Pumpkin spice everything is abundant, the Santa Ana winds are picking up, and the evenings now dip to a chilly 50 degrees in LA. That can only mean one thing - Halloween is upon us! Which also means that Halloween candy is upon us. Now, if there’s one thing that’s universal about Halloween candy, it’s that everyone has strong opinions about which candies are treats and which candies are tricks.
Join me as I Yofficially rank the best Halloween candies, according to friends and family.
Starting from the bottom, here are the 10 most popular Halloween candies (with a couple of fun observations at the end).
10. Candy Corn
It pains me to say this, but out of 30+ candies that were named, candy corn made it to the top third of the list. Technically, it tied for ninth with three votes, two of which were from very emphatic candy corn-loving Yo! writers. HOWEVER, two other Yo! writers are adamant candy corn haters, one going out of their way to share their unsolicited hatred of candy corn. With that in mind, I made the completely objective, not at all representative of my own opinion, decision to move candy corn to the 10th spot. Sorry candy corn lovers, your candy is very polarizing.
9. 100 Grand
To be honest, this is like my #1 pick and has been for as long as I can remember. I’m shocked that 100 Grands didn’t receive more love! You’ve got the chocolate, you’ve got the caramel, you’ve got the crispy rice. What’s not to love about 100 Grands? For fellow 100 Grand fans: you may also enjoy Millionaire’s Shortbread, which is essentially the cookie version of the 100 Grand, but approximately 10 times richer. *crickets*
This was the favorite pick of our youngest submitter, and probably one of the few people on this list who will actually go trick-o-treating this year, so I’m very happy this made the list! Lollipops earned their spot because one submitter included Caramel Apple Pops as one of their favorites, which was truly the most unique lollipop to find in your candy haul at the end of the night.
7. Sour Patch Kids
Classic. Sweet, sour, chewy, and delicious. I also personally appreciated that Sour Patch Kids came in multiple flavors compared to their Sour Patch Watermelon counterpart. Interestingly, Sour Patch Kids and lollipops were the only two fruit flavored candies that rose to the top 10! More on that at the bottom.
6. M&Ms - Especially peanut M&Ms
There’s something really nostalgic about M&Ms as a go-to choice year-round. Maybe that’s why it falls right in the middle of the top choices for folks. It’s definitely the candy I opted for during long meetings but maybe not the candy that you’re looking forward to during Halloween. By the way, does anyone else remember when M&Ms had two brown colors and no blue? I was thrilled when they got rid of the lighter brown and never understood why Matthew McConaughey only ate the browns in The Wedding Planner. That movie also came out in 2001, which was six years after they got rid of the light brown M&Ms. He literally threw away 83% of EVERY BAG of M&Ms! I will never be over it honestly but I must move on.
5. Milky Way
Milky Ways just edged out M&Ms, receiving 8 votes. To be honest, when looking at the top 5 it really makes sense. Mild spoiler alert, it really seems like the key element keeping Milky Ways from the top 4 slots is a crunch or nut factor, which each of the top four candies have. Apparently the masses prefer more texture than this nougaty, caramelly delight offers. They also have a dark chocolate version called the Milky Way Midnight that I’ve really come to enjoy in adulthood!
Here we go…the final four!
And this is what I mean by the crunch/nut factor. Snickers are essentially just Milky Ways, but with nuts. If you’re not a nut person, you probably prefer Milky Ways, but if you like textural diversity and the taste of peanuts, then Snickers is your choice. But still, kind of shocking right? When I first began asking people for their top candy choices, Snickers were an early front runner and I was certain that they would hold onto the lead. Out of all the candies that were submitted to me though, Snickers has some of the most memorable marketing campaigns, perhaps only beaten by Butterfinger (which didn’t make the top 10). I’ve never thought to myself, “I’m hungry, I better grab a Snickers bar,” but I’ll also never not associate Snickers with those commercials. So nice work Snickers, you’ve become a core memory.
3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Which brings us to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which edged out Snickers by just one vote coming in from the very last submitter. When going through all of the submissions, it became apparent that Reese’s downfall in this survey is actually the product of its own success. Nobody who submitted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups also submitted Reese’s Pieces or Mini Reese’s as another choice in their top three. However, someone did double down and vote for Mini Reese’s twice because they felt so strongly about their choice. Had all the Reese’s products been consolidated, it would have taken over the top slot easily.
1. Twix/Kit Kats
Someone described Twix and Kit Kats as part of the Big Three (along with Snickers) and that was pretty consistent with folks’ votes. Twix and Kit Kat each received 13 votes, beating out Reese’s by just one vote! Twix had a pretty consistent run with every few submitters including Twix, but Kit Kat was a sleeper. It wasn’t until the week I was writing this article did 5 submitters vote for Kit Kat back to back, pulling Kit Kat into a top spot. I also want to name that as a data set consisting predominantly of Japanese Americans, it totally makes sense that Kit Kat is at the top. It’s a must have omiyage when traveling to Japan and I only wish Japanese Kit Kats were given out during Halloween in the United States!
Thank you to everyone who shared their favorite Halloween candies with me! In addition to our Yofficial ranking, I wanted to share a couple of other fun things that came in.
- In Southern California, some folks got Botan Rice Candy, and that is probably the best thing I’ve ever heard. Botan Rice Candy was one of those extra special treats for me growing up, and the idea of finding that in my Halloween haul is wild! Southern Californian JAs, you really don’t know how good you have it.
- Some submitters didn’t submit candy as their favorite Halloween candies. Chocolate covered almonds (which is a stretch and could be argued is candy adjacent), pretzels, and my personal favorite - quarters were all submitted as Halloween favorites and while not a candy, totally fair. I really want to know though the thought process behind deciding to give out pretzels while most other houses are giving out sugary goodness. Same with literal money. Like did they run out of candy and start giving out pretzels and quarters or were they like let me go to the bank and get 200 quarters?
- Out of all the candies (removing quarters and pretzels) submitted 55.6% of the submissions were chocolate flavored and 38.2% were fruit flavored. There were many fruit flavored candies that only received 1 or 2 votes such as Haribo Gummies or Skittles, whereas chocolate lovers tended to include one of the top 4 candies as one of their selections along with a variety of others.
- The remaining 6% were just two candies that were neither fruit nor chocolate and they were coffee candy and candy corn, which is…I’m not even sure what the flavor is, but I think my favorite description comes from Megan, “a stick of butter that tastes like a candle.”
We hope you have a fun and safe Halloween this year, and if you’re on the hunt for candy be sure to check out Haunted Little Tokyo’s Scavenger Hunt starting at 2 PM on October 30th! There will be several stations around Little Tokyo where kids and kids at heart can safely collect candy from a candy slide and win prizes if they’ve visited each station. If you’re over 21+ stick around for the Block Party at Brunswig Square starting at 7 PM on the same day. For more information, go to: http://www.golittletokyo.com/haunted/