When we were growing up, one of the constant warnings from our parents was, “Don’t take candy from strangers!” That warning stayed with us year-round, except for on one glorious day at the end of October when all caution was thrown to the wind, everyone dressed up in costumes and we all went knocking on doors to beg strangers for candy. 

Americans love Halloween and Americans love Halloween candy. Whether it’s the freedom to act like a kid for a day or that the candy tastes better when someone gives it to you instead of you paying for it yourself, it doesn’t matter. Americans are expected to spend $3.6 billion on Halloween candy this year, up in part due to a reported 13% increase in the cost of candy this year due to inflation. 

So, with this candy extravaganza upon us, what are the best Halloween candies of all time? 


Anything Reese’s: It’s no surprise that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are consistently ranked as the most popular Halloween candy in the nation. It’s an ingenious merger of all things glorious to your palette. Chocolate? Check. Peanut Butter? Check. It’s really hard to go wrong with that combo in any format and the Reese’s folks have that nailed. Of course, there are those who can’t partake due to allergies. That aside, Reese’s clearly needs to be on top of the definitive list. 

100 Grand Bar: Due to inflation, the 100 Grand Bar should probably be like a $175,000 Bar at this point, but either way, it’s worth it. Chocolate, chewy caramel and little rice crisps make for a delicious and underrated bite. This doesn’t regularly make a lot of the top lists, maybe because of the name switch back in the day from the One Hundred-Thousand Dollar Bar or perhaps because it doesn’t have the commercials supporting it like it used to, but it’s absolutely worthy. 

Candy Corn: As brought to my attention by Fox New Contributor Joe Concha on the podcast we co-host “The List” (available wherever you download your podcasts), candy corn is a candy that is quintessentially Halloween. Most other candies you can find and eat all year round, but the OG candy corn (yellow, orange and white) is meant specifically to be eaten at this time of year.

My take is that candy corn is both delicious and disgusting, a special feat that can only be replicated by a few other candies, like circus peanuts. But still, Joe is right and candy corn, according to, does make it into the top 10 for most popular Halloween candies across the nation. 

Plus, a fun fact: if you take your candy corn and arrange them in a full circle with the white tips pointing inward, and you stack similar circles on top of each other, the yellow ends will form a structure that resembles a baby piece of corn on the cob. 

Red Swedish Fish: We will forgive that Swedish fish has another country in its name, while we celebrate that the manufacturer realized the other flavors were inferior and started packaging just the red fish together. These candies are so great that they are popular with a flavor only identified as … red. It’s not cherry, not strawberry, not raspberry and not really any flavor that you have tasted anywhere else.

It’s just “red”, it’s specific to this candy in particular, and it is scrumptious. There is a rumor that the flavor was originally based on a fruit called a lingonberry, but really, it’s just its own special flavor. That unique taste packed with a fantastic chew sure to rip out any crowns or fillings that you have in your teeth makes red Swedish fish ranked as a top candy choice in many states throughout the country.

Sour Patch Kids: If you like the idea of a sweet gummy, but also like to torture yourself first, then you will love getting a packet of Sour Patch Kids in your Halloween loot. Things really are more appreciated when you work for them, so getting to that sweet gummy inside after getting blasted with a sour pucker makes these a consistent favorite among the Halloween crowd.

Interestingly, Sour Patch Kids were originally marketed under a different name in the 1970s: “Mars Men”. They underwent a rebrand and came out as Sour Patch Kids in the mid-1980s, piggybacking off the Cabbage Patch Kids craze, and that’s when they really took off.

Twizzlers: While this delicious red licorice is often associated with going to the movies, Twizzlers are a staple of the Halloween assortment, too, with good reason. With a unique texture that gives you satisfaction while you rip it off, it also has a deep fake strawberry flavor which creates lots of satisfaction for your mouth.


While some west coast people will try to interject with “Red Vines!” as a substitute, I am from the Midwest and the authority here, so I will shoot that down and note that Red Vines have a bit of a soapy aftertaste. That’s why Twizzlers (and not any other red licorice brands) are the ones that make national top candy lists. 

Also, it’s very important that you don’t go rogue and try to buy black licorice of any brand. Almost half of the people in America do not like black licorice and that number is even higher among young people, so stick with the strawberry Twizzlers. 

Of course, if you are deciding what to hand out around the neighborhood, if inflation hasn’t made it impossible, buying full-size candy bars will make you a hero. But, you are pretty safe with just about anything other than those awful peanut flavored taffy-ish things in the orange and black wax wrappers.

If it were my personal list, I would probably throw a York Peppermint Patty or Junior Mints in there, as well as the somewhat controversial Mounds bar, but if you stick to the list, you will probably be considered a house of more treats than tricks.

Do you agree with the list? Weigh in below with what you would change or add and your personal favorites.