We played "treat or trade" with all of the new Halloween candy we could get our hands on, from M&M’s Creepy Cocoa Crisp to pumpkin pie-flavored candy corn.

By Bridget Hallinan
October 23, 2019

Every Halloween, loads of new products hit the candy aisle, so we felt it was our duty to try as many as we could to find the best of the best new treats. The lineup included pumpkin pie-flavored Kit Kats, Reese’s Pumpkins stuffed with Pieces, and Zombie Skittles, which are essentially candy roulette in a wrapper. It was basically like we were trick-or-treating at work, except we tried everything at once and ended up with a wicked sugar rush. (Some things never change, even as you grow up.)

Sarah Crowder

The rule for our taste testers was simple: treat or trade? As we tried each candy, we had to note the flavor and texture, as well as whether we would keep and eat said candy (treat) or opt to swap it for another piece (trade) like you might do with kids at school the day after Halloween. (The final verdict was based on majority opinion, and it should be noted that most results were unanimous.) As the taste test went on, we found that we weren’t fans of pumpkin pie-flavored candy, but loved the peanut butter options. Zombie Skittles, too, were a surprising dark horse despite the potential for rotten flavors (more on that in a minute). 

Read on for the finalists that we'll be handing out to costumed kids or adding to our Halloween party candy bowls.

Reese’s Stuffed with Pieces Pumpkins—Treat

The Hershey Co.

The beloved Reese’s chocolate-and-peanut butter pumpkins got an upgrade in 2019 with the addition of Reese’s Pieces. We loved the texture that they added to the candy, creating the perfect balance of salty, sweet, soft, and crunch. 

“These are my absolute favorite—incredible texture, way more peanut butter goodness,” an editor wrote. “I want these year-round.”

Creamy Snickers Nut Butters Squares—Treat

Mars Inc.

After Snickers announced the three new “Creamy Snickers” flavors last October—Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, and Maple Almond Butter—they’re here for Halloween 2019, and they got overall positive reviews from our editors. The Maple Almond Butter Squares got particularly good feedback, said to have a “very fall” flavor profile with a creamy and indulgent texture. 

“Maple is very maple-y and a seasonal delight,” an editor said. “Absolutely my new favorite!”

Zombie Skittles—Treat

Mars Inc.

For any Harry Potter fans out there, these are essentially Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans in Skittles form. There are five flavors: Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Boogeyman Blackberry, Chilling Black Cherry, and Blood Red Berry. But beware—some flavors are tasty, while others quite literally taste rotten, and you won’t know until you take a bite. (One editor compared a rotten Skittle to dirt and spoiled milk.) Nasty tasting notes aside, however, we concluded that the good Skittles were delicious.

“The non-zombie flavors are so good that it’s worth it for the few Spooky Skittles,” one editor said.

Kit Kat Pumpkin Pie Miniatures—Trade

The Hershey Co.

These fun-sized Kit Kats, new for this fall, are filled with pumpkin pie-flavored creme and swathed in a layer of soft orange chocolate. We found them to be very sweet with strong cinnamon flavors.

“Not as much of a pumpkin flavor,” one editor said. “It reminds me of the scent of a holiday candle.”

Trolli Sour Brite Candy Corn—Treat/Trade (Tie)

Ferrara

Think of this as Trolli Sour Brite gummy worms, but in candy corn form. Each bag includes three flavor combinations: lemon/cherry, orange/lime, and grape/strawberry. Editors were pretty split down the middle, but those in favor dubbed it “better than normal candy corn” and praised the sour flavor.

“If there’s any way to get candy corn haters on board, this is it,” one editor wrote. 

M&M’s Creepy Cocoa Crisp—Treat 

Mars Inc.

Comprised of a “Cocoa Crisp center” with an exterior dark chocolate layer, these new M&M’s were an all-around winner. Editors loved how chocolate-forward the candies were and enjoyed the crispy texture—one compared them to Cocoa Pebbles breakfast cereal (in a good way).

“These are great. So light and crispy,” and editor wrote. “I could snack on these all day.”

Brach’s Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn—Trade

Ferrara

Brach’s also came out with a Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn flavor, which had very strong, Pumpkin Spice Latte-reminiscent tasting notes. It was very sweet—not as sweet as typical candy corn, some editors found—but still pretty powerful.

“Very strong, cloying,” an editor wrote. “Maybe big PSL fans will like this.” 

Brach’s Donut Shoppe Candy Corn—Trade

Ferrara

This doughnut-flavored candy corn actually tasted more akin to icing, and was definitely one of the sweetest candies out of the bunch. 

“Tastes like pure sugar,” an editor said.

Brach’s Mini Candy Corn & Chocolate Peanuts—Treat

Ferrara

Out of all three Brach’s candy corn options, this was by far our favorite. Editors praised the salty-sweet flavor juxtaposition, as well as the textural combination of the softer candy corn with the crunchy nuts.

“While you could mix up something like this, it’s nice to have it in one bag,” one editor wrote.

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