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The Definitive List of Best Halloween Candies, Ranked

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.

Munchkin Masquerade
Is candy the best part of Halloween?

It sure doesn’t feel like it here in eastern Iowa with several inches of snow on the ground and temps well below freezing, but today is Halloween. That means a couple things.

First, of course, it means lots of spooky decorations around the neighborhood and all the kiddos roaming in costumes fantastic, terrible and everywhere in between. But more importantly, it means absurd amounts of candy for all parties.

But, just like the costumes, there are varying degrees of good when it comes to Halloween candy. Some of it is nearly inedible and other candy is delicious enough to consume an entire bag of it without a second thought (what, you guys do that too, right?).

If you’re anything like me, you take this glorious night as an opportunity to teach your kids a quick lesson about life, liberty and of course, taxes. The night should start with an in depth discussion about target candy when trick-or-treating. What color wrappers are on good candy? What shapes do you just avoid? Daddy wants the good stuff, baby!

At the end of the night, Uncle Sam mom and dad take their 25% cut and you kids get to keep living under our roof. Everyone wins!

But which candy, exactly, are the kids targeting to avoid getting a lump of coal from Santa? Let’s dive in.

For starters, any self-respecting candy connoisseur divides things into two distinct categories and for storage purposes, you should do the same: chocolate-based and everything else. We’re starting with the former.

Top 5 Chocolate-Based Halloween Candies

5. Snickers

Snickers is the classic safe candy. It isn’t going to be anyone’s favorite (sit down, Karen, nobody asked you!), but nobody is gagging on it either. If you’re handing out candy, you’re better than this. If you’re my kid and you bring it home, you’re eating it.

4. Twix

Now we’re getting somewhere. None of those pesky nuts, Twix is pure candy with that sweet, sweet balance of chocolate, caramel and nougat. Gold is good, kids.

3. Butterfinger

Speaking of gold, that golden goodness inside a Butterfinger is pure money. Sure it’s going to be stuck on your teeth for an hour, but that’s half the allure!

2. KitKats

Unlike the other contestants on today’s show, KitKats have an ingredient sorely lacking from the vast majority of chocolate-based candies: the wafer. The wafer adds a nice airy balance with a crunch to make KitKats devour-able by the bag-full.

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

The undisputed champion of the chocolate candy world is clearly the Reese’s peanut butter cup. While the traditional Reese’s is fantastic, those holiday theme PBCs are where it’s really at. It may be subtle, but the chocolate to “peanut butter” ratio changes for the Easter eggs, Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins in a way that makes these things utterly perfect.

The champ is here and he’s in an orange wrapper, kids.

The champ is here!
Image via

Top 5 Everything Else Halloween Candies

5. Sour Patch Kids

Outside of the chocolate-based candies, everything comes down to the balance between sweet and sour with your fruit-flavored goodies. Sour Patch Kids avoid the balance altogether by splitting them into two distinct flavor experiences with each piece of candy. Go get ‘em.

4. Fruit By The Foot

Fruit by the Foot is objectively OK as far as candy goes, but where it really wins is in volume. When you’re grabbing Halloween candy, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck and that’s exactly what you get here. I mean, it’s a whole foot of candy!

3. Laffy Taffy

When it comes to that combination of sour and sweet, you’ll be hard-presses to find a better balance than you get with Larry Taffy. Candidly, this would be higher if not for the possibility of getting a banana flavored piece (why would you even make that candy?) and the potential for a sticky mess if you let it get anywhere close to warm.

Otherwise, they’re glorious. Plus, they gots jokes!

They’re so glorious!
Image via - RIP

2. Nerds

Similar to taffy, Nerds strike a fantastic balance between sweet and sour. Unlike taffy, there’s no chance for melted goo and I’ve yet to see banana Nerds. They have a nice crunch to them and come in a fancy, recyclable box. Count me in, even if half the box ends up on the floor.

1. Skittles

And finally, much like Reese’s is the undisputed champion of the chocolate world, Skittles has to be the champ here. They’re so simple, yet so delicious with that perfect sweet and sour combination, a nice mixture of crunchy and chewy and the longevity of a bag of small candies that is nearly unmatched.


Taste the rainbow!

That’s it. That’s the list. Actually, that’s two lists. But they’re the right lists. Feel free to share your (wrong) lists below!