Halloween is for everyone. Kids who want to trick-or-treat. Adults who want an excuse to wear costumes outside of Comic-Con. But especially for the candy lovers.
While children trade cuteness for the primary currency of their adolescent world, the childless among us must wait an extra 12 hours to profit. There’s no sweeter day in this world than Nov. 1, where the racks and racks of sugary sweetness at grocery stores across the world become a distressed asset. All Saint’s Day is America’s gift to the gluttons, the beginning of a one week period where, if you play your cards right, you can purchase your body weight in Milky Ways for $15.
But which candy truly reigns supreme? That’s too big a question for just one person.
About two weeks ago, a handful of SB Nation staffers threw down the gauntlet on breakfast cereals. A raging debate between honey vs. fruit vs. chocolate eventually exploded into a three-round draft where the world saw James Brady reign supreme with a lineup of Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Reese’s Puffs.
Brady, oat-loving coward that he is, decided to retire with his mantle intact. In his place, eight other SB Nation writers stepped into the void to create their three-candy roster. Now it’s time to dive back into that sugar mine for Halloween season. Here’s how it turned out.
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — Whitney Medworth
It’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Do I really have to explain it?
David (Fooch) Fucillo: How am I supposed to shit talk peanut butter cups? Who would NOT have this atop their big board?
Tom Ziller: Easiest No. 1 overall pick since Zion Williamson. Disks over novelty shapes.
2. Skittles — Matt Ellentuck
Best fruity candy. It’s obvious.
Fooch: Y’all will trash me for candy corn, but as Eric Stephen put it, taste the lame-bow. Skittles are a perfectly fine candy, but who the hell takes it No. 2 overall? I feel like this will turn into the Ryan Leaf of No. 2 picks. If you had to go with “fruit” candy, Mike & Ikes would have been my preferred choice, but even Starburst feels like a better choice.
James Dator: Skittles are so overrated it’s scary. They’re way too sweet and literally dissolve into sugar crystals.
Ziller: Jabari Parker went No. 2 over Joel Embiid and Skittles went No. 2 over Snickers. Wow.
3. Snickers — Caroline Darney
Look, I didn’t think Reese’s would fall to three, so I’m happy going with Snickers. Snickers is one of the few candy bars that doesn’t loose that...je ne sais quoi...when it’s fun sized, but it’s a grand slam if you get a full sized one of these bad boys in whatever plastic pumpkin/pillow case you’re carrying through the neighborhood. This is a classic, and sure, I’ll build a team around it.
Christian D’Andrea: Regular Snickers aren’t even the best candy in their own brand extension. Crispers. Almond. Peanut butter. ALL SUPERIOR
Ziller: Both a delicious candy and a workout for your jaw muscles. Win-win.
4. 100 Grand — Tom Ziller
100 Grand is a classic candy that is best served in fun size (hence why full-sized bars are split in half). A lot of different textures happening here. A lot of complexity.
D’Andrea: Ziller, in either an act of hubris or just not being on Slack for draft day, missed his picks in the first two rounds and played catchup later. His first pick was a brick of mud dipped in rice. Nestle Crunch and Milky Way were both still available. This was a terrible idea.
5. Kit Kat — Christian D’Andrea
The chocolate is pretty great, especially if you can get your hands on the European version. The wafers don’t taste like anything, they’re just there for wonderful texture and to provide something to break apart with your teeth if you’re a nervous weirdo like me. Bonus points if you can break the candy down to its basic components like a Hershey Park diagram before eating it.
Eric Stephen: Gimme a break!
D’Andrea: God dammit, Eric.
6. Candy corn — David Fucillo
I get dumped on for picking Candy Corn in the first round and you’d think I was the Jets drafting a fullback. Most of y’all will argue I reached in a big way, but it only takes one other person to ruin my Halloween. I don’t eat candy corn outside of October 1 to October 31, but for that one month, it is truly a delight. The only opinion that matters is that of my taste buds, and they demand candy corn every October.
Darney: This pick has big “took a kicker in the first round” energy.
Ellentuck: Candy corn is good and I’m here to stan it actually.
James Dator: Yeah, I thought Fooch was tanking the draft like @boring_as_heck used to ruin NFL mock drafts. I still think he might have. I refuse to believe that in the pantheon of candy any reasonable adult with their faculties would look at a list of confection delights and say “why yes, I would like this honey-flavored wax please.” While the overall abuse of candy corn has gone a little far and is the cool thing to do (like trashing pineapple on pizza) this is still an absolutely garbage pick that would have been a UDFA. This is a worthless, awful, horrible pick that absolutely nobody should applaud Fooch for. I still love you dude, and I’m not mad. I’m not even disappointed. I’m just bewildered.
Ziller: What are we doing here? Is Fooch taking edible vampire fangs in the second round? Is he actually going to pick something like raisins?
7. Twix — Eric Stephen
I was worried that with such a low pick that I would have to draft a lesser treat in the first round, but instead I was fortunate enough to have a Mount Rushmore candy fall into my lap. Twix provides a perfect crunch with the inner biscuit, coated with the best combination of caramel and chocolate in the candy universe. It usually gets dark earlier around Halloween, but houses that give out Twix are beacons of hope.
Darney: I’ll say it. Caramel Twix are trash. TEAM PB TWIX FOR LIFE.
Ziller: Good value pick.
8. Reese’s Pieces — James Dator
Thanks to someone picking Candy Corn in the first round, I got a sleeper here. I’m not going to say something ludicrous like “Reece’s Pieces are better than Reece’s Cups,” but the drop off really isn’t that far. This is a No. 1 pick adjacent candy I’m thrilled to get with the 8th pick.
Fooch: I don’t hate Reese’s Pieces, but the peanut butter aspect of them is missing something. They’re the M&M version of the cups, but frankly it just doesn’t go together as well. M&M type candies are best as plain chocolate (down with peanut M&Ms!), and going PB with them, I just am not a fan.
1. Starburst — James Dator
I was a little shook at this pick, to be honest. I was sure I was going to be able to go Twix-Reece’s Pieces with my back-to-back selections and walk away knowing I owned these noobs. Good pick by Eric, so I had to pivot.
Starburst was my top fruit candy on the board and paired nicely with my Pieces pickup. Every flavor of Starburst is good. They are the perfect size and have a good tail end for medium-length enjoyability.
D’Andrea: All the flavor of Fruit Stripe gum, only with an added 3 percent chance of pulling out a filling with each lemon piece you bite into.
Ziller: Half the flavors low-key suck. So in the fun-size two-candy edition, you have a decent chance of coming up empty. Decent overall candy, bad Halloween candy.
2. Peanut M&Ms — Eric Stephen
A tried and true classic, M&Ms in the fun-sized bag is the perfect amount. I chose the peanut variety over regular because I love the combo of peanuts and chocolate, and each M is a perfect bite. Though who are we kidding, I’m not putting just one of these in my mouth at a time.
Fooch: Outside of peanut butter, peanuts are just bad. Why ruin a good little piece of chocolate with them? Frankly, any candy with a peanut in it has just been ruined.
Ziller: Fooch’s comment here explains a lot about his draft.
D’Andrea: I think we all came away from this pick more worried about Fooch’s wellbeing than Eric’s actual selection.
3. Nestle Crunch — David Fucillo
I pondered a Hershey’s special dark bar here, but that ricey chocolate mix of the Crunch bar has been a favorite of mine all the way back to a childhood. A Hershey bar is great on its own, but the “crunch” of a Crunch bar is unmatched amongst chocolate bars. Outside of candy corn and Reese’s peanut butter cups, this was #3 on my big board.
Dator: I’m supposed to shit talk you, but I’m subverting our structure just to tell you that I’m proud you made a good choice here.
4. Crispy M&Ms— Christian D’Andrea
By far the superior breed of M&M. I don’t know why they don’t sell these in five gallon drums.
Ziller: M&Ms aren’t great, but at least they are versatile (add them to cookies, popcorn, ice cream sundae). You can’t really do that with Crispy M&Ms.
5. Hershey’s Special Dark — Tom Ziller
This was a panic pick after missing the live draft, but to justify it: these always go first in that variety bag with Hershey’s, Mr. Goodbar, and Krackel, right? There’s a reason: dark chocolate is delicious. Even Hershey’s dark chocolate.
D’Andrea: Were baking morsels unavailable? There’s a certain brand of old man strength here, picking a chocolate bar that also sounds like a six dollar bottle of rum.
6. Tootsie Roll Pops — Caroline Darney
There’s going to be some sass on this pick, but 1. don’t tell me you don’t still search to see if you got a wrapper with the star on it and 2. any song related to these slaps. Don’t @ me.
D’Andrea: The taste of going to the doctor to get shots as a child, wrapped around the 20-year-old sweets eternally stuck to the bottom of your grandmother’s candy jar. Truly a winning combination.
Dator: Take a trash candy and put a stick in it so it’s even less enjoyable. Sounds like a winning combo.
Ziller: I haven’t eaten one of these in 25 years and I can still taste the cotton swab that stays stuck to the Tootsie Roll in the middle. Bleh.
7. Mike & Ike — Matt Ellentuck
Second-best fruity candy. It’s obvious.
D’Andrea: The perfect “my stepdad let me buy candy at the Dollar Tree” selection.
Ziller: Hot Tamales without any flavor. What’s not to like?
8. Butterfinger— Whitney Medworth
I can’t believe Butterfingers were still available at this point in the draft. There is nothing better than a fun size butterfinger in your trick or treat bag. Crispety, Crunchety, peanut-buttery chocolate bar perfection.
Stephen: Butterfinger has a rich history as one of Earth’s greatest candy bars, but since the flavor change last year it tastes like rancid cockroaches.
Ziller: I got so mad I left Butterfinger on the table. First-round talent. This is why sports teams “prepare” and “do research” and “make big boards.”
D’Andrea: Butterfinger is great. Especially the way it adheres to every crevice in your teeth so you keep tasting it for hours afterward.
1. Wild Berry Skittles— Whitney Medworth
First off, my prior two picks were Reese’s Cups and Butterfinger so this pick is to round out my team and add that extra kick of flavor necessary. The combo is too strong: Berry punch, Strawberry, Melon berry, Wild cherry, and Raspberry. No weak links. No green. No yellow. Just good.
D’Andrea: Congratulations on selecting the fifth-best version of Skittles. Each one is a tiny trip to Smoothie King, only without the smug satisfaction of babysitting a 40oz jug of “vitamins” the rest of the day.
2. Cookies and Cream Hershey’s — Matt Ellentuck
Regular chocolate is basic as hell, but the cookies and cream version is not basic as hell. It’s actually the perfect complement to fruity candies like umm... Skittles. Or Mike & Ikes.
Ziller: “Want a cookie? Too bad, here’s a piece of chocolate with fake cookie inside it.”
3. Nerds — Caroline Darney
Nerds are the perfect Halloween candy because it’s not one that you’d really ever buy for yourself. October 31 is like the only night you accumulate these little crunchy nubs of sugar, and eating them straight out of the tiny little box is truly one of life’s delights.
Ziller: Pop Rocks without fizz. Why not just drink corn syrup straight from the bottle?
4. Whoppers — Tom Ziller
Obviously, based on my draft, I like chocolate and chewy candy. Whoppers hits both marks! Also, my daughters hate them so this is free money for me on Halloween. I’ll be rich in Whoppers on Friday and I can’t wait.
D’Andrea: I can’t say anything bad about a candy they package in old milk cartons. Whoppers are ...fine. Better than 80 percent of the selections available? Nope.
5. Sour Patch Kids — Christian D’Andrea
Because some days my tongue can just go to hell. Midnight Milky Way and Baby Ruth were strongly under consideration here, but a strict sugary diet of only chocolate would be a wasted opportunity. Throw about 20 of these little guys into a cup, microwave it for about 10 seconds, and then to go work on the softened mess moments later. And then ignore the filmy coating of corn syrup that lasts on your teeth for days afterward.
Ziller: Make a meal of it with Cap’n Crunch and just completely destroy your mouth for a week. Sadist candy.
6. Sun Maid raisins — David Fucillo
Halloween may be about indulging, but why not have a sugary treat that offers excellent fiber?! I was that kid who loved a box of raisins and am perfectly comfortable with it. There was no way any of these heathens was taking raisins, and since we did not have a UDFA option, it made sense to ride it to the last round of the draft. It gives me a well-rounded Halloween bag of waxy, chocolate, and fruity — the perfect Halloween for me!
D’Andrea: I swear to god this pick was emailed to me in all caps from DAVIDFUCILLO_1@compuserve.net. Which one of your grandchildren showed you how to use the internet, Fooch?
Dator: I take it back. I hate you so much, Fooch.
Ziller: Unbelievable. So like Werther’s Originals and peppermint candies were a little too adventurous for you? Love to eat a box full of the worst part of basic trail mix.
7. Krackel — Eric Stephen
Halloween is Krackel’s time to shine, since it’s just about the only time you can find the crispy deliciousness in regular stores. Don’t listen to the heathens: Krackel is wonderful, a Nestle Crunch with even more crunch. Krackel is the highlight of those Hershey variety packs.
D’Andrea: Exactly like Nestle Crunch, only worse! I’ve never seen this bar in non-mini form.
Ziller: Almost always the last chocolate candy remaining in any modern Halloween basket. It’s the mid-November desperation chocolate when all the good stuff is gone.
8. Baby Ruth — James Dator
I will get down on some Baby Ruth. You know what a Baby Ruth is? A Snickers for an adult. Instead of some pressed peanut sweepings you get whole-ass peanuts and its makeup is essentially identical. If someone says “I like Snickers, but I hate Baby Ruth” they’re either pedantic, a liar or a sleeper agent.
Also its wrapper is silver and I like shiny things because I am actually a bird.
Darney: It’s no surprise the candy bar that is used as a euphemism for a turd went last in the draft. Good pick, James.
Ziller: Good pick, though inferior to its close, more exotic cousin Almond Joy, which I can’t believe I didn’t pick in retrospect.
The final results?
2019 SB Nation Candy Draft
|Drafter||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|Drafter||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|Whitney Medworth||Reese's Peanut Butter Cups||Butterfinger||Wild Berry Skittles|
|Matt Ellentuck||Skittles||Mike & Ike||Cookies and Cream Hershey's|
|Caroline Darney||Snickers||Tootsie Roll Pops||Nerds|
|Tom Ziller||100 Grand*||Hershey's Special Dark*||Whoppers|
|Christian D'Andrea||Kit Kat||Crispy M&Ms||Sour Patch Kids|
|David Fucillo||Candy Corn, for some reason||Nestle Crunch||Sun-Maid Raisins jesus christ|
|Eric Stephen||Twix||Peanut M&Ms||Krackel|
|James Dator||Reese's Pieces||Starburst||Baby Ruth|
So who had the best draft? Vote below so we can mercilessly mock the loser, who will almost certainly be Fooch.
Who won our inaugural candy draft?
This poll is closed
Whitney Medworth: Reese’s PB Cups, Butterfinger, Wild Berry Skittles
Matt Ellentuck: Skittles, Mike & Ike, Cookies & Cream Hershey’s
Caroline Darney: Snickers, Tootsie Pops, Nerds
Tom Ziller: 100 Grand, Hersey’s Special Dark, Whoppers
Christian D’Andrea: Kit Kat, Crispy M&Ms, Sour Patch Kids
David Fucillo: Old man shit
Eric Stephen: Twix, Peanut M&Ms, Krackel
James Dator: Reese’s Pieces, Starburst, Baby Ruth