The WORST Halloween Candy, and the Best Too

Over 12,000 CandyStore.com customers surveyed
Data compiled and combined from outside sources as well
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Updated Rankings for 2023

Sept 30, 2023 By Ben George

Think all Halloween candies are a treat? Think again. We're diving deep into 2023's most controversial candies—the ones that leave some shouting "trick" and others wondering why. Brace yourself for the candy culprits making this year's most dubious list.

The Definitive Ranking of Worst and Best Halloween Candies

Preferences are changing all the time. Kid's these days like all kinds of things we'll never understand. How's a grown-up supposed to keep up with the latest trends in Halloween candy?

And I don't know about you, but decision fatigue is real for me in 2023. Trying to see the signal through the noise of the news and social media. If you are over trying to piece together what is reality, we're here to at least make Halloween candy decisions easier.

How do we do that? We remove the guesswork with data. There are a lot of choices on both sides of the good and bad spectrum. You may not agree with what is the most popular Halloween candy in your state, but you can at least avoid getting the worst candy.

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Here's how we help you avoid disaster.

If you ever felt overwhelmed by the deluge of candy rankings out there? You're not alone. But, as they say, when life throws you too much data, make a definitive ranking! So, we rolled up our sleeves, dove deep into the candy-filled waters, and came up with a methodical system to shed light on bulk candy sales.

We unearthed twelve lists from trusted corners of the web, each declaring their version of candy highs and lows. Not stopping there, we also brought our own treasure to the table—feedback from over 12,000 patrons of our online candy store—and fused it all to craft the ultimate candy hierarchy. Ready to dive in?

Here's a little more detail. First, we looked at the following lists of best and worst Halloween candies.

Best and Worst Lists
BuzzFeed
Business Insider
Worst Best
Huffington Post HelloGiggles
FoxNews The Week
Houston Press Thrillist
PlayBuzz Mental Floss
Bon Apetit 24/7 Wall Street

Next, we surveyed over 15,000 of our own customers. Then, we put the best and worst candies into a spreadsheet. In Column A we had a number value. We weighted each list, so a candy that got listed as the worst gets 10 points, while one that ranks 10th worst gets one point. Same idea goes for the best list. We then tallied up the points and created our list.

Got it? Good. Let's go.

Oh and please keep in mind, the opinions expressed here are not those of CandyStore.com. They are inferred from the data by a mere candy blog writer.

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Without further ado:

The 10 Worst Halloween Candies

#10 Worst. Tootsie Rolls

Took a lil' tumble to #10 from #8

Alright, real talk? Your candy stash will probably be loaded with these guys. Some folks love the budget-friendly aspect of Tootsie Rolls – just toss a bunch into the treat bags and you're golden. But let's be honest, they're not exactly the MVPs of Halloween candy. After chilling at #8 for a couple of years, they've now dropped to #10. And yeah, we're counting both the classic Tootsie Rolls and the flavored ones. Flavored might sound fancy, but looks like it's not enough to keep them in the top ranks.

#9 Worst. Bit-O-Honey: 2023's New Entry!

Welcome (or should we say, "Uh-oh?") to Bit-O-Honey, the latest contender to sneak its way onto our Worst Candy list. If you're scratching your head wondering, "What the heck is a Bit-O-Honey?", you're not alone.

Originally introduced way back in the 1920s, Bit-O-Honey is a chewy blend of almond bits embedded in a honey-flavored taffy. Sounds intriguing, right? But here's the rub: while the flavor combo might sound like a sweet dream, the super sticky texture can be a dental nightmare! Many have fallen victim to the candy's clingy ways, making that chewy bite not so worth it.

Bit-O-Honey has its diehard fans (kudos to the old school candy lovers), but for the modern trick-or-treater, it seems to be more trick than treat. Maybe it's the nostalgia factor or the unique honeyed flavor that keeps some folks coming back. But for the masses, it seems Bit-O-Honey might need a bit-o-change if it wants to avoid future Worst Candy lists. For now, we're placing it firmly at #9. Proceed with caution (and maybe keep a toothpick handy).

#8 Worst. Black Licorice

Climbed (or sank?) to #8 from #9 in 2022 and #10 in 2021

Alright, fam, let's clear the air: we're talking about pure black licorice here. Twizzlers? They don't count. I mean, those outer lists we checked? They're all side-eyeing black licorice too.

So it kinda makes sense, right? Twizzlers are all about that sweet fruity goodness, while OG black licorice... well, it's got that... unique(?) savory kick. Not exactly the sugar rush kiddos are hunting for on Halloween night. I guess some old-school flavors just can't keep up with the candy glow-up.

#7 Worst. Smarties

Slightly less unpopular? Moved to #7 from #6 last year and #4 in 2021

So here's the tea on these bad boys. They get the "dry and chalky" label all the time. Bet your candy haul will have a ton of these, because, let's face it, they're Halloween's uninvited guest.

They kinda sneak up on you – at first, you're like, "Okay, not bad." But let's be real, how much of that semi-sweet, chalky hard candy can one's taste buds handle before they tap out?

#6 Worst. Mary Janes

Creeping up to #6 from #7 in the last two years

So here's the comeback story: Mary Janes went MIA for a hot minute after NECCO called it quits, but now? They're back, baby! Just a heads up, they're rocking a new look on the candy scene, but hey, change is good...right?

Sure, they've got their die-hard fans (and mad respect to them), but Halloween? Seems like it's just not their jam. Maybe Halloween's all about those sugar rush vibes and less about the feels trip down memory lane? But hey, what do I know?

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#5 Worst. Wax Coke Bottles

Still kinda hanging around at #5, was #6 in 2021

Wax Coke Bottles are like the one-hit wonders of the candy world. First time you snag one? Total game changer, especially if you're in the kiddo club. But fast forward a few years, and maybe you're like, "Wait, I'm munching on wax for a drop of sugar water?" By third grade, these guys are straight up benchwarmers in the candy lineup, probably chilling at the bottom of the stash. Big yikes.

#4 Worst. Peanut Butter Kisses

Dropped a spot to #4 from #3 in the past two years

Okay, plot twist! Peanut Butter Kisses dropped down a notch this year. And if you're like "Which ones are those again?", they're those low-key candies with the plain orange or black wrapper. And even though they sound fancy, they're no Reese's or Hershey's.

In the candyverse, they're kinda like distant cousins. Some people even call 'em Mary Janes, which... I get. Necco did their own spin of that though, see above. Still, if you're on a Halloween candy quest? Maybe skip these and keep the hunt going.

#3 Worst. Necco Wafers

Steadily climbing the not-so-fave list – #5 in 2021, #4 in 2022, and now #3

Alright, so these throwbacks had their drama moment a few years ago and dipped for a while, but guess what? They're back in the game! Anyone remember the Necco Wafer Panic of 2018? Wild times.

It's a mixed bag with these – some people are ride-or-die for Necco Wafers. Yet here they are, topping the meh candy charts. Personally, thought they'd snag the #1 spot for least favorite, but maybe the underdogs have a special place in some hearts. Or maybe it's just sympathy for a candy that's had its ups and downs. But let's not sugarcoat it: they've got that whole dry and chalky thing going on.

#2 Worst. Candy Corn

Hanging at #2, was the top 'meh' in 2021

So here's the lowdown: Candy Corn was the 'not-so-crowned' king of "thanks, I guess?" candies when it booted circus peanuts a few years back. But hats off to CC, it's now chilling at the not-quite-as-bad runner-up spot. Low-key glow-up?

Candy corn is very divisive. It's obviously not for eveybody. But I'm all about the candy corn. Don't @ me, but if you're not vibing with candy corn, just slide it my way. It's pure sugary goodness – isn't that what candy's all about?

Sure, it ain't the GOAT of candies, but come on, stuffing your face with handfuls of these is kinda therapeutic. That said, feels like my love for candy corn ain't shared by the masses. Bummer.

And yeah, won't lie, they could do a bit better on the texture front. That does depend on the manufacturer though.

#1 Worst. Circus Peanuts

Crowned (or cursed?) as #1 again after chilling at #2 in 2021

And... they're back! Circus Peanuts just snagged the not-so-coveted top spot as the Halloween candy everyone loves to hate. They wore the "thanks, I hate it" crown a few years back, had a brief vacay at #2, but here they are, reigning supreme in the no-thank-you department.

Sure, candy corn had its moment in the shade, giving circus peanuts a lil' break, but let's be real: how do you even begin to explain the whole... experience that is Circus Peanuts? Like, who hurt you, candy world?

For this Halloween season, at least, nothing's dethroning these infamous orange nuggets of... whatever they are.

The 10 Best Halloween Candies

Now we get to the fun part. You can probably guess most of the candies on this list. They're popular for a reason. But in case you wanted to know how your tastes stack up, here is the weighted list of the best Halloween candies of all time.

#10 Best. Butterfinger

Still holding strong at #10, though it was #9 in 2021

Okay, let's talk Butterfinger. This classic made its way onto a bunch of top 10 lists, often chilling somewhere in the middle.

Can't say I blame 'em – it's a go-to for me. Sure, some folks might not be all-in with its unique texture, and honestly, a full-size bar can be a bit...extra. But snag a bite-sized Butterfinger? That's the sweet spot. Seriously, it's got amazing crunch game, and who can resist a good cronch? Let's be real, when you score one on Halloween, it's a win, right?

#9 Best. Twix

Rocking #9 this year, a small drop from #7 in 2021

If there's one candy bar I'd totally want to score in full size on Halloween, it's gotta be Twix. I mean, they're kinda addictive, right? And unlike some bars, they don't go overboard - a whole Twix is just right.

Heads up, you'll likely spot three Twix avatars on Halloween night: the OG full-sized bar, the solo-stick kinda-lonely version, and the fun-sized one. Now, no shade to fun-sized, but given the options, I'd rather hit the Twix jackpot with the bigger bars. Which is maybe an obvious thing to say.

#8 Best. Kit Kat

#8 this year, down from #6 in 2021

Now, on the surface, a Kit Kat might seem kinda basic – just chocolate and wafer, right? But this combo does hit different. It's definitely a Halloween win, especially when the fun-sized version pretty much feels like half a full-sized bar (which, let's be real, is super generous compared to other 'fun-sized' candies).

Plus, with the crisp fall vibes, melting isn't much of an issue. And trust me, a melted Kit Kat? It's like watching a good movie with bad popcorn. If you're craving that perfect snap, grab some Kit Kats this Halloween.

#7 Best. Hershey Bar

Climbing the charts! Was #6 in 2022, #8 in 2021, and a modest #10 in 2020

Alright, let's bundle up some choco goodness: The OG Hershey Bar and its cool cousin, Cookies 'n' Cream, are in this spot together. Some might debate the differences, but at the end of the day, they're both delish. Now, those assorted mini candy bars from Hershey? Yup, they're counted here, even if we're kinda cheating with Krackel and Mr. Goodbar in the mix. I mean, they're basically Hershey Bars that went on a crispy or nutty adventure.

Bottom line: they're a hit, especially in the mini/fun size. Perfect bite of nostalgia right there.

#6 Best. Sour Patch Kids

#5 since 2021, dropped one spot

Big shoutout to Sour Patch Kids for making waves in the candy scene! Though they were rockstars on BuzzFeed and Business Insider's lists, these tangy little legends kinda went MIA on a few others.

Maybe because they shake things up from the usual Halloween candy, even though they have been around for ages.

But here's the thing: the love for Sour Patch is undeniable. They might not be breaking into the top 5 this year, but their zesty charm is unmistakable. Rooting for these sour-turned-sweet sensations to keep bringing the tangy joy!

I mean, tasting the rainbow is cool and all. But while they're def tasty, they're not the groundbreaking candy of the century, y'know? Plus, binge too many, and your mouth's got that weird feels. But hey, props to Skittles for the major glow-up – they've skyrocketed from #9 just three years back!

#5 Best. Skittles

Slight drop from #4 in 2022 and #3 in 2021

If you're not downing an entire fun-sized bag of Skittles in one go every once in a while, are you even living? We all love getting Skittles during our trick-or-treat runs.

Who can resist that rainbow of flavors? It's like a mini party in every pack. While they might've shuffled a bit in the ranks, there's no denying their star power in the candy world. With their vibrant colors and zesty flavors, Skittles are always ready to turn up the fun on Halloween!

#4 Best. Hot Tamales: On fire!

From unlisted in 2021 to #7 in 2022 and now blazing at #4, Hot Tamales are officially the comeback kids of the candy world! Suddenly, they're the spicy sensation everyone's craving. Seriously, who would've thought? I remember when they were just that quirky candy on the sidelines.

But hey, spicy is the new cool, and it looks like it's here to stay. The kiddos can't get enough of that fiery kick. So, if you're looking to be the most popular house on the block this Halloween, you might want to stock up on Hot Tamales. Trust me, they'll be the first to disappear from your treat bowl!

#3 Best. Snickers

Holding strong at #3 this year

Snickers holding its own in the top three? Totally expected. Personally, I've always had a soft spot for Milky Way, but when you're craving that cronch, Snickers knows how to deliver. There's just something about that salty, nutty kick in a Snickers that hits different.

Seriously, why aren't we all just handing out full-sized bars? They're not exactly a meal. But hey, those fun-sized versions? Perfect for that quick chocolatey fix.

#2 Best. M&Ms: Solid at #2

Since its leap from #5 in 2020, it's been holding strong at #2. It's hard to beat the classics, right? M&Ms have been keeping it real, and honestly, it's well-deserved. Dethroning the reigning #1? Sounds like a mission, but if there's any candy up for the challenge, it's gotta be M&Ms.

Did hear about pretzel M&Ms making some lists – kinda niche, right? But I'm for it. I do remember the good ol' days of plain and peanut. Not even sure if the fun-sized bags of the pretzel ones are a thing. But no matter the flavor, M&Ms are a Halloween staple. Trust me, toss them into those candy bags and you're golden. Kids adore them, and let's be honest, so do we.

#1 Best. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Unshaken at #1 (Forever the candy king?)

Let's just take a moment to recognize the absolute royalty that is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. When we talk about candy dynasties, this is it, folks. Out of the seven lists we dove into, Reese's strutted their stuff to #1 on six. The other list? They still took a respectable #3, and considering that list was sporting some wildcard candies, it's still pretty darn impressive.

But really, who's surprised? It's that iconic combo of chocolate and peanut butter – so simple, yet so mind-blowingly good. I mean, Reese's isn't just a Halloween treat; it's a vibe, a mood, a lifestyle. Remember those intense family candy trades? Reese's was like gold. We used to stash them away, strategizing the perfect hiding spots. The tragedy when a sibling found your stash? Heartbreak city. And, hey, if you haven't had that mini heart attack when your secret Reese's stash went missing, did you even Halloween?

Whether you're team Mini, stand by the classic Full size, or go all out with King size – it's all about that Reese's love. Here's to the undying reign of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

Concluding the Worst Halloween Candy Rankings

And there you have it – the rollercoaster ride of Halloween candy rankings! Whether it's the classics that have held their ground year after year or the newer, spicy contenders shaking things up, one thing's for sure: we all have our candy loyalties.

But isn't that the beauty of Halloween? It's a night where every treat bag becomes a mini treasure chest, each piece of candy carrying its own tale of nostalgia, delight, or sometimes, that mischievous trick of unexpected flavors.

So, as we gear up for another spook-tacular Halloween, let's embrace the variety. Whether you're Team Reese's or have a soft spot for the underdog candies, remember that every treat has its own fan club. Here's to Halloween 2023 – a celebration of sweet treats, spooky vibes, and the joy of sharing (or hoarding) our favorite candies. Stay sweet and spooky, folks!

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For more info or press inquiries contact Ben at: ben@candystore.com

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