Welcome back to The Takeout’s Official 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings. We’ve spent the entire Halloween season ranking the top 10 best-selling Halloween candies in America using increasingly esoteric frameworks, taking a madcap, holistic approach to determine the ultimate trick-or-treat crowd-pleaser. To recap, here’s how the candies have been ranked:
- 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
- Week 5: Best (and worst) Halloween candies for sharing
- Week 6: Most all-around delicious candies
- Week 7: Halloween candies with the best advertising
This week, we’re revealing our ultimate Halloween candy power rankings. The rankings were determined using the above seven weeks of data—for, just like mankind, a candy’s worth goes far beyond its flavor. Think of these rankings as fantasy football draft picks, or Academy Awards winners: we’re going for the best all-around player here. Did the ultimate rankings shock and confound us? A little, yeah. But the data doesn’t lie, and neither do we. Without further ado, we give you The Takeout’s Official 2021 Halloween Candy Power Rankings.
Tootsie Pops came in dead last, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. Yes, these old-ass Pops won big in the nostalgia category, but they also trailed the rest of the pack in texture, shareability, and general deliciousness. Tootsie Pops are a little like your high school cafeteria: full of lackluster flavor, housed inside a crumbling exterior, and full of unexpectedly sharp areas. Proceed with extreme caution.
We know, we know. The power ranking is a cruel mistress. In a surprising and upsetting twist, Sour Patch Kids fell toward last place by the law of averages. How did this happen? First, they were dinged on the nostalgia factor, largely because Sour Patch Kids’ packaging is the color of electric bile. They’re also controversial for a few members of our staff who are staunchly anti-sour. Think of it this way: if you love them, you love them—but they might not approachable enough to snag Best Picture. It’s a real Citizen Kane situation.
Listen: Nobody’s going to die if you give them a Jolly Rancher. Jolly Ranchers are fine. They’re a fine candy. Throughout seven weeks of ranking, they’ve never scored above fourth place. That’s really all we have to say about these.
Brace yourselves for another shock. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Reese’s cruised healthily into the top spot regarding General Deliciousness. Unfortunately, everybody’s favorite p-cups experienced major casualties during our advertising and nostalgia rankings. They also aren’t the most portable, prone to meltage and squooshage. But they taste so great! This sucks! Math sucks!
Throughout our ranking process, Starburst saw some soaring highs (sweeping the portability and shareability categories) and devastating lows (utterly failing the packaging category, all because of the very wrapper that makes these candies so portable and sharable). All in all, Starburst remains a safe choice for trick-or-treaters; just prepare to find your front lawn littered with trash from all that goddamn packaging. Too many wrappers!
Please note that our contenders for third-, fourth-, and fifth-place rankings were incredibly close, differentiated by just one point each. It’s safe to say that Twix, Hershey, and Snickers are all relatively interchangeable in terms of their overall desirability, with Twix and Hershey took the lead largely because of their snappy packaging and novel appeal. But, hey, we’re not gonna kick a Snickers out of bed.
We deeply enjoy these little guys—not so much because of their flavor, which is forgettable at best and vomit-adjacent at worst, but because of their highly seasonal nature. These are Halloween candy power rankings. When else you getting a Mr. Goodbar, clown? We also enjoy their smart packaging, which reminds us of a handsome little sport coat.
Twix were a bit of a dark horse throughout this race, sweeping the packaging and texture categories and coming in a narrow second place in the general deliciousness category. The more we thought about it, the more we realized: that cookie crunch and dazzling gold wrapper really do set Twix apart from its lesser chocolate counterparts.
M&M’s have hovered toward the top of most of our rankings, nabbing the advertising category because of its sexy, sexy anthropomorphic ads. M&M’s also cracked the top three in three other categories thanks to the candies’ high degree of shareability, low degree of meltability, and overall heartily satisfying level of deliciousness. What can we say? We’ve got a thing for tiny candy circles, as evidenced by our first-place winner:
Several of our staff members were shocked to find Skittles at the top of our list. (We’re food writers, which means we have a limited understanding of averages and statistics.) Surprising or not, these little guys snuck their way to the top tortoise-and-hare style by staying humble, working hard, and providing us with a pleasantly packaged, perfectly portable, poppable Halloween delight. Don’t believe us? Take a look at a bright, cheery fun-sized bag of Skittles and try not to crack a little grin. You can’t do it, can you?