The 15 Best Halloween Candies, Ranked

published Sep 12, 2023
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Decorative pumpkins filled with assorted Halloween chocolate candy made by Mars, Incorporated and the Hershey Company.
Credit: Leena Robinson / Shutterstock

I may be 32 years old, but I still look forward to a Halloween candy haul that rivals any ol’ 3rd-grade trick-or-treater. I know I’m not alone in this excitement: We’ve likely all been the adults who have somehow mysteriously ate all the Twix candies out of an unsuspecting trick-or-treater’s stash.

No matter how you like to celebrate (Trunk or Treat, door to door, or simply scooping up all the half-priced candy the next day), Halloween is a serious candy-eating holiday. In my book, it certainly rivals Thanksgiving and Christmas with the smorgasbord of leftover foods (er, candy) one can cart home. While those of us diehard candy corn lovers are often in short supply, I think these picks are, without a doubt, the hands-down definitive ranking of the best Halloween candy options to dole out from your doorstep — or simply save for your own snacking purposes.

Credit: Nerds

1. Nerds

If there’s a candy I’m bound to seek out like a heat-seeking missile, it’s absolutely any variety of Nerds. That perfect mix of crunchy and tart crackly fruity sweetness is absolute Halloween gold — especially in this epic variety pack that features not only classic grape- and strawberry-flavored boxes, but also Big Chewy Nerds and my all-time favorite year-round candy, Nerds Gummy Clusters. Do yourself a huge favor and keep a few of these in a safe area for yourself later. 

Buy: Nerds Candy Mix, $17.99 for 2.6 pounds at Amazon

Credit: Target

2. Twix

Twix really has everything going for it: a crispy cookie center, enrobed in chewy caramel and milk chocolate. Few things are as good and as simple as that, so I think it’s always safe to have a bag of these on hand for myself and for any trick-or-treaters who stop by on Halloween. 

Buy: Twix Fun Size Cookie Bars, $4.79 for 10.83 ounces at Target 

Credit: Target

3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a welcome sight any time of year (and in any dessert), and that’s absolutely the case for Halloween night. If you’re really feeling like the ghost-ess with the mostess, spring for the spook-ified version of this iconic treat (which features Reese’s in the shapes of ghosts, bats, and pumpkins). They’re nearly too cute to eat — emphasis on nearly

Buy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, $4.79 for 10.5 ounces at Target

Credit: Walmart

4. Starburst

One of the best things about Halloween is the special end-of-evening trading of Halloween candies, and one of the most highly prized during my elementary school trick-or-treating career was Starbursts (especially the Red- or Pink-wrappered varieties). Chewy, juicy, and coming in a kaleidoscope of flavors and colors (like strawberry, orange, lemon, and cherry), Starbursts make you feel rich when it comes time to swap. Honor this tradition by keeping yourself stocked with all the colors of the Starburst rainbow — especially for all those candy traders out there. 

Buy: Starburst Original Fun Size Fruit Chews, $3.28 for 10.58 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Target

5. Snickers

Why don’t we talk more about just how good nougat is? We have Snickers to thank for our current appreciation of this delicious sweet filling (especially because Snickers kicks it up a few notches with peanuts, caramel, and a chocolate coating, of course). If you’ve got a few straggler bags after the treaters leave, chopping these up and adding them to cupcakes, ice cream sundaes, and cookies is the easiest decision you’ll make all year. 

Buy: Snickers Fun Size Bar, $4.79 for 10.59 ounces at Target

Credit: Target

6. Fun Dip

A sleeper-hit amongst the trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, Fun Dip — specifically it’s Halloween box — is the sweet-tangy powdery sugar you might forget about over the classic Big Name variety packs. No more of that! This year, pick up the endlessly dippable apple and cherry varieties. Multi-colored tongue included! 

Buy: Fun Dip Halloween Box, $7.99 for 18.9 ounces at Target

Credit: Target

7. Crunch

Crunch bars are my go-to movie snack bars, and they’re absolutely the star of many trick-or-treat bags, too. They’re milk chocolate bars, but way better with the added crispy literal-crunch of puffed rice. They also basically improve any baked goods you’re planning on making after the holiday; chop them up and fold into a batch of blondies for a swirly-crunchy bit of surprise. 

Buy: Crunch Fun Size, $4.79 for 10 ounces at Target

Credit: Walmart

8. Twizzlers

An MVP candy in their own right, Strawberry Twizzlers are the ultimate trick candy. They’re sweet and fruity, delightfully chewy, and infinitely fun to pull apart. Plus, it’s super easy to morph a few of these snack-size bags into a frightening treat, like twisty spider-legs, witches’ brooms, or a fun “straw” or rim on a batch of spooky cocktails. 

Buy: Strawberry Twizzlers Twists Snack Size, $6.32 for for 22 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Target

9. Milky Way

No matter the corner of the universe, a fun-size Milky Way is definitely part of the galaxy I want to live in. Smooth nougat + creamy caramel + milk chocolate coating = a can’t-lose combination. It also goes without saying that folding a few of these into your brownies will absolutely make you feel like you’ve gone to the moon. 

Buy: Milky Way Fun Size Bars, $4.79 for 10.65 ounces at Target 

Credit: Target

10. Skittles

Much like its chocolaty, multi-colored cousin, Skittles are a must-have for all the trick-or-treaters. Is it even Halloween without a handful of Skittles? I don’t want to imagine it, so be sure to stock up on these technicolored favorites. If you have a bounty of these bags on November 1, we’ve got a little tip for you: Use those leftover Skittles to infuse all that fruity flavor (especially if you have the tropical variety) in vodka for an adult trick and treat in cocktail form.

Buy: Skittles Fun Size Candies, $3.49 for 10.72 ounces at Target 

Credit: Walmart

11. Milk Chocolate M&M’s

What else can be said about M&M’s that hasn’t been said? They’re a Halloween classic (a non-negotiable, really!), and the creamy milk chocolate fun-size packs are hard to beat, although I’ll never say no to the peanut or peanut butter varieties either. In the unlikely event you have leftovers after the big day, a few of these tiny bags make a very welcome addition to a batch of trail mix, cookies, or homemade granola bars

Buy: M&M’s Milk Chocolate Fun Size Chocolate Candies, $4.88 for 10.53 ounces at Walmart 

Credit: Walmart

12. SweeTARTS

There are absolutely divided camps when it comes to ideal Halloween candy: fruity and tart or rich and fudgy. If you’re in the former category (like I am most of the time), this variety of pack of SweeTARTS is the stuff of your dreams. It not only includes the crunchy versions of the nostalgic favorite, but also two different chewy versions. Yes, believe it — the perfect candy variety pack does exist. 

Buy: SweeTARTS Originals, Chews and Mini Chewy, $23.00 for 3.88 pounds at Walmart

Credit: Jolly Rancher

13. Jolly Rancher

Jolly Ranchers are delicious any way you can get them: lollipops, in stick form, or simply rolled. Whether you like to immediately crunch into a blue razzberry lollipop or savor the crackly fruity sweetness of a green apple stix, this is the variety pack to keep the pint-sized ghosts and goblins at your door happy. If you’re somehow flush with too many on November 1, melting Jolly Ranchers yields a fun material for making all sorts of fun sugary decorations or shiny coatings for apples, grapes, and even marshmallows. 

Buy: Jolly Rancher Assorted Hard Candy, $11.42 for 46 ounces at Amazon

Credit: Target

14. Butterfinger

If you’re a texture person, there’s likely no better candy at Halloween than a Butterfinger. They’re truly “crispety-crunchity,” as their bag says, and packed with peanut butter richness that makes them enjoyable to eat straight-up or folded into ice cream, a milkshake, or cheesecake to enjoy post-Halloween. You don’t have to worry about the McDonald’s ice cream machine being broken now that you can make a copycat Butterfinger McFlurry at home, amiright?

Buy: Butterfinger Fun Size Bar, $4.79 for 10.2 ounces at Target

Credit: Target

15. Kit Kat

Kit Kat bars are so beloved the world over that they come in no less than 300 varieties (like rum raisin, wasabi, and witches’ brew). The chocolate-covered wafer cookies absolutely have our hearts, so don’t skip them this year. The trick-or-treaters will notice! 

Buy: Kit Kat Snack Size, $4.79 for 10.78 ounces at Target