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Top Ten Halloween Candy Favorites

Updated on October 17, 2019
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I am a naturalist, teacher, parent, traveler, and musician who writes many guides on garden insects and bugs.

The best Halloween candy through the years!
The best Halloween candy through the years!

Halloween Candy and Halloween Memories

Once a year, without fail, you'll be visited by hordes of nasty little monsters in various costumes, all begging for a free candy handout. Why not give them the very best? The best Halloween candy is a mixed bag of chocolate, sweet-sour, and miscellaneous super-sweetness. When I was a kid, it was all about volume -- that's why we went out with pillow-cases instead of little bags -- and we pretty much assumed that much of what we got was going to be unacceptable. Our haul might have awesome like Snickers, Reese's, and Kit Kats, but it also might be polluted with the likes of Mary Janes, Bats, and Bit o Honey (which not even my little brother could be persuaded to trade for).

Top Ten Halloween Candy Favorites

According to recent internet surveys, the most popular Halloween candies are as follows:

  • Snickers
  • Nerds
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Life Savers
  • M&M's
  • Reeses
  • Twizzlers
  • Butterflingers
  • Skittles
  • Candy Corn

Halloween Candy Favorites: Snickers

Oh yes. Fun-Size Snickers were top of the list. It's no wonder they sell more than $2 billion worth of the little things every year. My little brother preferred the $100,00 Bar, and could always be persuaded to trade for his Snickers -- the chump! Hundred-thousands were pretty good -- I really liked the crunchy puffed-rice bits -- but the coating was CLEARLY not real chocolate. Snickers, on the other hand, was definitely real, creamy milk chocolate, and they didn't skimp, either. A Snickers bar let you know that someone still cared about the candy -- they weren't cutting back or cutting corners to save money. Give me a bag oaf fun-sized Snickers and I'd be a happy Halloweener.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Nerds

Back in my day, Nerds weren't all that popular (or common). But now that I have kids of my own, I can see where they're coming from. Nerds are kind of like SweetTarts were back in the day, crossed with those tiny little gum bits -- "Mini Chiclets," if I remember correctly. I myself don't really care for Nerds, but my kids love them. The one time I tried them, I wound up with a huge mouthful of unpleasantly sour little pieces that I could barely spit out. I hated it, but my kids thought it was funny.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls, eh. We didn't hate them exactly, but somehow they were the last things left in the bag when you had eaten everything else. So maybe Tootsie Rolls have come to symbolize the end of the party -- rolling around in the bottom of the pillowcase with a bunch of empty wrappers and the REALLY disgusting stuff -- the BATS and Mary Janes and Necco Wafers. So you ate the Tootsie Rolls grudgingly.

Funny thing was, outside of Halloween, Tootsie Rolls weren't so bad. I actually buy them sometimes at the cash register, one at a time. They're relatively low in calories, and they're a good approximation of chocolate, so it could be worse. I guess.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Life Savers

Did we even get these for Halloween? I can't recall finding rolls of LifeSavers in the bag, but I do know that they make those little mini version with five individual candies in them, so they must have been there. I think it says something about Life Savers that I can't even remember if they were in there. LifeSavers are like the good girl of the candy world: everyone likes them, your parents approve, and they're basically not much fun. Give me a naughty, racy Kit Kat any day.

Halloween Candy Favorites: M&M's

Yes! M&M's rocked, and will rock forever. I liked them mostly because they seemed to last a long time -- you could have one or two and still get that big chocolate/crunchy buzz. I really liked the Peanut ones, because if you were in a kind of gross mood you suck on them until the shell and the chocolate was gone, and then you'd have a single solitary peanut to play with forever. It tasted pretty funky at that point, but it did last a long time.

M&M's are the most popular candy in the world, by the way, with annual sales well over the $3 billion mark. So I'm not alone here.

Check Out This Vintage M&M's TV Commercial

Halloween Candy Favorites: Reese's

Reese's as it turns out, are consistently in the top three candy brands sales leaders. This makes total sense to me. A house giving out Reese's at Halloween was a big deal, and we would visit two or three times if possible. This was back in the day when we would do the whole neighborhood in one costume, then change and go out again. There's something weird, and weirdly thrilling, about still being out trick-or-treating at 10:30. By that time everyone has turned out their lights and probably gone to bed -- but some houses would leave their candy bowls out for the marauding bands of late-nighters like me and my brothers.

Anyhoo... Reese's rocked, and were expensive, so they were relatively rare in Halloween bags. But they were, and still are, an absolute Halloween favorite. I even kept those little crinkly dark brown cup wrappers around, because they smelled so good...

Halloween Candy Favorites: Twizzlers

Okay, I'll come right out and say it -- I hate Twizzlers. I hate pretty much all licorice, not because of the anise flavor (I'll drink Sambuca until the sun comes up), but because of the nasty gummy texture. They say that mouth-feel is just as important as flavor, and I believe it. Twizzlers taste okay I guess, but they FEEL really unpleasant, like flour paste, or something not meant to be eaten. So I would always trade my Twizzlers to our sister, who said she liked them. I doubt it.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Butterfinger

How do they do it? How do they make these wonderful little things - I mean Butterfinger fun-size bars -- that miraculously showed up in our Halloween trick or treat pillowcases year after year? First of all, this is another candy bar that gives you a generous coating of real milk chocolate -- accept no substitute, especially not that waxy, semi-chocolate crud that covers a $100,000 Bar. Then there's that almost indescribable peanut-brittle-esque interior...what is that? It's kind of flaky, but also crunchy and a little melty. It gets stuck in your back teeth a little, but not so's you mind. Butterfingers are one of life's simple, complicated, brilliant little pleasures.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Skittles

Love love love Skittles. The only real drawback to Halloween Skittles is that you always get those little fun-size bags -- and what's so "fun" about a drastically smaller serving, anyway? -- and there aren't enough Skittles in there to really get that good sugar buzz going. Still these were a big Halloween favorite when I was a kid, and my own kids still rank these little nuggets right up here with Nerds.

Halloween Candy Favorites: Candy Corn

Brilliant. In some other online lists, candy corn is the most popular Halloween candy ever. I don't think it was handed out all that often, but at any party there was a guaranteed bowl of the stuff somewhere. Feel free to disagree, but I think candy corn is awesome. I can pretty much eat handfuls of candy corn until I pass out. The only thing better than candy corn is those candy pumpkins. MAN! I could eat a whole bag of them right now. Technically they're called "mellocreme pumpkins." I don't know how they make these any more than I know how they make Butterfingers. Let's just chalk it up to candy alchemy and enjoy the magic.

Vote For Your Favorite!

Tell us which Halloween candy really lights your jack-o-lantern!

Which Halloween Candy Is Your Favorite?

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