveling from house to house and trick-or-treating in an overpriced costume from the party store is deeply entrenched in their childhoods, and the sweet rewards they receive are just the icing on the cake.
Many candymakers have thrown their hats into the Halloween ring with a multitude of offerings. Yet for all of us, some candies don’t last a week in our trick-or-treat bags while others sink to the bottom and get thrown out in February.
This only leads to one important question being asked: which Halloween candy is the best? Below is my attempt to wrangle and rank them.
It only makes sense that on a list of Halloween candy, the toothbrushes of the world rank last. This spot is dedicated to all those houses on the candy route that got skipped for their reputations of not actually giving out candy. While these items have merit on their own, the distinct lack of sugar within them puts these items in last place.
Few candies suffer from a distinct lack of positive traits more than Twizzlers. They are strenuous to eat, as you have to violently tear off pieces of individual Twizzlers, and they lack any distinct or enticing flavor. After every time I eat a Twizzler, I’m left wondering why I decided to eat it in the first place.
17th: Tootsie Roll
Tootsie Rolls taste their age. Created in 1907, this Frankenstein combination of chocolate flavoring and taffy-like texture fails to take good qualities from either of its sources. What’s left is an antiquated and somewhat repelling flavor that doesn’t hold its own against more contemporary options.
In the same vein of candies that mimic greater sources of inspiration — in this case milk — we find Whoppers. Vaguely reminiscent of an astronaut ice cream sandwich, these treats at the very least can be fairly addictive once you have them, but they don’t ever cross the mind as a memorable first choice.
15th: Jolly Rancher
The next two candies vary in quality depending on the flavor that you are having, but Jolly Rancher candies fall one spot below Starburst for their rigid and rough texture that can make it very difficult to eat. That being said, green apple Jolly Ranchers are still great once I dig through and find them.
Starbursts get the nod above Jolly Ranchers for their chewy addictiveness, but the variance in flavors still holds Starbursts back. Everyone has a different opinion on the optimal Starburst flavor, but I will always rep lemon Starbursts.
13th: Snickers/Milky Way/3 Musketeers chocolates
You know that meme where someone is shown two images and it says they’re the same picture? That is my take on these three candy bars. They taste so similar that if you had me do a blind taste test of all three, I would think that you had given me the same candy bar each time. Even on their own, all three bars are incredibly underwhelming.
12th: Tootsie Pops
Tootsie Pops solve how to make Tootsie Rolls a good candy: by distracting you from the fact that you are eating a Tootsie Roll for as long as possible. The sweet outer coating is very delectable — I just wish you never had to lick your way to the Tootsie Roll center.
11th: Candy corn
Few things are more divisive than candy corn. It’s something that you either love or despise, and I have never seen an opinion in the middle. I personally have a big soft spot for these multicolored sugar pills and have always found them a very addictive treat.
10th: Reese’s Pieces
Made famous by the movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” Reese’s Pieces are one of the most famous candies out there. While they have earned their reputation as a good candy, I have always found them to be a little too sweet for my liking as they lack the rich peanut butter taste of their peers.
9th: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar
When one thinks of a candy bar, a chocolate bar immediately comes to mind, and the world’s most famous chocolate bar is without question the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar. It certainly lives up to the hype with its rich and sweet milk chocolate flavor, although the basic nature of the bar leaves no room for complexity.
Easily bingeable, the M&M is a candy institution. Sweet and simple in its execution, the M&M is the best of the traditional, plain milk chocolate candy crowd. It is a classic candy for a reason, but I find that the traditional M&M is far outshone by one of its family members that can be found higher up in the list.
One of the most complex candy bars on the market, Twix is far greater than the sum of its parts. The combination of caramel and shortbread with the chocolate base is great with every bite, and it is without question the best bar that uses caramel.
6th: Kit Kat
Without the caramel of Twix and with a much sweeter chocolate base, Kit Kats always leave me wanting to snap off and pop in more pieces. It is another addictive option and has without question earned its place as a favorite in the trick-or-treat bag.
5th: Nestle Crunch/Mr. Goodbar
Another ranking where multiple bars share the same spot, but this time it is for the right reasons. Both of these bars use an unexpected combination for a candy bar, with Crunch including rice and chocolate, and make it a delectable and sweet blast of favor. One of the most underrated candy offerings that I feel doesn’t get brought up a lot.
This is going to be a very controversial pick, but I can’t help loving the doses of pure sugar known as Smarties. I’ve used the term addictive a lot in this article because sugar is simply very addictive, but I can legitimately go through a bag of these things in a day. They may be a guilty pleasure, but they have earned this spot for me.
3rd: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
A hard chocolate shell covering a rich peanut butter center, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is one of the most beloved candies of all time. Its reputation is justly earned, as each bite of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is a powerful contrast between sweet and salty flavors that earns a claim to greatness.
2nd: Peanut Butter M&M’s
The best of the pure peanut butter candies, Peanut Butter M&M’s take what makes the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup great and turn it into a bite-sized flavor bomb full of the best peanut butter filling in any candy. Just writing about them makes me want to get a bag of these incredible treats.
Butterfingers are like an entire genre of candy bar within themselves, as the interplay between chocolate, toffee and peanut butter creates a flavor profile that transcends above other more simplistic candy bars. Each bite is its own story, and they are stories I constantly come back to hear. Without question, they are the best candy bar.
This whole list, however, is just one man’s opinion. As you go out to find your own candy this Halloween, remember to pick what is best for you and to stay safe.
Have a spooky Halloween!