Welcome back to The Takeout’s Official 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings. With Halloween mere weeks away, we’re dropping weekly ratings of the top 10 best-selling Halloween candies in America. Last week, we determined that Twix might have the best wrapper, but nothing is more nostalgic than a Tootsie Pop.
This week, the question is: Which of the top Halloween candies has the best texture?
In a shocking upset, Tootsie Pops went from first place in last week’s rankings to dead last in the texture category. Why? So many reasons. First, there’s the perilous exterior, which looks smooth enough until you lick it and find that tiny shards of the spun sugar can leave splinters on your tongue. Then, there’s the Tootsie interior, which is less dangerous but far less appealing, too—staff writer Dennis Lee describes it as a “jerky-like lump” lurking in the middle of your candy.
These hard candies require a patience that doesn’t really gel with the instant gratification of Halloween candy. Sure, they last longer than a lot of other treats in your bag, but it’s a long slog until each piece shrinks enough to actually bite into or swallow. Their one saving grace: Jolly Ranchers are an excellent tool for anyone quitting smoking. But recovering smokers aren’t likely to have much overlap with the population of people still young enough to go trick-or-treating.
While conducting our candy rankings, 75% of Takeout staffers cited the same downside to Starburst: orthodontia. This seemingly innocent fruity taffy is likely to cause lingering nightmares for anyone who ever ate them with braces, permanent retainers, fillings, inlays, you name it. Starbursts are simply too dense and sticky, uprooting any metal or porcelain in their path. And even if you’ve never had any dental work done (lucky you), chewing on a Starburst might cause you to dislocate your jaw.
None of us have much of a soft spot for Skittles’ lack of softness. Once you make it through the “crackly” candy shell, you’re left to contend with a chewy center that “should be 15% less chewy,” according to staff writer Lillian Stone. The only good way to eat Skittles is a secret method patented by editor in chief Marnie Shure: suck on each Skittle for at least 20 seconds before chewing.
“Meh.” “Fine.” “Leaves something to be desired.” These are a few of the phrases used by Takeout staffers to describe the thoroughly average texture of Sour Patch Kids, whose puckery sugar-sanded exterior can make your mouth water like one of Pavlov’s dogs if you think about it for too long. That’s the best part of the candy, though. The gummy interior always seems to hover in a Goldilocks zone between stale and fresh, which is good, because the super-fresh ones are actually too sticky.
“It’s all about the candy shell here, even though the chocolate sort of sucks.” This appraisal from staff writer Dennis Lee sort of says it all. But in case you need more of an argument for M&M’s mediocrity, here’s how staff writer Lillian Stone addresses the candy directly in her own assessment: “We get it! You’re round!”
From the crunch of peanuts to the ribbon of chewy caramel, no one can deny that the texture of a Snickers is a huge part of its appeal. “It’s balanced and keeps you interested,” says staff writer Allison Robicelli. The peanuts are the key differentiator here; without them, the candy would be nearly indistinguishable from Milky Way and 3 Musketeers. And there’s a reason those bars aren’t on this list.
Krackel and Mr. Goodbar have built their reputations on texture; it’s the reason they keep showing up in the Halloween mix every year, despite never being widely available on grocery store shelves during any other season. But even the plain milk chocolate miniature in this combo bag is somehow silkier and more luscious than a full-size Hershey bar. Why is this? Is its size and surface area somehow more susceptible to melting just slightly in your trick-or-treat bucket, leaving you with an irresistibly soft bite of chocolate? We’ll never know, but we know it deserves recognition.
Everything about the texture of a Reese’s shouldn’t work, but somehow does. If you dipped a knife into a jar of peanut butter and it came up coated in this grainy, chunky substance that Reese’s calls peanut butter, you’d be horrified. But enrobed in an ultra-thin layer of chocolate, that bizarre peanut butter center takes on magic properties. And the thicker, sturdier chocolate around the edge is fun to bite into like a rat, nibbling away the perimeter until you’re left with the most exciting part of the package.
Our second power ranking in which Twix comes out on top! It previously won the distinction of best candy wrapper, and once you disrobe it from its golden sheath, things only get better from there. That. Cookie. Crunch. There’s nothing else on the market quite like it—that cookie has genuine heft. Formulas have changed over the years with nearly every major candy bar, but Twix has kept its cookie layer feeling substantial, and for that, it nabs the top spot this week.
Let’s see if it keeps up the streak next week, when we discuss candies with the best portability. Until next time, happy chewing.
Read all of our 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings here: