Rating States…Based on Their Top Halloween Candy


Maegan Fitzpatrick, Editor

Washington/Tennessee/New Jersey
Tootsie Pops

Who in the world hears the word Halloween and thinks, “Oh, yep! That great time of year when I can hand out the sticky, messy, and enormous balls of goo with a caramel rock in the center!” I honestly think the only reason people think they like them is because they’re associated with the grocery store. I always got these for free at random stores or malls, so of course I think they taste decent. But if I open my trick-or-treat bucket and a boatload of these things fall out, I wouldn’t be too pleased; however, they are much better than those cheap and miniscule lollipops you could eat in a matter of seconds. I actually did try that once. I broke a tooth, but I swallowed it pretty much whole. I wouldn’t recommend it though. 

Oregon/Iowa/New Hampshire/DC


I’ve gotta hand it to them, this is a pretty great candy. Even though it’s simple, and boring, and they’re gone in a minute (both because they taste great and because if they aren’t, they’ll melt all over your hands until you look like you just climbed out of a rainbow). But if my state gave me M&M’s, I wouldn’t complain. Anything chocolate, and I won’t complain*. It also depends what size you’re given. If you get one of those packets that’s as small as a doorknob with approximately 2.4 M&M‘s in it, you’re probably gonna tear it open like an angry savage animal and dump it all down your throat in one enormous gulp. But if the neighborhood is nice (and rich) enough, you’ll get one of those big packets that you can pretend is, “so big! I could never eat this entire thing!” and then somehow when you go to put it away, they’ve all disappeared. Spooky Season, am I right?

* Apart from an intense and descriptive list of exceptions

Idaho/South Dakota/Texas/Wisconsin/Indiana


I’m so torn on my opinion of these it’s unbelievable. On one hand, they’re surprisingly good for not being chocolate. If you get a pink or orange one especially, you’ve really hit the mole on the head. But if you open it to a cherry one, you’ll pass it around the trading circle until someone brings it home to throw in the back of the cupboard to be forgotten about forever. I think one of the reasons I’m so torn is because they dissolve so fast. I think if they lasted a little longer, I may be more willing to have one (though this may be partially my own extremely rapid eating to blame). But at the end of the day, these aren’t bad. I still don’t think of them as the ideal Halloween candy, but they’re alright. They’re like the JV sports team; it’s worth watching, but you’re always secretly wishing it was Varsity.


Hershey’s Kisses

Now these two random and unimportant states (besides the small section of LA) really do the kids well. Hershey kisses are just so good, and for some reason the milky chocolate tastes 40% better in the fancy shape and wasteful wrapper. I personally think of Hershey’s kisses as a winter and holiday food, but who am I to judge when someone eats their cheap chocolate. Have you ever noticed, though, that after you say “trick-or-treat” and the either overly excited or incredibly bored Dad extends the candy bowl, you suddenly get extremely anxious when you see Hershey kisses? Cause usually it’s a take one or two scenario, but what about these small minuscule pieces of chocolate? I don’t wanna be a greedy kid, but surely Karen would want me to pick more than 1! Or it’s even worse when they mix all the different types together and say, “Take one!” as if they weren’t watching you with their piercing eyes, cause then if you decide to go for the kisses is it mutually exclusive? How can I possibly take one when Sally got a whole Reese’s cup!? I’ll tell ya, I don’t miss the stress of trick-or-treating one bit.



I don’t think any of us actually like Skittles. We never did. But after our first trick-or-treat when we got 37,000 packets of them, we didn’t have a choice. So parents will never stop giving out the plastic Bingo chips while we choke them down our esophagus in an attempt to make the most out of our Halloween fun. I also feel like Skittles are the candy your friends, neighbors, and cool kids liked so we forced ourselves to like them. Think of Skittles as your Snapchat streaks, or eating a salad. None of us really like it, but we’ve all made the decision to go along with society and there’s no getting out of it now. Not with so many grandmothers getting all excited when they see the enormous neon red (is that a color?) package in the store while all the local kids groan in the checkout line.


Hot Tamales

I… I don’t really know what to say except to ask, “are you doing okay?” Nothing concerns me more than the fact that on Halloween, the day of candy, of sweets, of confectionaries, of bonbons, of… LITERALLY JUST CANDY I DON’T NEED ANY FANCY WORDS. Arizona has the honestly simplest task ever invented by mankind and can’t even give out a slightly decent candy. These “candies” are so despicable I don’t have the words for it. It’s like when people stop dead in the middle of the hallway just to text or Snapchat someone. Can you not multitask!? Or when the kid in front of you won’t stop turning around in their seat 90 degrees to crack their back and they just stare at you for a solid two minutes. “Umm… can I help you?” 

Utah Arkansas/New Mexico

Jolly Ranchers

I don’t really MIND that these states have Jolly Ranchers as their top choice, but I will say that I will not be moving to these states any time soon. Jolly Ranchers are the candy that you always look forward to until you open them. Then you feel the somehow sticky and rock-solid hunk of flavored sugar and you have instant regret. But you can’t put it anywhere because it’s never gonna come off! So you toss it in your mouth and it starts to dissolve in the acidic and tangy taste of disappointment. I have lived my life with one purpose and one purpose only: I have never paid a penny for a Jolly Rancher. I have unwrapped them, I have eaten them, I have taken them for free. But I have never paid a penny for them, and I live by that. I am proud to say that I have never traded a piece of candy for a Jolly Rancher. Sure I hate other candy more. But I only trade candy that’s WORTH being traded; Jolly Ranchers my friends, are not worthy of anything.


Saltwater Taffy

I’m not mad at these states… just disappointed. The fact that there are people in this world who actually eat this is just as shocking as when I discovered Mrs. Sheldon and Mr. Sheldon were married 7 months into my freshman year. Saltwater taffy was literally designed to be hated. I bet two scientists were just chilling in their broken laboratory drinking some Sam Adams and one guy was like, 

“Dude, what if we made a candy that tasted like the elastic goo all those kids are making in their 3rd grade science classes?

Guy 2: “But, like, wouldn’t that taste gross?”

Guy 1: “That’s the point! We advertise it and everyone will buy it just to laugh at us! And then others will see the other idiots buying it, and we’ll make a fortune!”

Guy 2: “Beer me.”

At least that’s my interpretation.

No matter how it actually happened, it must have been something along these lines. This is the candy that everyone looks at and their face just automatically becomes wrinkled like a prune. It’s an instant reaction. I bet if you had a 2-month-old baby and you put a piece of taffy in front of their face they would wrinkle their nose and start crying as if their end-of-quarter essay were due tomorrow, but instead, they were procrastinating by complaining about states they’ll never visit.


Double Bubble Gum

Halloween is a fairly simple holiday with an incredibly simple construct: you buy candy, and you hand it out. That’s literally all you have to do. But some people never cease to amaze me with how incapable they are of completing simple tasks. I will say this until the day I die: Gum. Is. Not. Candy. As good-old unreliable Quora helpfully quoted, “Candy is normally swallowed, but gum is not. There is also sugarless gum, but there’s no sugarless candy that I’m aware of”. Quite honestly, as a teenager, I wouldn’t mind getting gum for Halloween. My stress and boredom cause me to go through a pack a week, so at least I could save a whole… $8.50 a year. But the fact that it’s Double Bubble – if you’re gonna hand out gum, make it worth my effort to trekk all the way to your rich mansion. Give me a fancy 5 packet with the sleek black cover and the fancy stripes on the side. Or give me the tasty Juicy Fruit (honestly I don’t know where they get all that moisture, I thought it was solid). Even give me Orbit for all I care, but don’t give me Double Bubble.

North Dakota/Michigan/Alabama

Candy Corn

These states really deserve the Gold award – not because their candy tastes delicious, but because despite the chalky and plastic-y taste, they manage to keep the Halloween spirit alive. Eater.com went full out rhetoric on us, claiming that candy corn has a “nuttiness reminiscent of marzipan, hints of warm vanilla, [and] a buttery flavor.” Excuse me, have you ever eaten candy corn? I’m not gonna be like other people and completely bash the candy, because they’ve actually grown on me. But I would never go so far as to say they had a “warm vanilla and buttery flavor”. Now that I’m older, I don’t even know how you hand out candy corn without also giving away a massive pile of germs. If I ever walked up to a house nowadays with grubby kids sticking their snotty, slimy, pruney fingers in a bowl filled with candy corn, I’d probably gage and run away. But no matter the taste of candy corn, I will never bash on it. Because as Tevye would say, “Tradition, Tradition!” 

Nebraska/Massachusetts/New York/Maine/Illinois

Sour Patch Kids

I am fully aware that I am once again in the minority with this one. But firstly, I’m okay with our home state being here. Whenever one of my “friend”s has a birthday, and I kinda know them but not really, the first text I send to my mom is, “hey i need u to get sour patch kids 4 ___”. It doesn’t matter if I know them well or not, it’s one of those candies that when you pull it out of the bag, everyone says, “omg I love these! These are my favorite! Thank you so much!” whether you actually like them or not. Cause it’s part of being a Massachusetts citizen. To me, Sour Patch kids taste just like gumdrops. Yes, the dry domes of doom that your grandmother brings to every Christmas despite the fact that the package stays sealed the entire night. They’re just as odd-tasting, the texture is grainy and sandy, and the sugar doesn’t taste like sugar at all. But I digress because as a patriotic Massachusetts citizen it’s my personal duty to put aside whatever grievances I have of my state’s most popular candy and accept the candy with open arms. At least it isn’t Hot Tamales.

Kansas/North Carolina/Maryland


I know you’ve been thinking, “All she does is complain! Doesn’t she do anything else?” Well, no, but on this special occasion, I will. Because these states have reached the ultimate tier. The cool dark chocolate with the crisp precise wedges and the smooth creamy peanut butter on the inside. There are few times I feel pity for someone in my life, but when I eat Reese’s I immediately feel sympathy for people allergic to peanuts. Just imagine having to watch someone devour this divine treat only to realize that your body is too weak to handle the taste. How embarrassing. The only way I can think of how to describe Reese’s is that feeling when you walk into class and see that Mrs. Cormier is your substitute. That’s it.



Unfortunately, I have to admit that I never knew these were actually real until 3 years ago. My cousin threw a Harry Potter themed birthday party when I was about 6 and my aunt bought a huge packet of these and emptied them into a big clear glass container. She told us she’d made a special request from Hogsmeade for their magical lemon drops. I’m guessing my older cousins knew she was joking, but they didn’t think to tell me. I’ve spent the past 7 years of my life believing she somehow got these lemon drops from a store in Hogsmeade. I’d say I’d outgrown the Hogsmeade explanation by age 10, but I still thought she ordered them from a fancy candy-making factory far far away. They were just so good. Instead of watching the movie like all my other cousins, I sat on the carpet wrapped in my blankets like a burrito, jamming my tiny hand into the glass container as fast as I could. By the end of the night, I remember the inside of my gums were nearly blistered from the taste and I could barely mumble “good-bye” as I trudged to my car. But the whole ride home I couldn’t help but think just how lucky those wizards were.

Mississippi → 3 Musketeers

Missouri / Connecticut → Milky Way

Virginia → Snickers

I put all these together cause they’re literally all the same. 

I hate nuts. All nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia, I could go on forever. So when one of my long ago friends told me 3 Musketeers had giant nuts in them, I refused to eat them. I realize now she probably told me this so that I‘d trade them all away to her for free. Or she just had horribly bad luck with her local candy distributor. But when I told my sisters this two years ago, they started hyperventilating and couldn’t believe I hadn’t had one before. After decades of convincing me there were no nuts, I bit into the airy and soft inside and I was absolutely delighted. That was, until I asked what was in it.

“Oh! It’s milk chocolate covered nougat.”


“Milk ch-”

“No, I got that part. Did you say a gnat? Like the bug?”

“No, nougat.”

“What the heck is that?”

“I don’t know”

“How do you not know!?”

“Why would I care?”

“You’re really gonna put something called nOuGaT into your mouth and not know what it is!?”

Anyways, I really do wish I lived in Mississippi because regardless of its contents, I would consider moving there just for the candy. Getting the candy on 1 out of 365 days would outweigh having to constantly process how to spell the name of the darn state.

To be honest, when it came to Milky Ways and Snickers I had to Google what they even were. I know they’re chocolate candy bars, but nothing ever really seems to stand out. It’s just chocolate and caramel and it’s the most basic candy with the most extra names. Whenever I hear of Snickers, I immediately get angry. Not about the candy, but the name. I get horrible flashbacks to middle and lower school when kids would snicker (haha, get it? yeah…) about me behind my back. Just the name of it is enough to make me trade it away for a Reese’s. I mean that’s not saying much, but still.


Blow Pops

If you don’t agree that these lollipops are better than every other lollipop on planet Earth, you’re wrong. Firstly, the wrappers just immediately draw you in with their bubbly and bright wrappers. That’s really all you need for me to try a candy. But this candy is like Tootsie-Pops 2.0. They’re big and tasty enough without the Tootsie Pop’s disappointing center. 


Swedish Fish

I am always completely baffled when people actually buy these. The fact that parents (who were once kids themselves, keep in mind) look at these wretched molds made of sand and moldy jello and think, “yes. Those are the ones.” I only discovered just how terrifying these things are when I was talking with a toddler at a camp about Halloween candy. Somehow these horrific things came up, and the kid had never heard of them. He asked me, “What are Swedish Fish?” I literally couldn’t answer the question. What were they?, I asked myself. No one even knew. And no, I’m not one of those kids from BrainPop that insists you need to know how to pronounce all the ingredients on a wrapper before you put it in your mouth, but I believe in somewhat knowing what I’m willingly stuffing down my oesophagus. Hot dogs and sausages are a different story, but for some reason it kinda shocked me I didn’t even have the faintest idea what was in these. I got up out of my chair in a daze and walked out of the camp playroom leaving the kid sitting there, gazing at the abandoned seat.

South Carolina


This candy really isn’t that bad, but the name just ruins it every time I go to bite into one. If the name was anything other than Butterfinger, I wouldn’t even notice the taste. But whenever I bite into one, I suddenly become a candy taste tester specialist. “Oh, I always forget these are too buttery for me.” “Gosh, I wish they’d ease up on the butter”. You could put an entire stick of butter in my mac and cheese and I wouldn’t even notice. But the moment I read the name, I suddenly know what plain butter tastes like. I doubt they even put butter in them. But does that stop me from complaining? Abso-freakin-lutely not.

West Virginia/Pennsylvania

Hershey’s Mini-Bars

These candies are the BOSS. When you look in the bowl of candy and see these, it’s like when you’re playing in a game and you look over on the sidelines to see Ms. LeBlanc cheering you on. Even though they’re mini-bars, who cares? Just eat 6 of ‘em! The only downside to these is the variety that you have to choose from. There isn’t a single dang candy in that pack that isn’t amazing (though the special dark chocolate is the ultimate, don’t @ me). Of course, I always end up eating them all the first night, but it’s the order that’s important. These mini-bars are the ultimate package of sweetness; it’s like if you put Ms. Silverman, Ms. Sigismondi, Ms. Belanger, and Mrs. Sheldon together.

Alaska/Rhode Island


Gotta be honest, I completely forgot Alaska was a state for a solid 2 years until this article. But I’ve got to hand it to them, they really hit the snowball out of the igloo with this one. Twix is so delicious and it’s one of those candies you can trust everyone will like. Unfortunately, the company also knows this and they’ve been making the candy bars smaller and smaller every year. When I was four and would get Twix bars, they’d be so big. You could hear the hollow drop into your bucket. Your hands tightened on the bag as it got heavier. Your arm got sorer. But now when you get Twix and toss it into your bucket, it’s like throwing in an extra handful of air. It’s so small and really quite depressing. But no matter how minuscule and unfulfilling they are, I’ll keep on buying them; the company always wins in the end anyway.

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