trusweets Halloween Kitty

Gluten Free Halloween Candy List

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candy corn

While not all candy corn varieties are gluten-free, there are many safe brand options out there. Read those labels!

Gluten Free Halloween Candy can be tricky to identify. If you haven’t procured your gluten free goodies yet, read on, because at first glance, you might think most candy is gluten free, but not so fast!  Many forms of confections actually use gluten as filler or to give substance to extruded shapes.

Candies to Avoid — Not Gluten Free

Twizzlers® and nearly all other licorice, for example, are not gluten free (enriched wheat flour is the second listed ingredient!).  Nor are malted milkballs or candy bars containing rice crisps (Nestle Crunch® — rice crisps are flavored with barley malt), ready-made rice crispy treats or those with cookies inside (like Twix®).

In fact, even M&Ms®  — a candy most people trust as being gluten free — have a new variety called M&Ms Crispy that looks like a regular M&M but has a crispy center that contains BARLEY MALT *(aka gluten).

Bottom Line: Always read those labels! And read them on the exact package you’re considering purchasing, as ingredients change and may differ depending on the shape and size of the candy.

crispy m&ms

Although the ingredient label lists “barley malt,” it only says “may contain” wheat. Gluten Free Food Labeling regulations do NOT require that an ingredient label call out the presence of gluten, in this case, from barley.

 

Another tricky issue when it comes to finding safe candy is the displays in each store. This one looks particularly inviting, doesn’t it?

halloween candy display|gfJules

But look again.

Not all the candies in this display are gluten-free. And while this may not be the fault of the store, you can’t rely on displays to do the label reading for you. KitKat and Twizzlers are definitely NOT gluten free; if the Reese’s are in Halloween shapes, Hershey’s says they may be cross-contaminated with gluten.

halloween candy display with gluten candy |gfJules

Gluten Free Candy Listing

Run-of-the-mill chocolate should be gluten free, but if it’s contaminated in the plant, then of course, it’s not.

Some companies have made it easier on us than others: Hershey’s®, for example, has published a thorough gluten free products list – check it out! They explicitly recommend that customers read the packaging for the most accurate allergen and gluten information.

Here’s an example of the kind of listing you’ll find there:

Reese’s 

  • Reese’sFast Break Bar
  • Reese’sNutrageous Bar
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – All Except Seasonal Shaped Items
  • Reese’s Unwrapped Mini Minis – Milk Chocolate and White
  • Reese’sPieces Candy – All Except Reese’s Pieces Eggs
  • Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cups – All Except Seasonal Shaped Items

Note that while Reeses® Pieces are labeled gluten free, some seasonal and smaller shapes of traditionally gluten free candies like Reeses® Peanut Butter Cups, are not included on their gluten free list, so double check before shopping or indulging (always check the package itself).

reeses gluten freepeeps front

Most candy companies are now putting their allergen information on their websites, you just have to look for it.  Of course, the best gluten free Halloween candy shopping experience comes when these companies go to the trouble of telling you right on the package that their products are gluten free.  That’s one reason why Marshmallow Peeps® always fill my candy bowl.

For a candy, you can’t beat the fact that now emblazoned across the front of Peep packages everywhere is the declaration: “Always Gluten Free”! And if you’re looking to avoid food dyes in candy, choose the white Peeps Ghosts — dye-free!

Even Jet-Puffed® Marshmallows are getting into the fun by offering Halloween shaped marshmallows in “Spooky Fun Packs.” I know it’s just a marshmallow in the shape of a pumpkin, but I’m not complaining about having fun new choices for kiddos!

jelly belly halloweenJelly Belly® boasts that “All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.”

And now, the company has embraced Halloween with their fun packs made just for the occasion! (They also make gluten free candy corn).

halloween-annies-bunniesAll kinds of gummy candy can be found in Halloween shapes and packaging, but make sure the ingredients are safe before assuming they’re all gluten free.  Haribo® Gummy Bears now may contain wheat or corn from dextrose — you never know which, so it’s best to avoid.

Annie’s® Organic is one you may find in your grocery store or on line, and offers pouches ready-made for trick-or-treat in bunnies and bat shapes — they’re great for lunch boxes too!

Even easy-to-find brands like Welch’s has started packing its fruit snacks in Halloween packs for easy trick-or-treating. While they still contain corn syrup and sugar, the first ingredient is lots of real fruit, and they are fat free (ahem … for moms who might want to steal a bag once in awhile!).

gluten free welch's

How about “organic,” certified Gluten Free, non-GMO, vegan and corn syrup-free candy that actually tastes good??? Look to TruSweets® for gummy treats (worms, spiders, bears and more) and Starburst-like fruit chews that will take the guilt out of any candy bowl.

trusweets gluten free Halloween candy

Another brand my kids love is YumEarth®. Their Lollipops, Hard Candy, Sour Beans, Gummy Bears/Worms and Candy Corn are all made in a gluten free facility and are made without corn syrup, using natural food dyes; check their website for other candy options and allergens.

DumDums lollipops are also gluten free and those that are packed by the Spangler Candy Company are free of the Top 8 Food Allergens, but they are made with corn syrup and artificial dyes. Be sure to check their website and packaging for updated allergen information.

YumEarth

And last year marked a great new release: mini chocolates from Enjoy Life Foods® that are all free of the Top 8 Food Allergens (and free of gluten). Plus, super cute packaging!

Enjoy Life Foods Halloween Minis

Mind you, I’m not a candy buyer any other time of the year — I’ve been known to hand out more than my share of stickers and glow sticks when kids come knocking on October 31 — but when companies take the trouble to assure me that they have made their product gluten free (and therefore, that they want my business) I’ll give it to them any day before I would other companies who cannot bother to prevent cross-contamination or take the risk to state that their product is gluten free when it really is.

halloween-free-2bSome of the companies I love for their clear labeling and mission include Free2B®, which even offers organic, dairy-free dark chocolate peanut butter cups sold in 10-packs and mini bags that are perfect for Halloween night!

And SunButter® makes Sun Cups for those who are nut-free but really crave a chocolate-nut butter treat!

Unreal Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups with Quinoa for crunch!And Unreal® makes a plethora of pretty delicious vegan chocolate mocks of your favorites like chocolate-peanut butter cups, candy covered chocolate gems (like M&Ms).

All fair trade, non-GMO, and no artificial colors or flavors. Their cups are certified GF from GFCO (gems are made in a shared facility with wheat and NOT certified GF) and the dark chocolate varieties are vegan, but they are working on changing their production facilities, so check each package for the latest certifications. Three cheers for that!

chocononos

Or how about a vegan and gluten free mock M&M? NoWhey Foods makes Chocononos™ that are just that! Vegan, all natural, and made with milk free, nut free, gluten free, wheat free, soy free chocolate. They also make vegan peanut butter cups and Halloween figurines (and Easter chocolates, too! so you may want to bookmark their page).

Lots to choose from in fun seasonal packaging that would look great in a Teal Pumpkin.

 

Teal Pumpkin Project

And speaking of Teal Pumpkins …

teal pumpkin

Our hand-painted teal pumpkin. We named him Tommy!

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5

If you’d rather go the food-free, allergy-friendly route this holiday, go for it! You’ll have the support of thousands, and you should be sure to paint a pumpkin teal for your front porch!

FARE (Food Allergy Research Education) is sponsoring the #TealPumpkinProject to promote safe trick-or-treating stops for food allergy kids. When they see a teal pumpkin, they know the loot they’ll rake in won’t make them sick and parents can relax, knowing their little ghouls will be safe at that house.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of gluten free Halloween candy choices to make your Halloween tasty, sticky and fun without being scared about whether they contain ingredients that would make your night go sour.

halloween chips

Even those sugar-high-averse parents among us can feel safe grabbing Angie’s Kettle Corn Snack Packs (certified GF!), Pirate’s Booty® Bags or even potato chips!

Or… gluten free, vegan chickpea snacks from Hippeas!
hippeas
To make the task of finding the right treats for your family easy-breezy, check out these resources and their Gluten Free Candy Lists:

Print a list, hit the stores, and enjoy the spirit of the holiday! Grab that York Peppermint Patty, Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Angies’ Kettle Corn Snack Pack, Marshmallow Peep, Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kiss … or whatever suits your fancy.  Happy Haunting!

I hope you found this list helpful! Remember to Pin it for later!

If you are looking for safe gluten free Halloween candy options, you need to check out this list by gfJules.

A gluten free halloween candy list is vital to keep your family safe. See Jules' compiled and updated info on this year's SAFE GF and allergen free treats.
 

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49 thoughts on “Gluten Free Halloween Candy List

  1. FYI-The Unreal “M&Ms” has a warning that says it may contain wheat. And unlike their other products, there’s no gluten free claim on the package. Trying to save others from making my mistake and wasting money. Go with the Choco NoNos instead!

    • Yes, always check the packaging! When I spoke to the UnReal folks at Natural Products Expo in September, they confirmed that they’re in the process of changing the facility where those are produced, but the packaging is always the best way to know what you have in your hands.
      ~jules

  2. When we discovered Yum Earth’s licorice, black and strawberry, I thought we would want for nothing else and then came October, we will be teal this Halloween, all ready stocking up on Ann’s fruit snacks, hope they make it til the 31rst

    • Hi Shirley, I added DumDums with the caveat that their website indicates only the products packed by Spangler Candy Company are free of the Top 8 Food Allergens. As with other manufacturers, the packaging is the best way to know what they’re declaring about the product inside, so if your package indicates Top 8 Free, that should be accurate. One note: gluten is NOT one of the Top 8 Food Allergens; wheat IS, but barley and rye are not included in that mandatory declaration although they also contain gluten. Barley is the one to watch out for in candies, as malt flavoring is frequently used. Happy Halloween!
      ~jules

  3. Jules: Thanks and thanks again for this list, and for keeping it updated. I’m sending a link to this great article to everyone who buys candy, because they should know what to look for!