This post is designed to help you navigate the allergen minefield known as Halloween. Please note that these are the ingredients as of today in the United States. There are different versions of candies in different countries. This is also not a complete list. There are many wonderful specialty candy makers that have hypoallergenic and Feingold safe products. This is strictly a guide to popular American big box candies.
Please also be aware that in the U.S. gluten-free is not well defined. Most manufacturers mean that no gluten containing ingredients are used. They may also have good manufacturing processes and in the cases of certain candies they may even have dedicated facilities, but it remains an area where the buyer needs to beware. When in doubt…ask. This list is a guideline which can help you to avoid the real problem candies and help you figure out which ones the manufacturer believes to be safe. This is not foolproof. None of these candies is certified by a third party as gluten-free or nut-free. I wish I could give you a definitive listing but I cannot be any more certain than the manufacturers are.
No warranties are expressed or implied. You use this list at your own risk. You get the idea.
All of these manufacturers warn that the labels can change so always read the labels before buying.
So what do the manufacturers think is safe to eat?
The following candies are stated as gluten-free by the manufacturer and a review of their ingredients indicates that they do not contain any ingredients that indicate peanuts, tree-nuts, eggs, soy or dairy. There may be cross contamination risk for some products which are made at facilities that are not allergen free. Some are vegan, others use gelatin. Most of them contain artificial dyes, corn starches and high fructose corn syrup.
Smarties (all products are made free of the top eight allergens, and those with the UPC code beginning with 0 11206 have not been rebagged to create cross contamination. All Smarties are vegan
Skittles (vegan, gelatin-free, no allergenic ingredients)
Starburst (contains gelatin)
Mike & Ike (per the company website the modified food starch is from corn) no gelatin
Some flavors of Peeps by Just Born are hypoallergenic and some contain dairy, you have to read each package.
Gluten Free, Peanut Free, and Tree Nut Free
The following candies are gluten-free and nut-free per the Tootsie Roll Website. Many contain dairy and others have dairy and soy cross contamination risk which they generally mention. Junior mints contain eggs.
Andes Mints (contains dairy & soy)
Junior Mints (contains soy, milk and egg)
Junior Caramels (contains soy and milk)
Dots (dairy and soy not mentioned)
Crows (gluten free licorice hooray)
Sugar Daddy (contains soy and milk)
Sugar Babies (contains soy and milk with possible egg cross contamination)
Charms Blow Pops (cross contamination risk with dairy & soy)
Charms Flat Pops (cross contamination risk with dairy & soy)
Charms Mini-Pops (cross contamination risk with dairy & soy)
Razzles (nothing mentioned about dairy or soy)
Cella Chocolate Covered Cherries (contains dairy & soy)All Tootsie Roll candies including
NOTE: the Andes Cookies do contain wheat.
Per the Hershey’s website the following are also gluten-free and do not contain nuts, however Hershey does have gluten and nut containing products. With anything nut related, you may want to double check, but there are no nut ingredients listed
York Peppermint Patty
Hershey Kisses (milk chocolate and kisses filled chocolates only…others contain gluten)
The following candies are gluten-free as of March 29th on the Hershey’s website
Heath Bars (all)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (EXCEPT for the seasonal ones i.e. the pumpkin shaped ones)
York Peppermint Patties (all)
Hershey’s Kisses (milk chocolate and kisses filled chocolates only
All Dagoba bars
Skor Toffee Bar
The following candies contain no gluten per the Nestle website
Wonka Pixy Stix
Nestle Milk Chocolate
The following candies contain no gluten ingredients and are produced on machinery that is carefully cleaned between runs however gluten containing candy may use the same machines and there is the possibility of cross-contamination risk per the Mars representative and website. In other words they have done their best, but really can’t warrant that these products are completely gluten-free. The risk seems especially high with M&Ms now that they have pretzel M&Ms.
Milk Chocolate M&Ms
What to Avoid – Popular Gluten Candies
The following is just a reminder list that ALL of the following candies contain gluten per their manufacturer and most also contain dairy and soy. The manufacturer explicitly warns against eating them if you cannot tolerate gluten
Good N Plenty
Milky Way Original
100 Grand Bar
All Butterfingers EXCEPT original flavor regular size
If you want specifics on something your child brings home you may want to check the manufacturers websites
Nestle’s list of gluten free candies can be found here
The Hershey’s list of gluten-free candies can be found here
The Smarties info is here
The Just Born information (which is not great) is here
you can call them with questions as well
The Mars candy information is thin on their website which is here
But you can call them at 1-800-651-2564 and they are very helpful over the phone.
Good Luck and Happy Halloween!