With Halloween comes a lot of debate! Who has the better costume? Who hosted the best party? Who has the better neighborhood to trick-or-treat in? But most important to all of these debates is the question of what candy bar is best? Long debated by siblings and friends alike of all generations and eras, this question has torn apart friendships, ruined marriages and even caused a number of cavities! So to set the record straight, I am here to serve as Brandeis’ great arbiter of justice when it comes to what candy takes top ranks. Because I do not want to reveal my favorite candy too fast, I am going to write this list in a reverse order, starting with the worst and slowly working up. If you have any issues with my list the answer is simple—you are wrong! So let the ranking begin:
It would be impossible to start anywhere else but when I think of “D tier” items I immediately think of failed candies and chocolate. The food to be forgotten, the ghosts of Halloween past which will never come back and the hybrids from hell! So let’s start out bold and I think on a foot we can all agree on: 100 Grand bars. Rubbish! All of them! This chocolate-based candy has a layer of rice on the outside but easily one of the stickiest and grossest amounts of caramel on the inside. Now, I do not mind some caramel in my chocolate, it can be a fun diversion from usual candy, but if the chocolate bar sticks to my teeth more than it melts in my mouth, then we have issues. Every 100 Grand bar I have ever eaten has always made me worried that one of my teeth will be pulled out simply from trying to chew too hard. The coefficient of static friction with 100 Grand bar caramel is higher than any glue or “flex tape” I have ever seen. Instead of ingesting this stud we should use it to make things like ships and Lower Usdan’s ceiling waterproof. 100 Grand bar—D tier.
For this tier we are entering the realm of misfit candy. It is certainly not a piece that anyone desires at first, but when all the candy is gone and this one is left you still decide to eat it. That’s right, I am talking about the Milky Way bar. It is a reliable candy at the least and a sweet treat at best. The layer of chocolate covering a soft nugget inside is classic. It is sweet but it doesn’t stick to your mouth. It goes down easy and gives you a little sugar. Now, it does not offer any sort of kick or real fun side to it which is a major downfall of the candy. It will never be a piece to get excited about nor is it one you’ll ever actively crave. But when the pickings get slim and the Halloween candy haul slowly dries up these guys are always there to let you down easy.
Now this tier is a little different and will start a slightly different trend from the rest. Here we have two candies holding down the fort of the “B tier” and that is because the tier is for those candies which are consistent, reliable and most importantly good. These candies you will never say no to but you may never utter an excited “yes!” when you hear them. These are just old reliables and I do not think it gets any more reliable than a classic Hershey’s bar and M&M’s. Name a more iconic duo, I’ll wait. That’s right, there are none! This duo has been through everything and the Hershey’s company and Mars company have been bitter rivals driving each other to be more creative since day one. These candies embody the idea of pureness and yes I will explain myself. The Hershey’s bar is the gold standard for what a chocolate bar ought to be. Smooth, consistent and all-around versatile in the kitchen. Likewise, the M&M is the gold standard for finger candy. Grab a handful, does the color matter for flavor? No! It is all the same but it revolutionized how we eat chocolate. These two candies are owed everything when it comes to perfecting candy science. From the perfect chocolate formula for mass consumption in Hershey’s corner and the perfect candy shell in M&M’s these two giants are the great grandfathers on which better candies came from. There is no dispute—these two take the B tier with grace. They own this zone!
To be an “A tier” candy you have to be a go-to. You have to be calling my name when I stumble into the C-Store late on Friday and Saturday nights with some midnight munchies. This candy makes you happy when it’s there and sad when it is not. But even in its absence you still admire how respectable the candy is and the grip it has on our modern American society. Again with a two-part A tier, we’ve got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Sour Patch Kids Watermelon. I mean, c’mon! Are you even going to argue with me on this? Do you even need me to explain why? These candies are amazing and dare I say that they are nearly perfect! The Watermelon Sour Patch is something I will fully do ungodly things to obtain. The sugar on the outside perfectly compliments the sour kick but then it reels you back in with that sweet aftertaste. I mean how wonderful?? And then of course there is perfection in a chocolate cup. How can you argue with the combination of salty and sweet in one cup? Reese’s got it so right that other companies began making cheap imitations to sell even a cheap copy. That is a true sign of making it right there. For those reasons you cannot argue with the near perfection Sour Patch Kids Watermelon and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups bring to the table (or should I say Halloween bag!).
Now this is truly my own opinion. So this category I will rank as the candy that has always had a grasp on me since I was a young one walking around my neighborhood in a Buzz Lightyear costume (See our Hoot Recommends article for a photo of me in it). So I cannot explain why this candy is S tier other than it is my favorite candy. CRUNCH bars. My mouth waters just thinking about the goodness contained within that blue wrapper. It has Hershey’s smoothness in the chocolate. It has the crunch factor coming in from the rice in the bar. The perfect combination of sweetness and a little bit of salt from the rice which pops in every bite. The CRUNCH bar got it all right on my tongue and I am unafraid to express this opinion. This candy is also helped by the fact that it is not one that you eat all the time. Rarely are you face to face with a crunch bar which makes it all the more exciting. It is a rare occurrence when you are presented with one, and man does it deliver when it’s there. It is, to my palate, the perfect candy.
Now I can feel some of you hating me for not mentioning a few icons of the candy world. Namely: Kit Kats and Twix. Of course I would not go any further without mentioning them. The reason these candies did not make it into a tier is because while they rate highly in my list I am unsure if they fit perfectly into a tier as I have designed them. Most likely these bars fall into an intermediate zone between B tier and A tier or if I am feeling generous, between A tier and S tier. Especially the Kit Kat, which perfected the wafer crunch in a chocolate bar and did not need the marketing scheme Twix did with “left and right Twix” to increase sales. But overall, solid pieces of candy right there.