Welcome back to The Takeout’s Official 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings. With just a few more weeks until Halloween, we’re dropping weekly ratings of the top 10 best-selling Halloween candies in America. For the last five weeks, our four-person team has ranked the candies based on a variety of stringent criteria:
- Week 1: Best Halloween candy wrappers
- Week 2: Most nostalgic Halloween candy
- Week 3: The Halloween candy with the best texture
- Week 4: Most portable Halloween candy
But this week, we welcomed a new staffer, associate editor Brianna Wellen, who arrived just in time for our most heated candy ranking yet: Which of 2021’s top Halloween candies is the all-around tastiest?
Alas, it’s another hard week for Team Tootsie. Tootsie Pops came dead last for a variety of reasons. As our new associate editor, Brianna Wellen, points out, “Just thinking about a Tootsie Pop tastes like the inside of a lint-filled jacket pocket.” Takeout staff writer Dennis Lee considers these unfortunate candies to be “boring lollipops with what’s essentially a weird chocolatish nougat in it,” proudly stating: “I have happily lived without them for decades and will continue doing so.” In conclusion, Tootsie Pops just can’t stand up to the luscious candies higher on this list.
The Takeout team was generally in agreement that Peanut M&M’s would’ve merited a much higher ranking than the original. Unfortunately, as it stands, the classic M&M barely leaves an impact on our spoiled palates. They’re what Takeout editor in chief Marnie Shure calls “a utility player.” In other words: meh.
We don’t hate Jolly Ranchers as a concept. The watermelon flavor is, after all, nothing short of iconic, and the hard candies last through ages of high-intensity suckling. The issue with Jolly Ranchers is their general uniformity. They’re a bit one-note, a bit tedious to finish, and a bit too sticky to land higher on this list.
Takeout editor in chief Marnie Shure is alone in her assessment of Mr. Goodbar as “a downright craveable bit of chocolate.” The rest of us describe these mini Hershey’s boys as “waxy garbage,” “grainy with a sour aftertaste,” and “fine, I guess.” The only redeeming factor here is the wrapper, which is reminiscent of a snappy little dinner jacket.
Here’s where things got heated. Two members of the Takeout team (Brianna Wellen and Lillian Stone) prefer sour candies above all else. Two others (Allison Robicelli and Dennis Lee) generally don’t care for sours. Meanwhile, Takeout editor in chief Marnie Shure has strict standards for sour. “I want the sensation of my tongue burning off, more than I’m looking for juicy citric lemon flavoring,” she writes. So, where does this leave Sour Patch Kids? Firmly in the middle. They’re tangy and tasty, with just enough of a sting to keep things interesting, but they’re dominated by other fruity flavors in terms of their general Halloween popularity.
In general, the Takeout staff enjoys these meaty candy bars—but not quite as much as we enjoy other chocolate confections. “This candy bar has always tasted disappointingly flat,” staff writer Dennis Lee explains. “I’d sooner reach for a number of other chocolates in my Halloween bucket.” The exception is Takeout staff writer Lillian Stone, who is loyal to Snickers above all other candies, both due to their hearty nature and the pleasure inherent in the act of “scraping off bits of the chocolate coating with your teeth like a beaver.” That disparity leaves Snickers smack dab in the middle of the list.
Starburst snuck into the top four thanks to the candies’ fruity punch, which the Takeout team feels is milder and more approachable than, say, a Sour Patch situation. We also have to tip our hats to the cherry flavor, which is richer and generally less reminiscent of Robitussin than you’d otherwise expect from a cherry Halloween candy. The only thing knocking these down is the relatively intensive jaw work it takes to annihilate a single Starburst.
If you ask us, Skittles are perfectly intense without being annoying about it. They’re less concentrated than other fruity candies, but they still offer a strong punch of fruit flavor in each bite. And the sheer delight of throwing back a handful of assorted flavors at one time? It doesn’t get much better than tasting the rainbow, friends.
The glamorous Twix bar keeps finding its way to the top of our Halloween power rankings, and for good reason. It’s crunchy, sweet, creamy, and chewy, delighting the senses with that satisfying cookie SNAP! that proves we’re all just hedonistic little gremlins dancing around a campfire. Candy good. Candy GOOD.
Reese’s Cups are Halloween deliciousness personified, equal parts messy and texturally satisfying, nutty and chocolatey, smooth and ridged. They offer the sort of fleeting splendor worthy of a Jane Austen novel. By the time you realized that you love them—most ardently—they’re already cruising through your large intestine in a little bile-covered phaeton. So you eat another—and another—until you’re covered in a little pile of those adrenaline-inducing orange wrappers. God, the peanut butter of it all!
Find the other Halloween Candy Power Rankings of 2021 below. We’ll see you next week for the penultimate round.