The Candy Hierarchy

LATEST: The Candy Hierarchy has been updated for 2012.

candyhierarchy2008.jpg With Halloween approaching, I thought it would be amusing to write a bit about candy, or more specifically, a system that aims to rank it. In this case, the rubric would be according to "emotional zeal" or something more jargony sounding like "joy induction." Anyway, this hierarchy is the work of a friend and colleague, Ben Cohen. Ben is an environmental historian over at the University of Virginia, but in a previous life, he and I use to write on a blog together. This partnership happened because of our backgrounds publishing science humour (see Ben's clip list here), so in some respects, this "Candy Hierarchy" is just another creative juncture. However, since I'm loving how you can get immediate feedback from the Boing Boing community, I'm also thinking that we could use this opportunity to throw a little kickass "peer review" into the ranking. Kickass because: (1) I know some people are going to be deeply offended by the rankings; (2) the rankings were last updated in 2008, and are therefore long overdue for some revision; and (3) well, isn't peer review just kickass anyway? Oh yeah - the graphic is new (just made it today): hopefully if you play in the comments, some of us can use it one day as a slide for an interesting discussion on the scientific method - yes? Anyway, read on...
Discussion: The research team is seeking further "peer review" as we prepare to submit grant proposals to the NIH, NSF, CDC, FDA, and MTV. The recession clearly put a dent in hierarchy-producing momentum (see previous versions 2006 | 2007 | 2008), this being another indication of the relationship between scientific productivity and economic pressures, as well as the relationship between eating large volumes of candy and participants "getting all bloated and lethargic." We place a high value on the peer review process, as past attempts had produced noteworthy relevations, including establishment of reference samples, hereafter termed index candies, as well as the discovery of the importance of caramel in defining the upper tiers. In particular, we hope that some of the new potential advances in the hierarchy will be due to evaluating context setting. For example, rarely in practice do eaters eat just one piece of candy. Evidence indicates that, in general, eaters throw multiple pieces of Halloween candy down their gullets. (When so much is being eaten, research shows the Pelican-gullet-eating-fish imagery is apt.) It thus matters which are eaten earlier and which later. Some tests, for example, indicate that "you can only consume so many premier grade chocolate based candies before you need the zip or zing of a Spree or a Smarty to 'cleanse the pallet'." We also realize that results are predominantly based on North American palates, but hope that the forthcoming discussion will begin to shed light on global preferences. Enough preamble, then. To wit, the Candy Hierarchy (circa 2008):
(caramel, chewy, oh my classy)
Caramellos --- Milky Way --- Snickers --- Rolos2 --- Twix POST-TERTIARY (not surprisingly, exclusively chocolate-based) Hershey's Kissables --- Peanut M&M's --- Regular M&Ms --- Junior Mints --- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups --- Three Musketeers --- regular old Hershey Bars -- Reggie Jackson Bar SECOND TIER (also exclusively chocolate, after fending off a few intruders) Kit-Kat --- Nestle Crunch --- Mounds --- Tootsie Rolls --- Whoppers3 --- Dark Chocolate Hershey Bars --- Fair Trade Chocolate --- Butterfinger --- Pay Day --- Baby Ruth THIRD TIER (the chewy range or, in some circles, the Upper Chewy or Upper Devonian) Milk Duds --- Benzedrine -- Jolly Ranchers (if a good flavor) --- 100 Grand Bar Almond Joy --- Candy Corn?4 --- Starburst BOTTOM TIER (the Lower Chewy and Gummy-Based, also the Middle Crunchy Tart Layer) Dots --- Lollipops --- Nerds --- Runts --- Trail Mix ---Swedish Fish --- Mary Janes --- Gummy Bears straight up --- White Bread --- Licorice -- Anything from Brach's5 --- Hard Candy --- Spree --- Bubble Gum --- Including the Chiclets (but not the erasers) --- Black Jacks --- LemonHeads --- LaffyTaffy --- Good N' Plenty --- Jolly Ranchers (if a bad flavor)6 --- Bottle Caps --- Smarties --- "those odd marshmallow circus peanut things" -- gum from baseball cards Tier so low it does not register on our equipment7 Healthy Fruit --- Pencils --- Lapel Pins --- Extra Strength Tylenol --- "anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers" --- Now'n'Laters --- Hugs (actual physical hugs) --- Whole Wheat anything - - -
1. Note that may candies still await placement: York Peppermint Patties, Luna Bars, Reese's Pieces, residue from old paint cans, and Skittles, among others. 2. These may be rolled to a friend. 3. Whoppers blow. 4. Still no unanimous decision on the placement of Candy Corn, which as of 2006 remained unclassified, but as of 2007 had been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian. 2008: no sighting. 5. Unless it's something caramel, pronounced "caramel." 6. Remains an outlier, since it is in no way "chewy." Further studies have not resolved this inconsistency. 7. Yet some would be just as well to be left off. Bit-o-Honey, for example, might be called a lower tier member, but why bother? It says to your trick-or-treaters, "Here, I don't care, just take this." The lesson of Bit-o-Honey is: you lose. Goo Goo clusters, too. You're making a social statement--"I hate you and everything you represent"--when you give these out.


  1. Almond Joys are a quadrillion times better than anything in your “top tier”. I mean at least its actual shredded coconut and an almond, they have not found a synthetic replacement for that yet!

    I would be happy with just a big old bucket of that stuff.

    I don’t go for any of the whole wheat or gluten free crap but Almond Joys are just on a whole ‘nother level than ROLOS ffs.

    1. Way too bad: I am allergic to Vanilla, and if you read candy wrappers really carefully, you will discover that it’s there in cholcolate even though it doesn’t need to be.

      Current favourite chocolate — not suitable for children — Cote D’Or Noir 86%.

    2. If you are allergic to chocolate, you should try to HIDE the fact, because god obviously hates you.

  2. Whoppers should be higher up on the list. They do not blow. As a point of fact, they rule. Their texture is made even more awesome by freezing them.

    I presume that Candy Corn only escapes the Bottom Tier due to their redeployment potential as fake vampire fangs… or as fang-covers for real vampires.

    1. Another vote for the awesomeness of Whoppers. Now that I can’t get Horlick’s Malted Milk tablets, these are the next best thing.

      1. Mark,

        Check out the Vermont Country Store for Horlicks Malties. (

        These are my air-travel treat of choice, and I’ve been ordering them online for awhile.

  3. Junior Mints and Kit-Kat need to be swapped post haste. I’d also agree that Almond Joy needs better placement. However, back up off my Rolos.

  4. Is this talking about American Smarties, which are little tubes of chalk, or the candy-coated chocolate kind?

    1. This is about Trick-or-Treating on Halloween, so I’d assume American chalk-like smarties. Also, because it made the bottom tier.

  5. Are you nuts? Tootsie rolls have got to be the very bottom of the barrel in terms of Halloween candy! How many a post-Halloween season did I spend picking those bland excuses for “chocolate” candies out of my haul? And to add insult to injury, I would always notice those differences in wrapper design, indicating that some had spent many a year in some elderly person’s cupboard before being doled out on that particular Halloween. Some, so fossilized that they couldn’t possibly be masticated by Human teeth.

    Take your infernal TOOTSIE rolls, and banish them to whatever infernal place the tormented spirits which haunt Halloween night are destined for.

    1. I concur, Tootsie Rolls are equal to dung in my candy bag. There may have been a time in years past when they were made with actual chocolate but the substance they are rendered from now is… indescribably bad.

      And while this may be North American biased, I see zero statements about Coffee Crisp, the pinnacle of Canadian cuisine. That brilliant, crispy chocolate confection is a top tier by the highest standards. Available in very limited areas here in the states.

  6. The “anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers” are peanut butter caramels, almost always seen only around Halloween. They may not be your cup of tea, but if you really believe that they’re outranked by circus peanuts, there is something deeply, intrinsically and catastrophically wrong with you.

    1. Circus peanuts are awesome. I may be one of only five people in the world who thinks so, but I stand by my opinion. :p

      I think its the texture that makes them so great.

      1. I am one of those that loved circus peanuts!…unfortunately, I almost wound up in a coma after eating a bag of them (chased down with Pepsi) that had my blood sugar reading at 542…
        I’m diabetic…

    2. I agree with Halloween Jack–I love those peanut butter things. They were my favorite Halloween candy when I was a kid.

    3. The “brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers” are called Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses. They are made by Necco, (makers of the infamously nasty Necco Wafers) and they are a molasses taffy with a little blurp of peanut butter in the center.

      I’m probably one of the few people in the world who will say this, but they rank as #1 in my Halloween Candy Tier. :)

  7. Sir.

    I am deeply offended by your placement of Smarties in the bottom tier.

    Clearly, they belong in the top tier.

    Yr Obt Svt

    1. Yes, but do you chew on them? I believe this may put them in a similar place; surely they would taste superior to the vast wasteland of pencil scum*, but most people will refuse to taste them due to their rarity/totemic power.

      *Note that I don’t give a rip about pencils.

      1. I’m just thinking the wide eraser would provide a better gnawing experience.

        On the subject of candy proper, some more thoughts:

        -Gum belongs above jawbreakers. Those things are a waste of goddamn time.
        -POP ROCKS. High tier.
        -Licorice belongs in a higher tier, but black licorice belongs in the pit of Mount Doom.
        -Hershey bars should be demoted and their place given to Nestle Crisp.

  8. Oh man, I love those “brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers”. They both taste great and are one of the rare candies that aren’t available year round, in this sad age of year-round peeps and other such nonsense.

  9. This entire structure is biased in favor of chocolate. Clearly the work of anti-gellites.

    Red whips, Mike n’ Ike, Swedish Fish, Jelly Belly’s and Gummi Bears (ESPECIALLY gummi anything of the sour variety), belong in the top tier.

    As do sour cherry balls.

    Regular old Hershey bars belong somewhere between the pencils and the bit o’ honey. Ugh.

    Prove me wrong.

    1. Oh, got I love those sour cherry balls. Only the ones from amusement parks and candy stores, though. For some reason, the ones you find in grocery stores are way too sweet and remenicent of cough syrup. Blech.

      And I’m with someToast on the Hershey’s Special Dark. It is DEFINITELY top tier. Nom.

      If I’m going for a caramel something or other, give me a See’s Scotchmallow over all others. Normally I hate marshmallow but with caramel and chocolate? Heaven.

      Where are Hi-chew on this list? I realize that they’ve only recently appeared in the US so maybe that’s why but they’ve got the best bang for your chewy-fruit-candy buck. (The Japanese imports are still better, but I’ll take what I can find) They definitely rank above Starburst.

      Do Chewy Spree rank in the Third Tier or the fourth?

    2. Hear Hear! I have nothing *against* chocolate, but it is hardly my favorite sweet; I much prefer various forms of hard/chewy candy. I have to wonder if people in general really love chocolate so much, or if it is the fact that it tends to be the most expensive type of candy is part of the appeal.

    1. +1.

      Even I, a lowly Michigander, know the joy that is Coffee Crisp. My husband and I stock up on them whenever we’re in Ontario.

  10. I read it twice, but still I did not find the dreaded tamarind spoon. Surely there must be a further tier? Deeper? Blacker? In a space without name and a dimension beyond time?

  11. :slaps David with delicate leather glove:

    Bit O’Honeys are a delectable treat! How dare you you malign their good name! I challenge you, sir! Pistols at dawn!

    (Plus, I really like those circus peanuts too even though they’re probably made out of sugar covered orange styrofoam)

  12. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate is SECOND-tier? Bit-o-Honey (which can only be found at Halloween, when they can be found at all) is expressly called out for ridicule?

    I can’t believe anything anymore.

  13. Nerds are most definitely third tier, if not second and for the record, Jolly Ranchers blow so hard, they aren’t EVEN on the list.

    Having said that, benzos should be ranked a lot higher.

  14. Also, I would suggest that salt licorice enter the rankings as its own separate entry from regular licorice, since its a very different animal.

    Its not exactly what you might give out on Halloween (at least not in the U.S.), but its still very awesome.

  15. Okay, let’s be honest here: Does anyone, ANYONE actually like candy corn? I mean, really? I’m not asking if you’d eat it if it was the only candy available (though I’m not even sure I’d do that). But would you actually go out and buy a bunch of it for yourself? Honestly?

    I’d much rather get pencils than candy corn on Halloween. At least pencils are useful. And they taste better.

    1. I like it if it’s not from Brach’s or the like.

      Most of my experience growing up was with candy corn that came the chocolate/candy places in the mall. Hell it might be the same thing, but I always remember it being fresher and having more flavor (not just the sugary goodness.)

    2. I’ll raise my hand for candy corn. I pick up a couple bags every year to keep on my desk. I can’t each much at a time, but really like a small handful.

      1. I like candy corn too, alabeit in tiny amounts. I like the texture and that initial ridiculous burst of sweetness.

    3. Yes. I like candy corn, and yes, I do buy a bag for myself at Halloween. Candy Corn is what Halloween tastes like, just like Christmas tastes like eggnog. That doesn’t mean that I necessarily have a craving for either candy corn or eggnog out of season, though.

    4. Yes, actually, I do go out and specifically buy it. I even had my mom mail it to me one year when I was living overseas.

  16. I refute your hierarchy and replace it with my own (top to bottom):

    Haribo gummi (twin cherries first, then bears, etc. but nothing with cream — frogs, peaches, et al. — bleccchh). American gummi sucks ass.

    REFRIGERATED mint/raspberry/cherry/orange/dark chocolate. Truffles rock, as do chocolate-wrapped cremes and cherries. Three Musketeers. Alcohol candy is dandy.

    Fruit candy that sticks to your teeth. Dots, orange slices, Jujifruits (fruit flavors only), Tangy Taffy, Now-N-Laters, Jolly Ranchers, Mike & Ikes, Jolly Joes, maybe Hot Tamales, Good N Fruity.

    Odd creations. Circus Peanuts, Candy Corn, chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate-covered peanuts or peanut-butter (it took a long time to acquire this taste).

    Odd cravings (only once in a great while), salted peanut bars like Payday, fruit-flavored sour balls like cherry, etc., Bit O Honey, Lance Foods kind of stuff.

    ABSOLUTELY NO coconut, pecans, almonds, toffee, coffee, non-chocolate nougat, or caramel (unless on apples). No Cow or Sugar Daddy products.

    My mom loves Cherry Mash, which I think is an instrument of the Devil.

  17. I do love me some Rolos…

    And butterfinger, especially the Crisp kind…(have no idea if those come in bite size or not.)

    I do like Tootsie Roll, but only if new and fresh. That crap on Halloween has been around to long.

    I thought just about anything that came in a large size bar was a pretty decent score (except Almond Joy or Mounds, cause I hate coconut…those got traded.)

    I’ll also throw out Junior Mints and Goo Goo Clusters.

    1. Throwing out a Goo Goo Cluster????? That is sacriledge! Marshmallow fluff, caramel, and peanuts enrobed in milk chocolate! It’s a party for the mouth!

  18. Let’s be clear on the Smarties: we’re talking about some kind of American sour-candy thing, right? Because in Canada, Smarties are basically mostly like M&Ms (the shape is slightly different, the colour palette is different (more pastels and fewer earth tones), and aficionadoes can detect a slight difference in taste).

    For me, caramel is not a recommendation. I don’t mind it, but it’s not going to push anything up the list for me. And if something is too hard to chew, then forget it; I wouldn’t cross the room to eat Rolos.

    Do they still *have* the Reggie Jackson bar? Really?

    I never got the Twix love. I don’t see what the big deal is.

    Are Mr. Big chocolate bars exclusively Canadian? Now that’s a great chocolate bar right there.

    On Hallowe’en, instead of giving out candy, I give out comic books. Are they fun enough to not be relegated to the TSLIDNROOE?

  19. Top Old School Tier: Cherry Mash, Mary Jane, Bubs-A-Daddy, Chick-O-Stix, Abba-Zabba, Horehound crystals, Pop Rocks

  20. REGULAR tootsie rolls deserve much higher on the list. love ’em. FLAVORED tootsie rolls, on the other hand, should be dead last next to circus peanuts. vile, vile, vile.

    smarties, jolly ranchers, swedish fish, and mary janes are getting a bum rap on this list. i call shenanigans! (this was probably secretly funded by Big Chocolate.)

  21. As the owner of a British palate, I’d agree that Hershey’s ranks below pencils. Actual candy does not cause the first-time eater to Google “X tastes like vomit”.

    It turns out Hershey’s probably contains rancid milk or added butyric acid to give it that much sought-after stomach acid taste. I’m not kidding.

  22. How dare you put a Kit Kat at the lower tier, it’s just wrong!

    This list is only true if you look at it from a snobs point of view. It has nothing to do with originality or creativity. That’s why Pop rocks isn’t at the top. This list looks more like it was written by someone who wants to appear in the know about candy but really has no clue.

    The key to knowing that is to look at the packaging of the products. If you look from top tier to bottom tier you will notice that the packaging gets less and less elegant and more fun. Candy snobs often judge by package and not as much by the candy. It makes them appear to know what they’re talking about.

  23. I call fail. The top tier, and of course all subsequent tiers, should really be moved down at least one notch, probably two. The list is only accounting for the most ordinary, almost true cocoa-free candies of the major commercial producers and altogether leaves out the really good chocolate candies of the much better true-cocoa chocolate candies now available at most supermarkets, and the truly amazing creations available at such places as Le Chocolat Belge, Godiva, etc.

    Le Chocolat Belge:


    Caramel chewy? How totally blase.

    1. But do you give Godiva chocolates out for Halloween treats? And if you do, please tell me where you live so I can visit tis Halloween. I’m not arguing against your choices so much as reimposing the constraints as originally implied (I.e. Ranking candy received while trick-or-treating).

  24. What’s the 100 Grand doing down with the riff-raff? It’s chocolate and caramel for Jeebus’ sake! Put it back up top where it belongs. And while I’m at it, Pluto is too a planet!

  25. Nerds need a lot more love. They are unique in texture and flavor enough to be more than just a rehash of a pre-existing one. Nerds are the most recent contender to (minor) classic status.

    Whoppers are definitely unfairly maligned here. They most certainly do NOT blow.

    Same is true regarding Now & Laters (banana flavored = awesome).

    And…where the hell are Sweettarts???????

  26. Wow, y’all really like your HFCS and rodent hair. Where’s the Lindt and the Lindor and the Droste?

    1. Lindt? Lindor? Troste? What the hell kind of neighborhood did your live-in chauffeur take you trick-or-treating in?

      In that case, the top tier belongs to my favorite Halloween treat: a black truffle from a tree mulched with rhinoceros horn shavings and old-growth redwood pulp, fried lightly in whale oil and shaved on top of pasta hand-crafted by Italian artisans in a vacuum chamber to reduce bubbles and ensure a uniform creaminess, served with a dollop of bunyip caviar.

  27. Speaking on behalf of all Canadian, this list is a travesty.

    You should know that M&M’s are actually rejected Smarties that Nestlé dumps on the US market. The M stands for Messed Up. You probably don’t even eat the red ones last…philistines.

    Also, please note that Nestlé is written with an acute accent. Hershey was originally written Hérshey, but international panels made them give the accent to Nestlé in recognition of their chocolatey superiority.

    In Canada, Three Muskateers is not actually classified as food, but rather packing material.

    There is an extra level above top tier that, for national security purposes, we are not even allowed to discuss with you Americans. Suffice to say it involves Coffee Crisp and Mint Aero bars, and it’s fucking awesome.

    That is all for now. You’ve made me so ANGRY!

    1. And even better than that are the chocolate bars you used to be able to get from Laura Secord. They’ve diluted the recipe since then, but that was some good stuff.

  28. “Anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers”: I’m glad to finally know the name for these!

  29. Also missing: Those hollow black licorice ropes filled with apricot creme.

    This list is just a travesty.

  30. There should be a tier added for marzipan and marshmallow peeps, because nothing better or worse wants to be grouped with them. I suggest calling it the Ordovician, because that’s when most of them were made.

  31. @#7: God bless you for pointing this out. I think the ancient, fossilized Tootsie roll was a universal candy curse.

    @#24: As Lewis Black pointed out no one actually eats candy corn, they just recycle it. Candy corn seems to be made out of wax and corn syrup.

    @#26: I’ll take your Almond Joys and Mounds bars. I love coconut. I guess you either love it or hate it.

    Gummys belong in the top tier but (and like a rap video this is a very big but) the quality of the manufacture is everything. Low price gummies are trash, you must buy Habaro Bears and real Swedish Fish.

    Kit-Kats are tier 1. So are Mounds and Almond Joys for “coconuts” like me.

    100 Grand bars are tier 2. Rice and caramel, baby!

    Junior Mints and Peppermint Patties belong in tier 1 or 2. They have a light taste that makes you want to pound them down.

    Milky Ways and Three Musketeers don’t belong in tier 1. The fillings make you quickly tire of them and they seem to leave you feeling slightly sick.

    Skittles, Smarties, Good and Fruity, and Starbursts are 2-3 tier. Great when you have a craving for them but you can quickly tire of them. Starbusts are also prone to Tootsie Roll fossilization.

    Any taffy or taffy like candy belongs in a seperate dangerous candy catergory. Bit-O-Honey, Mary Janes, Turkish Taffy, etc all conspire to not only rot your teeth by sticking to them but they also try to pull your crowns and fillings out.

    Odd candies that need to be added, Valomilk (great if they are fresh and haven’t been smushed) and Icecubes (super smooth texture).

    Pixie Sticks are bottom tier also. Sugar, flavor, color, and citric acid powder do not a candy make.

    Add to the lowest tier those nasty button candies that always came off with a piece of paper still attached. Ribbon candy also belongs in candy hell. Even the Simpsons dumped on ribbon candy. Necco wafers and Conversation Hearts are also nasty (I like their Sky Bars though).

  32. Everything on that list needs to be bumped down a notch, leaving ‘top tier’ occupied solely by Heath Bars.

  33. Whoppers taste like chocolate covered tomb dust! I’d rather eat pencils!

    Rockets, the official. Instamnt sugar rush of haloween deserve a place in the second tier.

    Eat more, the alchemical combination of chocolate taffy and peanut must rank at least second.

    And it makes this Canadian sad to see nibs, every ones favourite wax, not even merit mention.

    Clearly. This research field is young, and full of promising open questions that could make a candiologists career.

    1. Nibs.

      I date the decline of modern civilization as starting from the very day that they introduced “cherry” nibs.

      The black licorice flavoured ones, though, used to be so good!

  34. “Black licorice ropes filled with apricot creme” Wasn’t that Karl Popper’s favourite?

    Anyway, the discourse over Candy Corn has always been pretty heated. It’s kind of the “string theory of candy” – largely theoretical and difficult to pin down.

  35. My own personal taste for chocolate doesn’t/won’t include Hershey’s, nor anything made by them (with the exception of their acquired Fair Trade line, Dagoba) as long as they continue to refuse to participate in Fair Trade chocolate.
    I refuse to buy into anything that could have been made with forced, trafficked, or child labor.
    Just sayin’.

    1. Speaking of Fair Trade, how did that end up as a class in the second tier? Unless you’re six years old or younger (and thus still giving priority based primarily on maximizing sweetness), how does your average fair trade chocolate not kick the ass of almost anything else on this list? Generally, fair trade chocolate is pretty gourmet.

      To have it classified with the tootsie pops is pretty harsh.

    2. Which is admirable if odd because chocolate tastes so much better when mixed with the tears of abused children.

  36. Jolly Ranchers make third tier, but Now and Laters make the bottom of the garbage barrel? WTF? Switch it around and get it right. I wanna see Pop Rocks on there too. Candy Cigarettes? Gobstoppers? Top rank needs more dark chocolate representation.

  37. The Fair Trade Chocolate that I have tasted is some of the best I have experienced and belongs in the Top Tier

  38. Benzedrine, of course. And TimDrew is a god for mentioning Coffee Crisp. But the best candy is still See’s NutsnChews. Only reason to ever be at an airport.

  39. You put dark chocolate Hershey’s below regular Hershey’s;
    therefore, by definition, any other rankings on the list are invalid.

  40. Some of these products are hard to rank, because they’re a class of products, rather than a specific item. I’ve had some mediocre lollipops in my time, but for halloween we hand out the Yummy Earth brand lollipops, which are pretty kick ass IMO.

  41. I haven’t been in North America for Halloween in four years, and now I have a sudden craving for those brown blobs in orange and black wrappers. Thanks a lot.

    Agree with knoxblox about Haribo…best gummis around.

    What about Wunderbar?

    Candy Hell should include Cadburys’ southern hemisphere marshmallow creations; Pinky and (Mighty)Perky Nana.

  42. The top tier belongs completely and exclusively to full-size Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups. Or the Reese’s Big Cups. Thicker chocolate.

    You know it. I know it. We all know it. We’ll all be happier if we just accept this and move on.

    And to whoever boycotts Hershey’s, if you really do, it means you’re boycotting Scharffen Berger, which is simply the finest chocolate ever in the whole history of chocolate. Really. It kicks the shit out of Lindt, Valrhona, Dagoba, or Green & Blacks.

  43. The unfairly harsh ranking of Now ‘n Laters exposes not only the clear bias of the authors against non-chocolate candy, but also what I presume is a symptom of the common misunderstanding of how the vastly underrated Now ‘n Laters candy is meant to be eaten.

    The trick to realizing how brilliant and delicious Now ‘n Laters are is a two step process. The first step is to carefully read the name of the candy. “Now ‘n Later.” What does it mean, you ask? Well, it implies that the candy will be different “now” (when you put it in your mouth) and at some point “later” in time. A small leap of logic takes us to the second step: be patient. You need to suck on it for a while until it softens. If you skip this step, the Now ‘n Later will be an inedible, rock-like colorful brick quite worthy of the low end of the hierarchy. But if you are patient in your candy-eating process, oh the rewards you will reap! The Now ‘n Later softens and becomes a chewy and delicious fruit candy that deserves its place in the high end of the spectrum of fruity candy, near Haribo Gold Bears, Happy Colas, red and yellow Starburst, gummy things with that sour sugar on them, and possibly Chewy Sweettarts.

    I strongly advise you to adjust the hierarchy accordingly.

    1. Reminds me of my youth spent at the municipal swimming pool, when my buddies and I would spend our allowance on candy from the vending machine, almost always Now ‘N Laters.
      The people who ran the pool had a slot on the face of the machine marked “who knows?”, and it would kick out random types of candy, which made it really fun. Getting watermelon flavored Now ‘N Laters was like finding the Holy Grail.

  44. York Peppermint Patties always belong in the top tier for their decent-quality filling and being dark chocolate before dark chocolate was fashionable.

    There’s also the element of what’s forbidden– I wasn’t supposed to eat super sticky things like Milk Duds when I had braces and a palate stretcher from ages 7-13 but I did anyways and probably craved them BECAUSE I couldn’t have them. I even remember trading some basic Hershey bars (generally foul!) for milk duds with my school friends so my mom wouldn’t know.

    Quality gummies and liquorice are less common in trick or treat bags, but when they do come, they deserve to be much, much higher.

  45. Zagnuts are definitely top tier, however they get increasingly difficult to find. Smoothies, peanut butter cups with a faux buttersctoch coating, are definitely top tier in this household where one unfortunate person has a chocolate allergy. Mallo Cups, on the other hand are almost as disgusting as circus peanuts. And Necco wafers are the preferred communion-playing candy for Catholic children everywhere; save your white ones for extra authenticity.

    Cherry Mash candy bars are the food of the Gods. I order mine directly from the factory in St. Joseph’s, Missouri. Around the holidays they gift wrap them for free.

  46. I kinds liked cool cheap little toys like realistic spider rings, glow in the dark plastic cockroaches and the like… maybe around second or third tier?

  47. Our local newspaper is running it’s own Candy Smackdown, this is week two but you are welcome to vote! They are going from 64 candies to one, voting between two similar candies until they have a champion.

    Also, it may not be the BEST (and I admit that) but I prefer Cadbury chocolate over Hershey any day – even though they are made by the same company here in the US. I can’t wait until Christmas/Easter to get Cadbury Mini Eggs! The chocolate is smooth and the shell doesn’t develop those annoying bumps if you suck on them (like Hershey Eggs.) Cadbury Creme Eggs FTW!

    As for coconut candy, like Almond Joy and Mounds, I preferred Bounty bars – the coconut was softer, smoother and more flavorful. And FLICKS!!! The chocolate drops in the foil-covered cardboard tubes are being made again after their molds were damaged in the California quake in the early 90’s. Find those at your local specialty candy store!

    Circus peanuts and candy corn are WONDERFUL but given my tastes in other candy you might dismiss my opinion. That’s okay – more for me!

    1. Candy cigarettes aren’t illegal in Canada — you just can’t label them “candy cigarettes.” Everyone still calls them that anyhow.

      +1 for putting Kit Kats higher up.

      Chocolate Smarties definitely need to be added to the list as a separate category from… whatever those other Smarties are (are those the coloured pastel chalk candies?). Chocolate Smarties should be Tier 2 because a) they are yummy and b) you can sort out the colours before you eat them, which is fun.

    2. Anon #87: “I think candy cigarettes are illegal in Canada.”

      They are indeed: too many kids were getting hooked.

  48. #85: Definately agree on Cadbury and Bounty bars. In fact lots of folks say UK Cadbury is better than US.

    Cadbury cream eggs are great but one is the limit, too much sugar beyond that.

    Can’t agree on the Circus Peanuts and Candy Corn. Eeeeww

  49. Okay, apparently some people really do like candy corn. But, frankly, I can’t see why. To me they taste like sweetened wax with food dye in it — and you can actually taste the food dye! Blech!

  50. I actually spent a hot minute composing this:

    Top Tier (highly coveted and loved)
    (Any) Full sized Candy Bar
    Dark Chocolate Kit Kat
    Kit Kat
    100 Grand Bar
    Three muskateers
    Milky way

    2nd tier
    Dark Chocolate Hershey (pretty tastey and will eat happily)
    Junior Mints
    Mallo Cup
    Almond Joy
    Gummi Bears
    Pixie Stix
    Flipz (Snack size)

    3rd tier (will eat if out of the above two groups)
    Peanut Butter Cups
    Nestle Crunch Bar
    Hershey’s Kissables
    Peanut M&Ms
    Regular M&Ms
    Pay Day

    4th tier (will eat willingly but not excitedly and only sparingly)
    Baby Ruth
    Regular Hershey Bar
    Jolly Rancher (good flavor)
    Tootsie Rolls
    Milk Duds
    Trail Mix

    6th tier (gross me out but will eat if I need a sugar rush)
    Jolly Rancher (bad flavor)
    Swedish Fish
    Candy Corn
    Bazooka Bubble Gum

    6th tier (candy I’d sooner throw away than eat)
    Hard Candy
    Sugar Daddys
    Black Jacks
    Laffy Taffy
    Good N Plenty
    Bottle Caps
    Circus Peanuts
    Gum from baseball cards
    Now N Laters
    Anything from Brach’s
    Mary Janes
    Necco wafers

    Wild Cards (stuff I got suprisingly as a kid but only one house passed these out)
    Full can of 7up
    Caramel Popcorn balls
    Caramel Apples
    Caramel Dip (personal size)

    I don’t know what this is:
    Reggie Jackson Bar

  51. Did anyone notice the Benzedrine in the third tier? What’s up with that.. and everyone knows that Butterfinger and Heath bar belong in the top tier…

  52. Okay, this chart is completely random. Except for a couple of obvious bottom-clinging dingleberries like Good & Plenty, pencils, and fruit to lend the chart the superficial respectability that it so obviously lacks, I feel compelled to join the choir of voices denouncing this arrant Hersheycentric trollery.

    Point the first: candy corn and circus peanuts are above reproach. Some companies, it is true, do not actually know how to make these fine traditional American confections, but when you find the right brand in a reasonably fresh bag (not an easy task in this benighted age), then you’ll be smiling the same gaptoothed grin I’ve been wearing since I first fell in love with these two autumnal staples in 1974. That said, the bad ones are pretty bad. I buy a sack of each every few months just to monitor the state of the art, and with a heavy heart I report that the latest iterations of both tasted strongly of a very un-Halloweeny volatile organic compound like they’d been manufactured in an old DuPont paint cannery. Still, the good stuff is out there. I must remind the commenters of those solid-orange candy pumpkins (occasionally with a dyed-green stem) and solid-black candy cats that are made of the best candy-corn foundation compound… those are good, right? I love ’em.

    And those Anonymous Brown Globs in the Black and Orange Wrappers… never has the truly budget-priced candy been so tasty. These were the toast of the trailer park, and jealously hoarded as deep into December as one’s molars would allow.

    My sister had the profound misfortune to be allergic to chocolate until her mid-twenties, so when we were kids we’d trade after trick-or-treating. The poor girl ended up with all the Bit-o-Honeys and Chick-o-Stix and Dum-Dums while I scored all the “Good Stuff.” But dammit, that also meant that she had the inalienable first right of refusal on all the Lik-m-Aid Fun Dips, for which I never forgave her. She also tried to hoard all the Abba Zabas, but I’d stash a few in my back pocket (which you needed to do in order to warm them to an appropriate level of gooey softness, rather than the filling-extracting stiffness that is their default room-temperature condition), so she never did get them all.

    More to the point: Junior Mints and Chewy Sprees belong near the top of the list. Now & Laters aren’t nearly as awful as Mounds or Almond Joy. Jujyfruits and black lickrish are suitable for consumption only by my old man, who grew up in a house with no plumbing or electricity and thus can be forgiven for not knowing any better that black lickrish is just roofing pitch with the carcinogens nerfed. (And you can spell it “licorice” if you must, Beauregard, but doing so only denies its Depression-era depressingness.) Ditto for Necco wafers: candy for candy-less peoples. Bit-o-Honey = crack spackle. Tootsie Rolls? If it’s younger than six months, I won’t turn one down. Never did taste particularly chocolatey, but they sure beat Brussels sprouts.

    Of course nobody will eat ribbon candy, but you never see it at Halloween anyway. The Widow McGillicuddy down the block is too feeble to pry them out of the green candy dish on the doilied end table, so thank goodness for that.

    My two favorites of all time are probably Strawberry Starbursts and Wild Cherry Lifesavers. When they wised up and started selling packages of Strawberry Starbursts without the inferior Cherry and Lemon (not to mention the genuinely disappointing Orange ones), I knew I’d found a candy company worth supporting. And the time I found an entire Lifesavers Book of the exclusively Wild Cherry variety poking out of my stocking… well, my faith in the existence of Santa Claus was extended a year or two by that event. Ahhhhh…

    1. I wish there was a way to star favorite comments, because this is truly a wonderfully epic candy commentary! :)

  53. Every year I buy some candy corn. I eat each piece one color at a time (always starting with the white tip). It is a tradition and darnit, it doesn’t matter if after I feel like crap. I like it that way!

    Also, I like necco wafers, but oddly not the valentine’s day hearts they put out every year. Shape matters!

  54. The sweetest candy is the kind I buy for trick-or-treaters that for some odd reason never make it past the lobby security guard to access-controlled building nor knock on my undecorated door.

    I always buy them the best candy too! I import dutch salted licorice, wine gums, buy the shaped reese’s peanut butter cups with a higher than normal peanut butter to chocolate ratio and of course, for the coup de grâce, my favorite cinnamon gummy bears from my childhood that I get from Draeger’s and are super chewy.

  55. Dark chocolate is top tier. Yes, the trick-or-treating children enjoy the sweeter varieties of chocolate, but as an adult who will enjoy other people’s halloween leftovers, I’d much rather have dark chocolate.

    Junior mints, having a dark chocolate coating, are in the right spot. I think York peppermint patties belong in the same category as Junior Mints or one notch down.

    1. Andes mints should be included in that group as well, IMHO.

      Just give me a bowl, a couple of shots of B&B, and some mint chocolate, and I’m in heaven.

  56. The absolute topmost tier for me would be….the Cherry Flavored Kit Kat. I found a bag of single serving size bars once, ONCE, sold promotionally for Valentine’s Day. Wistfully during the first two weeks of February every year since I have searched the pink and white bedecked halls of the local Consumo-Churches, always to leave disappointed.

    I understand they are readily available in Japan, however, and you occasionally see other interesting flavors of Kit Kat appear (mint, coffee, etc). But alas, no Cherry flavor.

    1. Dang. . .cherry KitKat. . .that’s a good one. Yes: the Japanese do have us beat in KitKat tech: my buddy lives in Tokyo brought me a Matcha (green tea) KitKat. . .sooooooo delectable.

  57. I think this is germane, even if off by about half a year and trading a Pagan holiday for a Christian one: Peeps. The yellow baby chicken-type Easter Peeps.

    Only good stale.

    Crystal crack coated faux-mellow chewy center. Way stale: way good.

    A fresh Peep is an unworthy Peep.

  58. I’m glad that people recognise that this is a needlessly US-centric list – Hershey’s chocolate doesn’t belong anywhere near the top of a confectionery hierarchy – it’s gritty and fatty and bland and absolutely an acquired taste. (Of course, if the purpose of the hierarchy is purely to demonstrate the terrible choices people make when handing out sweets in an American town on hallowe’en…) Lindt and a variety of other ‘premium’ brands (often Swiss, usually European) are infinitely superior. Personally I would vote for Lindt orange intense right near the top of the list: very dark, bitter-sweet, delectably smooth, and so tasty that you can eat just one square and be satisfied.

    I’m also putting in a vote for Maltesers over whoppers (essentially the same concept, just a hundred times better), for the inclusion of smarties (the Commonwealth type: candy coated multi-coloured chocolate buttons) with M&Ms, as well as licorice allsorts and bullets. Musk sticks, musk buds, and musk-flavoured lifesavers fulfil a whole new flavour category – they’re kind of rose-water-flavoured hard or squishy candy. And while we’re there, let’s throw Turkish Delight (both ‘real’ and Fry’s chocolate-coated) into the mix.

    Apple chews and those red and green apple lollypops that look like a distorted head of a tyrannosaurus rex are both great. As are clinkers (chocolate ellipses with different coloured/flavoured chalky centres: the important part is being able to guess what colour you will get before you bite into it), freckles (chocoloate discs with hundreds and thousands on them), fairy bread (if white bread is included, buttered white bread with hundreds and thousands certainly should be!), Columbines and Fantails (hard chewy caramels, with and without chocolate coatings), milkos, spearmint sticks, strawberries-and-cream, anything sour and chewy and fruit-flavoured, jaffas (red chocolate orange balls)…

    I also think you should know that in Australia, a milky way bar is more like a 3 musketeers bar (no caramel) – caramel and nougat are the province of mars bars. We are also much less obsessive about peanut-butter-flavoured EVERYTHING. Licorice should be its own category because of the different ways it is consumed in different countries. Polish licorice is INTENSE and salty. Swedish licorice comes in Herring shapes. Licorice allsorts have multi-coloured fondant striped in with the black and are thus very festive.

  59. Agree with ‘Unmutual’. Almond Joys belong at the top of the list. We’ve bought them every Halloween for years and are happy to be stuck with any leftovers.

    Agree with ‘Talia’. Salt licorice is special. Perhaps a whole ‘salt’ catagory that also includes salt water taffy.

    Pleased to see someone remembers Heath Bars. Might as well toss in Almond Roca as well – a top tier candy.

    Truffles are the royalty of candy goodness, but not a Halloween treat in my little town – there the candy of choice was always Snickers. I also had a serious thing for Big Hunks. I could make one of those last an hour by slowly dissoving them in my mouth. Yum.

    I’m not even going to get started on the skirmishes I’ve participated in, or witnessed, over boxes of peanut brittle . . .

    1. Might as well toss in Almond Roca as well – a top tier candy.

      Almond Roca?! Sorry, that really demands a couple extra interrobangs: Almond Roca?!?!?!

      That craptastically crunchy nastiness in the pinkeyesore can? I swear, my family kept recirculating the same unopened tin from great-aunt to third-favorite nephew to unseen step-cousin-in-law for a decade’s worth of holiday seasons. It was the Petersen fruitcake.

      I didn’t think anybody liked that stuff.

      1. Is the interrobang new to anyone else ‽‽‽ Are they also going to start using it everywhere ‽‽‽

        1. Dude! That is so cool! I’ve never seen one of those before. I’m gonna have to start using them, assuming I can ever figure out how to make one.

  60. What about the much-talked-about-yet-never-actually-seen candy with a razor blade in it, or the similarly mythical PCP-laced candies they told us people gave kids in the eighties? Not that these would actually taste good, but I would think their rarity and infamy would put them way up high on the list.

  61. please switch ranking for tootsie rolls with 100 grand. 100 grand has chocolate and ‘caramel’ and is delicious. tootsie rolls blow.

    1. You’re right about the 100 Grand. I’ve loved ’em since they were called the $100,000 Bar back in my kidhood.

      But you know what I miss more than anything? The Marathon bar. 8 inches of braided chocolate/caramel perfection. Went the way of all flesh 29 years ago this month.


  62. One question (and yes, it’s for Easter, not Halloween, but inquiring minds still want to know): where would a Cadbury’s Creme Egg go?

  63. I can hardly believe no one has ranked the Look bar. Chewy, peanut-laced nougat dipped in dark chocolate…hold me back! Slam one of these on a counter and you have shards of deliciousness. Top tier for sure.

  64. I don’t see Rockets on your list. They are by far the best Halloween treat. Mmm, fizzy.

    Also Tootsie Pops. Tootsie Rolls are just plain old boring fake chocolate-tasting treat, but wrap them in yummy lollipop candy coating? Yum-mers!

  65. As typical, rankings skewed towards the 18-49 demographic. Let me suggest an alternative for those in the upper bracket:

    Top Tier:

    Bottom Tier:
    Everything else

  66. Wow there could be a whole paper written to refute this but to save time I’ll just say I added some you left out and FTFY

    — Snickers — Rolos — Twix — Whoppers —Almond Joy — Twizzlers —Milk Duds —Kit-Kat

    — Peanut M&M’s — Junior Mints — Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — Three Musketeers –Hershey Bar with Almonds — Reggie Jackson Bar ( a what?) — Milky Way — Nestle Crunch — Tootsie Rolls — Baby Ruth


    — Fair Trade Chocolate (who?) — Butterfinger — Hershey’s Kissables — Regular M&Ms– Jolly Ranchers (if hot cinnamon, sour apple or watermelon) — Candy Corn?4 — Starburst — Super Bubble and Cry Baby sour Bubble Gum — Licorice (red, black goes into the trash) — Caramellos — 100 Grand Bar — Bit o Honey —Dots — Atmoic Fireballs — Fun Dip — regular old Hershey Bars — Gobstoppers

    — Benzedrine— Nerds — Runts (all flavors but banana which go in the trash)
    — Mounds — Anything from Brach’s that is chewy and gummy (plain peppermints are left to rot) — Spree — Bottle Caps — Smarties — Gummy Bears — Pay Day — Gum Fake Teeth —Swedish Fish — Candy Cigarettes (when they existed)


    — Dum Dum Lollipops (root beer flavor joins black licorice in the garbage) — Trail Mix — Mary Janes — White Bread — Hard Candy — Including the Chiclets (but not the erasers) — Black Jacks — LemonHeads — Jolly Ranchers (if a bad flavor) — “those odd marshmallow circus peanut things” — Double Bubble and Bazooka Joe and baseball card Gum — Dark Chocolate Hershey Bars — Jelly Beans (a good flavor from jelly belly could be ranked higher) — Crappy plastic toys, stickers, fake tattoos — Wax lips — those liquid filled wax soda bottles

    Anyone for whatever reason giving out Good n Plenty should have their house marked and toilet papered every day until the next Halloween to ensure they learn their lesson about giving absolutely terrible foul candy to children.

  67. You forgot money!! Here’s where it fits in

    Top Tier: Paper Money
    2nd Tier: Half Dollars, Quarters
    3rd Tier: Dimes, Nickels
    Lowest Tier: Pennies
    Tier so low it does not register on our equipment: Foreign money, Counterfeit Money, Play Money

    Even Lower than that: Money that is a combo of two in “Tier so low it does not register on our equipment”

    So Low, I will egg your house for the next 8468460256029406760906769972463469409640674 years: Foreign Counterfeit Play Money

  68. You left out “Buttered Toast” in the Tier So Low. However, the amusement value of seeing the black cloud of crows swarming the neighborhood on October 31 should really put “Buttered Toast” in a Tier of its own.

  69. I’m all for ranking the Peppermint patties up near the top; the dark chocolate/mint experience always satisfies. Candy corn, Brachs brand, is like nothing else. (Any other brand of candy corn basically sucks).

  70. Seriously, you must be Canadian. Canadians have some sort of sick love of caramel, and normal innocent candy bars we have always loved come in some hideous, caramel-filled versions north of the border. Reminds you of maple syrup, eh?

    A bas le caramel! Pure chocolates at the top, high-quality gummies second.

  71. Was the author formerly a Principal in Brooklyn?
    I was just wondering how “Post-tertiary” phonetically “Third-iary” came in between first and second place?
    And caramels are never first. Chocolates are always first.

  72. I cannot stress this enough…

    And for the love of God where is Take 5?!

  73. To clear up, since I have some knowledge on the subject, the product the original list defines as Smarties is most likely what the Commonwealth would know as Rockets. If its the smaller than a dime roll, then they belong higher. Very flavourful, and fun when you get a surprise one without enough binding agent. Any bigger, and the acids just draw from the experience.

    Also, from the same manufacturer, Love Hearts are much better than the ‘conversation hearts’ I’ve seen so many belittle. They’re in the same family as Rockets, but are a larger candy, nickle-sized at least. Those conversation hearts, just give to the toddlers to write on the driveway.

  74. Petersen, you’re killing me, I can barely type I’m laughing so hard. Wait – I need to go wipe my eyes and get some tea. Okay . . .

    I grew up one town over from the town with an Almond Roca factory, Tacoma. I’ve heard a legend that the roca from that factory was once pretty good and highly coveted, if you had the money. However, when we spoke of roca in our house, we always meant toffee. Specifically, my aunt’s recipe for almond roca toffee. It quickly became a family favorite over the holidays, although we’re all older now and so weight-conscious no one makes it anymore. I miss those days of carefree candy lust. For both reasons of taste and sentimentality, I consider it top tier. I’d put Lizzy’s roca recipe up against any truffle anywhere in a taste test.

    The family ‘fruitcake’ was fruitcake. My mother’s father liked the kind with the big chunks of candied fruit and no booze (the influence of having been married 50 years to a church-going southern Baptist). He ordered one for each of his children’s families every Christmas. We hated that fruitcake. They arrived in the mail and were immediately whisked into oblivion. I remember seeing the tins delivered by parcel post, but never saw the cake again. My mother, a daddy’s girl, will probably take the secret fate of those cakes to her grave.

  75. I am late to the party but am happy that a few have risen to defend Mary Janes. To put them on the same level as “anything Brach’s” is unforgivable. However, I am very disturbed at the high placement given to candies with caramel, or any sort of “candy bar” like Three Muskateers, Mounds, Milky Way, etc. All quite vile.

  76. This list blows chunks, seriously. Where’s the Charleston Chew? Where’s Reese’s Pieces? Where’s Mr. Goodbar? Where’s Goobers? You’ve left quite a lot of candy off this list.

  77. Perhaps they are using the geological definition of ‘tertiary’ and these candies date from any time after the period spanning 65 to 2 million years ago…

  78. Mmmm…candy. Times like this, I wish I was a kid again. I want to warp back to the 1960s and trick or treat again. No “fun-sized” bars back then. Fun for whom?

    Also on the bottom of the list – boxed raisins (yummy, but NOT on Halloween!), pennies and apples.

  79. The likely reason for the maligning of Bit-O-Honey is that most people don’t know how to properly consume them. To wit:

    1) Break off one segment of the candy. (Note that this is NOT the “bit” yet).

    2) Bend the segment back and forth as if you were trying to heat up a paperclip until it breaks.

    3) Don’t do this too long. One or two back and forth bends should do it. If you go to long, the segment will become too loose and not be ready for step 4.

    4) With the segment bent at a 30 to 45 degree angle, with a rapid movement, snap the segment in the direction opposite. This should break the segment in half. If it doesn’t, you’re not using proper form. Go to step 1 and repeat until you get it.

    5) The small piece of the segment you broke in step 4 is the actual “bit” that the “Bit-O-Honey” refers. Put the Bit in your mouth.

    6) IMPORTANT: do not chew yet. The Bit must now spend between one and three minutes within your mouth (ideally in your left cheek) while it warms and becomes pliant. Attempts to chew before it reaches its softened state can result in broken teeth, or in the Bit permanently lodging on your molars and dislodging your filling.

    7) Once pliant, you may consume. You’ll notice that now, the silkily smooth and richly buttery “Bit” is one of the most delectable pieces of confection you’ve every had the good fortune to eat. Push aside your truffles, your creme brulees, your dagoba, your tasteless Green and Black 89% cacoas, and savor a “bit” of heaven.

    I will note that most people do not attempt to eat Bit-O-Honeys according to the above rules, and therefore end up with a mouthful of inedible sugar shards. This is the reason for the reputation and bottom-tier status. Those of us who know quickly trade their two-year-old flavored tootsie roles for the coveted Bit-O-Honeys and know they’ve achieved a masterstroke on the post-Halloween candy Exchange.

    1. Thank you for taking the Bit-O-Honey maligners to task and offering your kind, carefully considered tutorial on proper consumption of it’s nougat-y goodness. Great candies that are given their ‘props’ tend to rise in status, as more people follow appropriate etiquette, and can appreciate the depth of Bit-O-Honey’s flavor.

      Dentists will not sing your praises however. Due caution cuts into their bottomline.

      There is a respectful agreement between me and my dentist. He doesn’t ask me how I popped that filling/crown. . . again. I don’t make fun of his cheesy mustache. This has worked for us for 12 years.

    2. I did not know that. I’m past the active phase of candy gathering, but this might change what I pass out — I’m leaning toward mini-Heath bars wrapped in these instructions for proper Bit-O-Honey consumption.

      I’m also glad to see a plug for the rare Big Hunk. Candy making is a well understood science, but the lower temperature processes (below carmelization) are often neglected because of the wide visco-elastic range of properties near body-temperatures of the results. Both B-O-H and Big Hunk are in this class of hard-to-eat-fast-but-worth-a-try-slow-with-proper-technique.

  80. Ok, this list is ridiculous.

    First off, the bottom tier consists of anything made by Ferrara pan: Boston Baked Beans, Jaw Busters, etc. That stuff is plastic or composite material masquerading as sweets. In this area we can also find the candy corn and “squirrels” (what a gross agglomeration of faux ingredients).

    Directly flushed was Charleston Chews, those squirrels, Dum-Dum lollipops and Necco Wafers.

    No mention of Heath Bars? That is at the very tip-top. And Peanut Butter Cups go there too. Hershey’s with almonds are also in that group. C’mon people! Smarties are so close to this group that they get to hang around on the weekends. Pixies Stix go into the second tier, but sooooo close. Give that treatment to Bit o’ Honey too.

    Milk Duds and Sugar Daddy’s = yum!

    I remember getting candy cigarettes when I was a kid. Probably not anymore, but a nostalgic thumbs up.

  81. I’ve wondered about the people who eat those crap circus peanuts for years. If I’d even gotten those nasty things in my trickortreating… well, toilet paper and soap would have been involved.

    Candy Corn. ROCKS. But only Brachs and only freshly harvested. Howe else do you make vampire teeth??? Swedish fish would also be top tier for me. I do miss the delish Marathon bar.. And WHERE ARE THE SUGAR BABIES?????

  82. Clearly, with this great a difference of opinion, we need to create an online market for Halloween treats. I’ll give you all my anonymous pestilent orange/black wrapped globs for all your circus peanuts, Halloween Jack.

  83. Don’t forget the rule that within any multi-flavored grouping, there will always be flavors that will be discarded by some users.

    i.e. strawberry Starburst, mint or licorice Jujyfruit, pineapple gummi or Lifesavers, banana Now N Laters, etc.

  84. Greetings from Alberta.
    Hallowed hauls in northern Alberta growing up included:
    Wunderbar (German Canadian bar? Guess you know who homesteaded N. Alberta) — CaramelSourroundedinPeanutbuttersurroundedinChocoYum
    Crispy Crunch (peanut/toffee covered in milk choc, mmm) Bar
    Coffee Crisp (choco-wafer-coffee bliss!) Bar
    Aero (mint ones pour moi — regular chocolate for the friends) Segmented Bar
    Caramilk (how they DO that?) Segmented Bar
    Glosettes (peanut only; many pals loved the raisin ones)

    The Yeti, the Orang Pendek, the very Almas of October 31st?

    The Cuban Lunch.
    Best chocolate/peanut mix EVER… sadly, last seen sometime in the early 80’s.

    My better 1/2 wants me to point out Reese’s Pieces
    Last but not least: Old Dutch BBQ Pork Rinds, Hawkins Cheezies (for the savory candy heads like me), and the elevation in ranking for the FROZEN Mirage bar… Chimo, Genre.

  85. As someone who does not enjoy chocolate I feel that Sprees, SweeTarts, Sourpatch Kids, Warheads and the other sour candies deserve a much higher spot on this list.

  86. Clearly you have not tried bit-o-honeys. Their unique buttery carmely taste so tops the likes of mamby pamby plain old chocolates!! And where’s the control candy btw? Everyone likes mints, don’t they? They’re not something you’d eat a lot of or would really say you enjoy but we all stop and get one on the way out of a restaurant.

  87. Please point out “Nestle Smarties” vs “Smarties (Ce De Candy)” the latter which we call Rockets in Canada.

    My personal opinion is that HFCS use in ROLO’s kinda make them less tasty. Where as Nestle Smarties use actual milk chocolate and sugar.

  88. Tootsie rolls are totally bottom tier because of their ubiquity. Your average candy-hander-outer just buys a big mixed bag of candy, the cheapest of those being the bag with tootsie pops, tootsie rolls and dots.

  89. Before this thread moves on, I’d like to say a few words to acknowledge the tier below ‘the tier so low it does not register on our equipment’. It does exist in each of our hearts (and stomachs)and some candies may be consigned there for all hellacious eternity. These candies were invented by adults who hate children, and were never children themselves.

    Looking now out of the corner of my eye I can see horehound, some cherry/alcohol confections like cough syrup *gag*sputter* chocolate-covered cherries *ack ack*, candies so sour your face caves in to the back of your cranium, pralines *mooooooooan*, and hatefully-made popcorn balls that include unpopped kernels(that’s just mean!). Gotta stop now or I’ll go blind.

    1. I’ll accept the potential improvement of home-made almond roca over the mass-produced chunks of nightmare in the pink can, but jewel, you go too far when you impugn the chocolate-covered cherry! A box of same has graced my stocking every Yule since the dawn of the Reagan Administration. I’ll take ’em over Cadbury Creme Eggs every time. (Another reason why it’s overwhelmingly true that Christmas>Easter.)

      Then again, I prefer the milk chocolate ones to the dark ones, so I am, admittedly, a bit of a trailer-park philistine when it comes to chocolate.

      1. Chocolate covered cherries are like a little piece of grandma marinated in Jean Naté and wrapped in a hairnet.

      2. Donald – I think I love you . . . and I’d ask for your hand in marraige, had I not a husband who once, came complete with a box of chocolate-covered cherries in his own stocking every Christmas from his mom, and I’m not weathering this hardship twice.

        Said box of cherries appeared every year until recently, when husband finally summoned the courage to talk his mom out of sending them. Meanwhile, the box, unopened and intact showed up on January 2nd, on the counter of the breakroom of whatever corporation honey was working for at the time. To my amazement, he reported that once opened, and the scent wafting about the cubicles, the noxious confections quickly disappeared. No way! Yeah . . . way.

        You’ve tried Cadbury Creme Eggs? You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

        Agree with Antinous – but can we change the perfume to ‘My Sin’?

        1. the noxious confections quickly disappeared.

          Color me unsurprised. Chocolate covered cherries are the confectioner’s equivalent to a bucket of original recipe KFC. So very easy to mock, so difficult to publicly embrace, but if ever they’re brought to a festive gathering, they all “mysteriously” vanish, with only some sticky half-hidden guilty smiles to testify that they were ever there. “What? Cherry stains… on my collar? No, no, honey, that’s… um, must be lipstick.”

          Cadbury Creme Eggs are a leap of faith. The pustulent interior is rather too reminiscent of raw egg in appearance and texture, but the whole turns out to be pretty tasty. Betcha can’t eat more than one, however; a little goes an awfully long way.

          Bummer our marriage wasn’t meant to be, jewel, but with your love of (choke) Almond Joys, and (hurk) Almond Roca, as well as (glnkglnkgaaahhh) Bits o’ Honey, I fear we’d end up facing opposite walls in stony silence each night, our backs separated by a chilly no-man’s-land atop the mattress that even our mutual loathing of horehound couldn’t hope to bridge.

          Bummer, sez I, ’cause though your Creator may have fashioned your taste buds out of leftover gallstones and your tongue from tissues originally intended for colon service, you nonetheless are a bucket of fun.

          We are Fortune’s fools… ;^)

  90. uhmmm Whoppers are AMAZING. A note about rolos- also make for a fun activity as children can roll around on the floor screaming “row rows row rows!” Much as I did as a child..

    1. I loved that commercial with the actors dressed up as Rolos jumping through hoops more than I loved the dancing Fig Newton!

  91. Completely switch the entire thing around so that hugs end up on top and Milky Way at the bottom. That would be more accurate.

    Although the only sweets I enjoy these days are dark chocolates with >75% cocoa. Supposedly it’s a decent antioxidant.

  92. I love Nerds Rope!

    Saddest thing I ever saw: Halloween snack bags of baby carrots. Anyone who hands these out deserves to suffer horrible consequences!!!

  93. mmmmmm chocolate coated Benzedrine! Havent had that since I was an egg! And I would place Zots at the top of the list because they were fun to eat.

  94. For the most part I agree, but I am one of the (seemingly) few that likes candy corn and those “anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers.” Oh man…At least you put “Now and Laters” at the bottom.

    My husband would also be most upset that your list doesn’t seem to have Toblerone on it. He has been on quite a kick lately. :P

  95. Seriously? My all time top TWO favorite candies have not made this list? How is that possible? Skor is top tier, straight away, it’s like the elite version of Heath. And Gobstoppers. They have spunk, and last long and can actually cause permanent damage if you don’t give them the respect they deserve. That’s saying something. You can put them down there with the runts if you must but by all means, you can’t leave them out.
    I also think, as far as chocolate goes, that Willy Wonka’s new designer chocolate line deserves mention.

  96. Caramellos? Seriously? HOW can that be rated above Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and 3 Musketeers? I don’t think I have ever eaten one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in a fun size…but why would I look? My Halloween candy choices are Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers and regular Hershey’s fun size. For non-chocolate trick or treaters I got Twizzler’s. I think the kid’s may come to my house for keeper candy and you house for the crap they trade or give to their parents. I’m just saying.

  97. Also in the “so low” category should be pennies (taped up in sets of ten) and those little Christian books. Those were always such a bummer, lol.

  98. How is it possible that sugar daddy has been omitted from this list. At least in the second tier, if only for the excitement that results when one considers the filling-wrenching power of these guys, especially when cold.

  99. “anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers” and “those odd marshmallow circus peanut things” I take serious offense at that they are relegated to the bottom and the non-tier tiers……. Both are a true candy confection, and I happen to have two bags of Mary Jane’s (call them what they are of course!) on the desk as I type this – and at only a 1.00 a bag – they are as well – one of the very few “cost effective versus quantity” ratios out there.

  100. Hershey’s Symphony trump regular. Anybody remember Bonker’s because they were as good if not better than Starburst. Milky Way Dark were good haven’t had them in awhile. Reese’s Peanut Butter cups should be in the Top Tier.

  101. In the UK I think we’re recognise the top tier; and we’d find these things adequate for an average treat; but I’m sure that the best of the European chocolate trumps these trifles with such ease that we’d be forced to add 2 or 3 tiers of quality above the notional ‘top-tier’ listed here.

    Most UK Cadburys fare would happily belong here

    Much of the expensive Swiss & Belgian chocolate would be here.

    Speciality & Artisan made chocolates deserve a level of their own, yes?
    Surely the Americas have something better than a simple Milky-Way too?

  102. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups should DEFINITELY be top-tier.

    And there is NO chocolate in a Pay Day bar, so it doesn’t really qualify for the 2nd Tier. I would happily swap it out with the 100 Grand or Almond Joy…both of which should be higher on the scale just by virtue of the fact that they ACTUALLY CONTAIN CHOCOLATE.

    Candy Corn has no business being anywhere other than the Bottom Tier and Circus Peanuts should be in the list that does not register on the equipment. JMHO.

  103. Anybody from Minnesota? The best candy bar is the Nut Goodie. Definitely top tier. I’m from California, but have relatives in Minnesota who turned us on to this regional delight.

  104. This made me laugh so hard. Especially American Smarties as tubes of chalk (which is so true). I grew up overseas where we could only get British Smarties which are fake (and crappy) M&Ms.

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