Halloween candies evoke strong feelings among tasters

See what tasters said about some new and some classic Halloween candies.


PEMBROKE PARK, Fla.Halloween candy evokes fierce allegiance. People want their favorites year after year.Mess with those favorites, and you have controversy.

New varieties — heck, even old favorites — you either love them or you hate them.

Take candy corn for example.

Some hate the sugary sweet candy, whether it comes in the traditional corn form or shaped into a tiny pumpkin.

But others can't get enough, so much so that other types of foods try to mimic the candy-corn flavor, including M & M's and Oreo cookies.When it comes to candy corn, 52 percent of people say it's just not Halloween without it, while the remaining 48 percent of people say they'd just as soon skip it, according to the National Confectioners' Association.

And like many classic candies, candy corn has taken on new forms and flavors, such as the s'mores-flavored candy corn we found this year.

So, what's a sure bet when it comes to doling out candy?

Not surprisingly, it's chocolate.

About 72 percent say that chocolate is their favorite Halloween treat. Chocolate scored top points among all age groups, but was most popular among those ages 45 to 60 who preferred it over other candies by 78 percent.

One thing's for sure, there should be plenty of candy to go around. About 75 percent of households plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, NCA surveys show.

But kids need to put their favorite candy in a safe spot — about 78 percent of parents confess that they take from their child's Halloween haul.

We asked our staff to try some of the newer candies, as well as some classics.

At times the debate was heated, especially when it came to those retro Mary Jane peanut butter taffy candies that come wrapped in either black or orange waxed paper. Perhaps it was the nostalgia that these old school candies evoke.

One thing we learned for sure, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups taste good in any shape or form.

Here's what our tasters had to say:

White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms

— "If you want to be puzzled, don't look at the wrapper and try this. You'll know it tastes like something, but it's hard to figure out exactly what that something is."

— "Not good. Love candy corn, love M&Ms. These tasted like neither."

— "Not so much on the candy corn taste. Certainly delivers on the white chocolate. Only thing better might be a White Chocolate Peanut Candy Corn M&M. Boom!"

— "At first, I thought these were too sweet. But they kind of grew on me. I would like to eat these mixed with spicy pumpkin seeds, which is how I like to eat actual candy corn."

— "Wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be."

— "The candy corn M&Ms are fairly awful. They somehow manage to taste neither like M&Ms nor candy corn, but sort of like white chocolate-covered Skittles. Blech."

— "So sweet they made my eyes water. Maybe I was crying out of happiness."

— "It's not candy corn, and it's barely an M&M, really just in shape and candy coating. But calling it ‘candy corn' is an insult to candy corn."

Caramel Apple Twizzlers

— "The stuffing has a very strange texture and doesn't taste much like caramel. The outside, however, has great green apple flavor. Should be stuffed with actual caramel, like the candy apple suckers that science has proven are THE BEST SUCKERS EVER CONCEIVED BY MAN (besides Tootsie Pops)."

— "Delightful, would be super excited to get these in my Halloween loot."

— "Good but sometimes gritty in the goo."

Hershey's Cookies & Cream candy bar

— "I have decided that the Hershey's Cookies & Cream is the candy bar for people stymied by the complex process of eating Oreos."

— "Too sweet for me, but I think most kids would like this."

— "Good, pretty straightforward white chocolate with chocolate cookies."

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

— "Not a fan. I would rather have actual s'mores."

— "Very heavy on the chocolate flavor. Immediately went into diabetic shock after eating a handful of these. Didn't think it was possible, but these came across as sweeter than regular candy corn."

— "5 out of 10. Doesn't taste like chocolate, doesn't taste like candy corn either."

— "Smells like it wants to be a Tootsie Roll, tastes like a failed attempt at one."

Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses

— "Best advice: Don't look at this before you try one. It seems unnatural for a Hershey's kiss to be a pale shade of orange. Do I really want to eat that? But the flavor is very much pumpkin. If you shut your eyes and someone popped a pumpkin spice kiss in your mouth, you would swear you were eating the innards of a pumpkin pie. Now I want some crust."

— "Like eating a scented candle. Not good."

— "The pumpkin spice Hershey's kiss was pleasant — spicier than I expected, which is a good thing. I wouldn't want to eat more than a couple, but that's probably also a good thing."

— "Has a great pumpkin spice flavor with more spice than pumpkin, which I enjoy. Strange texture, softer than regular kisses and melts faster."

Banana Tootsie Roll Pop

— "This was the one I was most apprehensive about, but it turns out to be one of my favorites. Fake banana flavor — fakenana — is far from a real banana, and after several licks to get to the center, mixed well with the Tootsie Roll. That said, it's no cherry Tootsie Pop. Or orange. Or raspberry. Or even chocolate. But I didn't spit it out, either."

— "Ehhhh, not their best flavor, not their worst. Tootsie Pops, in general however, are awesome."

Brach's Candy Corn Nougats

— "I'm not sure what these are … maybe taffy? They'll probably still be around at New Year's because of that. It's a shame, because they're pretty good."

— "6 out of 10. Saltwater taffyish. Could be 2 out of 10 if old and hard."

Orange or White Kit-Kat(with white chocolate coating)

— "Tastes like a regular Kit Kat, but just in different colors. The "Halloween" Kit Kat has a slight orange-ish flavor."

— "Not bad, but I think the milk chocolate is better."

— "The orange on the outside was awful but still yummy on the inside."

— "The white chocolate-dyed-orange Kit Kat was not great — the mix of the coating and the cookie crunch reminded me of stale marshmallow cereal."

Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins

— "You know what's wrong with this? Nothing. Fill my basket with this. I'm good."

— "This would make the happy parts of my brain light up on a brain scan."

— "Thank goodness for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups shaped like pumpkins. The classic flavor is there, just more of it. LOVE."

— "It's good, of course. The pumpkin shape creates a higher peanut butter ratio than typical. I miss the thicker layer of chocolate found at the bottom of the mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but the festiveness of the pumpkin is worth it."

— "10 out of 10. Must use imagination to see the pumpkin shape or what all Reese's looks like after it semi-melts and then reforms."Necco Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses Taffy

— "The best tasting of all of them."

— "Why do you hate us?"