Halloween is just around corner and it’s time to start stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters. While trick-or-treating has been around since the 1920s, candy trends have changed over the years. 3 Musketeers bars were all the rage in 1930s while ’90s kids will remember AirHeads and Baby Bottle Pops piling up in their trick-or-treat bags. Here are the most popular candies from every spook-tacular decade.
1920s: Baby Ruth
Introduced in 1921, this confection of peanuts, caramel, and chocolate-flavored nougat was an instant hit for trick-or-treaters. Other popular Halloween candies of the roaring ’20s include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oh Henry! Bars, and Bit-O-Honey.
1930s: 3 Musketeers
When it was first introduced in 1932, the 3 Musketeers bar consisted of three smaller chocolate-coated candies flavored with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (hence the name). Other new and popular candies from the 1930s include the still-popular Snickers, candy buttons, and Boston Baked Beans.
It may be hard to imagine a trick-or-treat bag without the iconic M&M’s, but they first came on the market in 1941 and were a highly-popular wartime product. Bazooka Bubble Gum, Jolly Ranchers, and Almond Joys were also huge in the ’40s.
1950s: Atomic Fireballs
Fittingly titled, these fiery, cinnamon-flavored orbs were created in 1954 and quickly became a favorite for adventurous children. In a general sense, 1950s candies were a little bit more subdued, with Necco Wafers, Satellite Wafers, and black licorice-flavored treats winning over children.
Sugar was back in the 1960s, led by the new sugary and tart (and fittingly named) candy, SweeTARTS, which featured fruity flavors such as cherry, lime, lemon, orange, and grape. Banana flavor was also huge with Necco’s Banana Splits and banana Slap Stix. Sugary, fruity candies such as Mike & Ike, Pixy Stix, and Starburst were also hugely popular.
1970s: Laffy Taffy
Fun came in to play in the 1970s, with jokes on the wrappers of the chewy, fruity Laffy Taffy candy. Candies that had surprises were huge, with sizzling Pop Rocks, fizzy ZotZ, two-in-one Blow Pops, and the delightful Fun Dip in trick-or-treaters’ pillowcases.
Though it seems like they’ve been around forever, Skittles weren’t widely distributed in America until 1982. Willy Wonka candies such as Runts and Nerds were also hugely popular. In general, fruity flavors carried over from the ’70s to the ’80s with popular candies such as gummy bears, Ring Pops, and Sour Patch Kids.
Though technically introduced in the mid-1980s, out-of-control AirHeads were an iconic candy for ’90s kids. Other playful favorites followed suit, with Baby Bottle Pops, Push Pops, and Bubble Gum Jugs all being rare but coveted on Halloween. And who can forget the super-sour WarHeads? Try not to pucker when eating one of those.
2000s: Nerds Rope
The ’80s and ’90s trends continued well in to the 2000s, with the popularity of cookies and cream chocolate bars, Sour Patch Kids, and of course the Nerds Rope. First introduced in the mid-’90s, this gummy string candy with Nerds attached to it was a much-coveted big candy item.
2010s: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
What’s old is new again in the 2010s. Despite new confections such as candy corn-flavored Hershey’s bars, classics like Kit-Kat Bars, Snickers, and M&Ms are most commonly found in trick-or-treat bags. The most popular candy? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and all of the company’s other offerings, such as bat-shaped Reese’s, Reese’s Pieces, and the Reese’s Fast Break, are huge.