JNW’s Halloween Challenge – Candy

JNW’s Halloween Challenge – Candy

Now, I could be a little sarcastic here and post a picture of me since my name is Candy, but also am reminded now that I need to get my spell book out and cast my candy multiplying spell to fill my cobweb filled candy box.  However, being gluten-free (celiac), I am especially concerned about what I buy and hand out.  Below is a list I found of gluten-free candy that is available out there.


Always check the packaging and ingredients before consuming any candy, even if it does appear on this list.

The Gluten-Free Candy List


Hershey’s maintains a list of gluten-free candies and updates it several times each year. The following list of Hershey’s candies are considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million:

  • Almond Joy (all except for Almond Joy Pieces candy)
  • Mounds (all)
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
  • Hershey’s Special Dark Kisses (but not the Special Dark candy bar; see below)
  • Hershey’s Filled Chocolate Kisses, only in the following flavors: Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Filled with Caramel, Chocolate Filled with Cherry Cordial Creme, Vanilla Creme, Dark Chocolate Filled with Mint Truffle, Pumpkin Spice (available in the fall), Meltaway Milk Chocolates, Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate
  • Hershey’s Hugs
  • Hershey’s Nuggets, only in the following flavors: milk chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, special dark chocolate with almonds, and extra creamy milk chocolate with toffee and almonds)
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, only in the 1.55 oz. size
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar, only in the 1.45 oz. size
  • Hershey’s Air Delight
  • Hershey’s Milk Duds (all)
  • Heath Bars (all)
  • Payday (all)
  • Reese’s Fast Break bar
  • Reese’s Nutrageous bar
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (all except for Reese’s unwrapped minis and seasonal shaped items, such as Valentine’s hearts)
  • Reese’s Pieces (all except for Reese’s Pieces Eggs)
  • Rolo Caramels in Milk Chocolate (all except for Rolo Minis)
  • Skor Toffee Bar (all)
  • York Peppermint Pattie (all except for York Pieces candies, York Minis, and York Shapes)

The following Hershey’s products are NOT gluten-free:

  • Hershey’s Special Dark Bar (note that this is confusing, since several other Special Dark products are considered gluten-free, so make sure you know what you’re buying)
  • Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Bar
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops
  • Hershey’s Miniatures (any flavor, including flavors that are considered gluten-free in larger sizes)
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Symphony Bar
  • Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate

Be careful as you choose between Hershey’s products, as the gluten-free list can be confusing: for example, the Hershey’s Nuggets Special Dark flavor is considered gluten-free, but the Special Dark chocolate bars are not.

Generally, with Hershey’s, you always need to avoid seasonal items such as Cadbury Creme Eggs (both Easter and Halloween versions) and Reese’s pumpkin-shaped candies—even if their ingredients are free of gluten, they likely are manufactured on shared lines or in a shared facility.

Hershey’s says it will list any ingredients containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, and malt on the label, and will disclose shared equipment or shared facilities on the label. Hershey’s gluten-free list also includes baking chips and bars, cocoa products and syrup. Always check the list prior to buying, as items seem to change frequently.

Contact Hershey’s at 800-468-1714 if you have specific questions.

Mars Chocolate

Mars Chocolate makes M&M’s, Dove, Snickers, and other products. The company does not maintain a gluten-free list of products; instead, it urges gluten-free consumers to check labels and promises to call out any wheat, barley, and rye ingredients by name, as well as any cross-contamination risks, on the label.

Even if a product normally is considered gluten-free, in busy times of year (such as Halloween) Mars uses additional alternative facilities to make its candy, and some of those facilities may introduce cross-contamination risks (I’ve seen this occur frequently with flavored M&M varieties). “The ingredient statement on each wrapper is the best source for this information,” the company said in a statement.

In the past, these Mars Chocolate products have been gluten-free. However, I can’t emphasize enough that you should always check the label before purchasing any of these products:

  • M&M’s EXCEPT for pretzel-flavored M&M’s, which contain wheat, and crispy M&M’s, which contain barley malt. Note that some special seasonal and temporary flavors also have a risk of gluten cross-contamination because they’re made on equipment or in facilities that also use gluten-containing ingredients. For example, in 2017 some special flavors available in some stores, such as Mint M&Ms, were labeled “may contain traces of wheat.” This has been common over the past three to four years for M&Ms, so you can’t just assume they’re safe any longer. Always check the label!
  • 3 Musketeers Bars (all flavors)
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar (not the original Milky Way Bar)
  • Milky Way Caramel Bar
  • Dove Chocolate products (all flavors EXCEPT for milk chocolate cinnamon graham/cookies and cream)
  • Snickers Bars (all flavors)
  • Munch Nut Bar (the customer service representative urges consumers to check the labels on this one)

The following Mars Chocolate products have NOT been gluten-free:

  • M&M Pretzel flavor and some M&M seasonal flavors (see above)
  • Some packages of seasonal flavored M&Ms—in the past this has included White Chocolate, Mint and M&M Coconut flavors
  • Milky Way Bar (original)
  • Mars Bar
  • Mars Combos (a snack mix)

Again, always double-check the label. Note that plain M&Ms (in any color) actually meet the more stringent standards for gluten-free certification.

Contact Mars Chocolate at 800-627-7852.

Nestle USA

Nestle USA labels a handful of candies and chocolate as “gluten-free,” meaning the company has tested them and confirmed that they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. These candies include:

  • Butterfinger bars, but only in fun size, singles, and share pack (Butterfinger Bites, Butterfinger Minis, Butterfinger Cups, and special holiday-shaped Butterfinger items are NOT considered gluten-free)
  • Goobers
  • Nips (including both regular and sugar-free)
  • Raisinets (including Cranberry and Dark Chocolate flavors)
  • Toll House morsels and chunks (most, including the popular semi-sweet and milk chocolate morsels, are labeled gluten-free—look for those with a “gluten-free” designation)

Additional Nestle products contain no gluten ingredients but have not been tested for trace gluten. The company doesn’t consider these to be gluten-free (they may contain traces of gluten from cross-contamination).

Nestle will label potential gluten cross-contamination, a customer service representative says. In addition, Nestle says it will disclose all gluten ingredients (not just those containing wheat) on its products’ labels.

The following Nestle candies have no gluten ingredients:

  • Baby Ruth
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Milk Chocolate
  • SweeTARTS
  • Oh Henry!
  • Sno-Caps
  • Wonka Pixy Stix
  • Laffy Taffy (including Laffy Taffy Rope)
  • Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip

The following Nestle candy products are NOT gluten-free:

  • Butterfinger Crisp Bar
  • Butterfinger Giant Bar
  • Butterfinger Snackerz
  • Butterfinger Medallions
  • Butterfinger Jingles
  • Butterfinger Hearts
  • Butterfinger Pumpkins
  • Kit Kat Bar
  • Wonka Nerds
  • Wonka Bar (all flavors)
  • Chewy Spree
  • Wonka Gummies
  • Wonka Kazoozles
  • Everlasting Gobstopper
  • 100 Grand Bar

In some of these products, the ingredients themselves are gluten-free, but the candies are processed in a facility that also processes gluten. Others (like Kit Kat Bars) contain wheat.

Note that there’s some controversy over whether Sweetarts should appear on the “not gluten-free” or the “no gluten ingredients” list. Sweetarts contain both maltodextrin and dextrin, which can be made from wheat and barley (although they’re highly processed ingredients that would be rendered legally gluten-free by that processing).

Nestle does not include Sweetarts on the “gluten-free” list but does not provide any additional information on the product beyond the ingredients list, so you’ll need to use your best judgment on whether to consume them. Some people seem to do fine with them, while others do not.

Contact Nestle USA at 800-225-2270 if you have specific questions.

Tootsie Roll Industries

Tootsie Roll Industries, which also makes Charms products, says that, as of 2017, all of the companies confections are considered gluten-free except Andes cookies. “Tootsie does not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt, or any of their components, either as ingredients or as part of the manufacturing process. Corn and soy products are used during the manufacturing process,” the company says.

According to Tootsie Rolls Industries, the following candies are gluten-free:

  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Fruit Rolls
  • Junior Mints
  • Frooties
  • Dots
  • Tropical Dots
  • Crows
  • Cella’s Milk Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Cella’s Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Junior Mints
  • Dubble Bubble
  • Charleston Chew
  • Junior Caramels
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Peppermint Pops
  • Caramel Apple Pops
  • Fruit Smoothie Pops
  • Tropical Stormz Pops
  • Child’s Play
  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Charms Super Blow Pops
  • Charms Pops
  • Zip-A-Dee-Mini Pops
  • Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy
  • Sugar Daddy Pops
  • Sugar Mama Caramels
  • Charms Squares
  • Charms Sour Balls
  • Charms Candy Carnival
  • Pops Galore
  • Andes
  • Sugar Babies

These gluten-free Tootsie Roll products also are peanut-free and nut product free, according to the company.

Contact Tootsie Roll Industries at 773-838-3400.

This is just an excerpt of the original article from VeryWell, “Gluten-Free Candy List (Updated for Halloween 2017)” Read the full article here.

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