Ghouls, goblins, lend me your scary, mangled ears. It’s time to start stretchin’ that gullet in preparation for a candy feast. In case you haven’t noticed, we feel very strongly about Halloween candy here at The Takeout. We’ve sacrificed our palates to sample Skittles that taste like rotting flesh; we’ve sought the very best candy Frankensteins. Perhaps most notably, we’ve spent many a sleepless night devising the most correct way to eat candy corn.
But this year, we’re doing things a little differently. This year, we’re getting methodical. Our goal: to complete The Takeout’s Official 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings.
Here’s how it’s gonna go. We’ve identified our contenders by compiling the nation’s top-selling Halloween candy brands. Here they are:
America’s 10 most popular Halloween candies:
- Reese’s Cups
- Hershey’s Miniatures (Hershey, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel)
- Sour Patch Kids
- Tootsie Pops
- Jolly Ranchers
Over the following weeks, we’ll release individual power rankings based on essential candy criteria: packaging, texture, portability, and the like. We’ll rank the candies internally, averaging each candy’s score using an airtight spreadsheet formula. (We are math geniuses.) We’ll then present the rankings every Friday leading up to Halloween.
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This week, we’re kicking things off with an age-old adage: “You can’t judge a book by its cover, unless the book is candy.” That’s right: we’re talking best candy wrappers. Let’s roll, weenies.
Our team disagrees from time to time. It’s healthy. It makes for spirited discussion and enriches our little community. But there’s one thing we can all agree on: we hate unwrapping Starbursts. Not only do the trick-or-treat two-packs always seem to contain the most disappointing flavors, but the individual packaging on each candy chew feels wasteful, waxy, and unyielding. They’re disastrous for those of us (all of us) with chewed-down fingernail nubs. Great candy; terrible packaging. More like StarWORST.
9. Jolly Rancher
We appreciate the transparency of Jolly Rancher wrappers. It’s nice to know exactly what you’re getting before you unwrap the goods. But the wrappers’ eternal stickiness takes away from the fun. And, as staff writer Allison Robicelli points out, sometimes the wrapper melts to the candy, and you end up eating bits of plastic. No one deserves that.
8. Sour Patch Kids
We’re big fans of Sour Patch anything, and we’re generally in favor of the bags’ colorful palate. But the problem isn’t aesthetic; it’s practical. The bags are incredibly loud, with sharp corners and no obvious tear angles. Want to access one single Sour Patch Kid without covering your entire hand in sour dust? Good luck, pal.
7. Tootsie Pops
Tootsie Pops are a gentleman’s candy, with mature jewel tones and a wrapper that, according to editor in chief Marnie Shure, “becomes a regal cape for your candy.” But while a few members of our team appreciate the pops’ “vintage good looks,” the rest of us find this packaging, well, a bit dull.
6. Reese’s Cups
Our team was utterly divided on the tender Reese’s Cup. On one hand, these things produce a ton of trash, with a flimsy cardboard square, a waxy cup liner, and the outer wrapper. On the other hand, we love the anticipation that comes with unwrapping such a thoroughly sheathed candy. “I know that as soon as I take off that paper cup, I have exactly one second to take my first bite before the chocolate starts melting on my fingers,” says Takeout staff writer Dennis Lee. What could be more adventurous than that?
Sometimes it’s best to stick to the classics. Where the somewhat muted Tootsie Pop wrapper falls short, the splendid Snickers wrapper succeeds. We think it’s due to the big, bold capital letters, which contrast nicely with the chocolate brown wrapper. Either way, when you pick up a Snickers, you know exactly what to expect: pure bliss with a fun, toothsome, nutty edge.
Ooh, hear that crinkle? That’s the sound of nonstop, high-octane, M&M-induced pleasure. These bags are easy to tear, easy to roll down and save for later, and easy to share, if you so choose. Sure, the design may be a bit on the tame side, but we think this papery little bag offers a delightfully visceral tearing sensation that you just won’t get with an all-plastic wrapper.
It doesn’t get much more cheerful than a Skittles bag. They’re gorgeous to look at, easy to tear, and easy to roll up and slip into your pocket if you’re on the move. As staff writer Dennis Lee puts it, the colorful bag “reminds you that you’re about to tuck into a non-chocolate candy,” which is good, since the Skittles themselves look nearly indistinguishable from M&M’s on a dark street while trick-or-treating. We should also add that the bag unfurls with minimal crackling in a movie theater.
2. Hershey’s Miniatures
We love the retro look of Mr. Goodbar, Krackel, and the other Hershey’s minis that come but once a year. Plus, you don’t have to tear a thing to enjoy one of these beauties. “The packaging snaps right off so jauntily! Like a little suit!” says staff writer Lillian Stone. As Allison Robicelli puts it, we typically only see these candies during the Halloween season, “so gazing upon their retro wrappers is a magical feeling.”
What’s classier than a snappy golden Twix wrapper? Nothing. These tasteful delights are straight out of Scrooge McDuck’s vault. The packaging is “nearly obscene in its exaggerated indulgence,” wrote one Takeout staffer. Not only are these wrappers worthy of a king; they’re also made to tear into as quickly as possible. Let ’er rip, trick-or-treaters. Let ’er rip.
Tell us everything we got wrong about candy wrappers. Then go read our other Halloween Candy Power Rankings: