My Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Guide post has been updated on October 29, 2019 and contains affiliate links.
Halloween is upon us once again, and this leaves many of us gluten-free eaters scrambling to find out what is and isn’t gluten-free.
This time of year can be fraught with gluten. Gluten is in many of your favorite candies, like Kit Kats, Twizzlers and Nestle Crunch Bars, to name a few.
The good news is, however, that there are plenty of gluten-free options that will satisfy your devilish sweet tooth. You just need to know how to find them and what to look for.
I’ve got you covered in this article. Keep scrolling…
How to Decode if a Halloween Candy is Gluten-Free
When assessing if a candy is gluten-free, I suggest doing the following four steps:
(1) READ ingredient labels carefully.
The ingredient listing will likely be posted directly on the candy’s label; however, with mini- and fun-size candies, the ingredient listings are often missing or incomplete. If the full ingredient listing is not printed directly on the candy, you must do additional research (see #2).
(2) RESEARCH the candy.
If a piece of candy does not contain an ingredient list on the label (as is the case with fun-sized candies), research the labels online or contact the manufacturers directly. It is not worth taking the risk for a small piece of candy. Trust me! When in doubt, don’t eat it.
(3) NEVER assume.
Remember, candy labels and manufacturing facilities can change from year to year. Halloween and seasonal candies are often manufactured in alternative factories to meet seasonal high demand. Just because a Hershey Bar is normally gluten-free doesn’t mean the fun-size Halloween version of it is gluten-free too. Never assume.
(4) DON’T rely solely on allergen disclosure statements.
Manufacturers must disclosure if their products contain any of the top eight allergens (wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts), however, gluten is not considered a top eight allergen so it may not be listed.
For example, on the 100 Grand Bar fun-size candy, the allergen disclosure statement says it may contain milk, soy, peanuts and egg, but it does not list wheat. Can you assume because wheat wasn’t listed on the allergen disclosure statement that it doesn’t contain gluten? No!
In fact, 100 Grand Bars contain barley malt. Barley is gluten but it is not considered a top allergen so it is not listed on the allergen disclosure statement.
Have Allergy-Friendly Treats on Hand
Keep in mind that if you cannot eat gluten, there are other trick-or-treaters who many not be able to eat gluten either. Consider having some non-food “treats” to hand out, as well as some allergy-friendly treats.
You may have heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project. It’s a movement to encourage households to provide non-food and/or allergy-friendly treats available to trick or treaters. If you offer allergy-friendly treats on Halloween, please list your house on the Teal Pumpkin Project directory and display a teal pumpkin on your doorstep. This will signal to allergy eaters that your house has safe treats available.
I suggest the following allergy-friendly treats for Halloween:
- Finger Lights: The kids went wild for these Finger Lights when I handed them out last year.
- Flash Rings: These fun Flash Rings rings keep trick-or-treaters lit up at night.
- Bouncy Balls: These glow-in-the-dark Bouncy Balls are another fun non-food Halloween find.
- Chocolate Candy: These chocolate candies by Enjoy Life are free from the top 8 allergens.
- Gummies: These gummy candies by YumEarth are free from the top 8 allergens.
Gluten-Free Halloween Candies
Without further ado, let’s discuss the traditional candies that do not generally contain gluten.
The following list of Halloween candies are, as mentioned, generally considered gluten-free.
Remember to always read labels, research ingredient labels, and evaluate disclosure statements carefully as advised above.
Editor Note: When you see the words “Nima Approved,” that means the candy has been Nima Sensor tested. Please scroll to the bottom of this post 👇 to learn more about the Nima Sensor.
- Almond Joy (except for Almond Joy Pieces candy) – Nima Approved
- Almond Joy (except Joy Pieces Candy)
- Baby Ruth
- Brach’s Candy Corn – Nima Approved
- Butterfinger Bar (the original flavor is GF, but the giant bar, Crisp, Stixx, Snakerz, Medallions, Jingles, Hearts and Pumpkins are NOT GF) – Nima Approved
- Enjoy Life candies
- Haribo gummy candies including Alphabet Letters, Gold-Bears (except juicy variety is NOT GF), Happy Cola, Twin Cherries, Peaches, Raspberries, Frogs and Rattlesnakes – all GF
- Heath Bars
- Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate (not Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate)
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (1.55 oz only)
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar (1.45 oz only)
- Hershey’s Nuggets Candies
- Hot Tamales
- Jelly Belly candies
- Jolly Ranchers
- Junior Mints
- Laffy Taffy (Laffy Taffy Ropes and Fruitarts Chews are all GF) – Nima Approved
- M&Ms (regular and peanut) – Nima Approved
- Mike and Ikes – check labels, but most are GF including Berry, Assorted, Tropical, Zours
- Milk Duds
- Mounds Bars
- Nips (regular and sugar-free are both GF)
- Oh Henry!
- PEEPS candies – check labels
- Raisinets (cherry, cranberry, and dark chocolate flavors are also GF)
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (GF except seasonal shaped items are not GF)
- REESE’s Pieces Candy (GF except REESE’s Pieces Eggs, REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Unwrapped Minis & Seasonal Shaped Items are not GF) –Nima Approved
- ROLO Caramels in Milk Chocolate Candies (GF except ROLO Minis are not GF) – Nima Approved
- SKOR Toffee Bars
- Skittles – Nima Approved
- Smarties – Nima Approved
- Snickers – Nima Approved
- Sweet Tarts – Nima Approved
- Three Musketeers – Nima Approved
- Tootsie Rolls
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks – all varieties
- Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
- Wonka Pixy Sticks
- York Peppermint Pattie (GF except York Pieces Candy, York Minis, and York Shapes (5 oz) are not GF)
What Does Nima Approved Mean?
You may have noticed that my list of gluten-free Halloween candies included some candies tagged as “Nima Approved.” The Nima Sensor is a portable gluten detecting device that allows you to test your food for gluten before you eat it. Nima published a list of tested Halloween candies, and I included the ones they tested on this list.
Remember, a few things before trusting the Nima Sensor, though.
- Make sure the ingredients are gluten-free. For the 100 Grand Bar, it contains barley malt and that is not detectable by the Nima Sensor. In fact, all fermented foods, like barley malt, soy sauce and beer, cannot be detected by the Nima Sensor. It is a known and widely published limitation of the Nima Sensor.
- Just because someone tested something and it came back okay doesn’t mean yours will come back okay too. Remember, manufacturing facilities can vary, especially when it comes to producing special manufacturing runs for seasonal candy offerings. This is why you must test your own candy for gluten before eating it.
It Bears Repeating…
Remember to always be extra cautious before eating Halloween candy. Much of it is manufactured in alternative factories to meet seasonal high demand. This means you must double check if the fun- or mini-sized treats or specially packaged Halloween items are gluten-free before consuming! Don’t rely on prior knowledge as things can change for holiday manufacturing runs.
Even better, purchase organic, better for you gluten-free Halloween candy that is certified gluten-free (read my post about healthy and gluten-free Halloween candy alternatives) or donate your Halloween candy to our troops — who needs all that yucky sugar anyway!?!