Best and Worst Trick or Treat Candies for the Perfect Candy Haul

(Image Credit: Samantha Grandy)

(Image Credit: Samantha Grandy)

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. What’s not to like? The whole spooky atmosphere, celebrating all things paranormal, dressing up and of course, most importantly, the treats. Sadly, nearly everyone – except me – considers me too old for trick or treating, so I don’t get as many treats as I used to. But believe me, I still know what I’m taking about when it comes to trick or treat candy.

Candy was – and still is – a very big deal in my house. Every Halloween, my sister and I came home to carefully inspect our haul and then set about trading to make sure our piles were everything we wanted and nothing we didn’t. Which is why I can present you with this, the definitive list of trick or treat candies, made to help you perfect your stash.



In this list are candies that you want to make sure you have in your treat pile before the night is through. I don’t necessarily recommend sneaky tactics like stealing the candy outright – well, I do, but just make sure you do it behind your parents’ backs – but trading is a-okay, as is hoarding all of it for yourself.

Anything Chocolate – I always found chocolate surprisingly rare at Halloween. Probably because everyone is keeping it for themselves. Those fun size candy bars are obviously the best, but you could probably settle for a Hershey’s Kiss or two.

Pure Sugar – This may be the little kid in me, but there is nothing like dumping Pixy Stix into your mouth or devouring a package of Fun Dip. Just make sure the Pixy Stix are your favorite flavor first! Nothing will ruin your candy binge more than a flavor you hate.

Sweet and Sour – On the Food Network, they’re always talking about mixing your flavor profiles, and I figure that has to apply to candy as well. Whether you like WarHeads or Sour Patch Kids, change it up a little and take on some sour with all that sweetness. If nothing else, it’s probably palate-cleansing, and you’ll soon be ready for more.


Settle for:

This list includes ubiquitous candies, candies that tons of people give out and that you’re going to be stuck with whether you trade or not. I get it, some of these might not be your favorites, but it’s just the nature of Halloween candy that you get a mixed bag. My recommendation is to use these candies to ration out your supply. Sure, you could eat two Snickers, or you could save one of those and eat two Twizzlers in its place. That way, you still have good candy left after a few days.

Chewy Candy – Twizzlers, Laffy Taffy, bubblegum. Look in your trick or treat pile and these pop up all the time. The chewiness will make you think there’s more candy than there actually is, so maybe, just maybe, two pieces equals one chocolate bar.

Hard Candy – The key to these is the ability to make them last a long time: Gobstoppers, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers. Anything that keeps your mouth full so that you don’t make a grab for that last piece of chocolate.

Candy Corn – I admit I have a fondness for candy corn because it’s the most Halloween candy there is. It’s important here because of the multiple pieces per package and because it’s so sweet, it might blow out your taste buds, forcing you to step away from the chocolate.


Force on Others:

Basically what goes here is anything you don’t want. I’m serious. Give everything you don’t want to someone else. You don’t need to be eating it if you hate it. Bonus points if it’s candy they love and will trade mega amounts for. Then everyone wins.

Too Chewy Candy – Anything that you have to chew and chew and chew and chew before you can even swallow it is a no-go, unless it’s bubblegum. Any flavor will be lost in all your saliva, and by the time you finish, there won’t be anything left. Major offenders include Milk Duds and Tootsie Rolls.

Fake Fruit – Fruit is good. I like eating fruit, but somehow, a lot of fruit candies taste nothing like fruit and a whole lot like gross. Don’t be stuck eating these candies, including Dots and strawberry hard candies. Real fruit would be better.

Anything Not Candy – There’s always some house that insists on being healthy, but come on, it’s Halloween, not Health-o-ween. Keep your candy, but let everything else go. You can always be healthy again in a couple of weeks.

So there you go. Now you know how to compose your perfect pile of candy. Basically, get everything you love and have some stuff you like to make it all last longer. The most important thing to do after obtaining your perfect pile is guard it with your life. My mom has a sweet tooth, and any candy that’s in the open is considered fair game. Make sure you stash your hoard somewhere safe or you might have to wait until next year for the perfect candy haul.

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