2018 Gluten Free Halloween Candy List

by | August 30, 2018 | Food | 14 comments

This 2018 Gluten Free Halloween Candy List is not sponsored content. I do not receive compensation, monetary or in product samples, for including any candies in my list. My goal is to focus on top Halloween and fall treats from mainstream brands, but I also include a few specialty allergen-free candy producers. Links to product websites are provided for your convenience. I contact all brands directly for information on products and allergens. The list is thorough, but not all-inclusive. Keep in mind, I am not necessarily recommending any product listed. This is not a list of “healthy” treats. Use your own discretion when consuming any food. Note that some products contain artificial ingredients color and flavor. Always check labels thoroughly before consuming to make the best decision on what to consume for your special diet.

Please read this:

Each year there are a few changes to this list regarding brands, manufacturers and the allergen statements those manufacturers issue. I highlight changes from previous years with {update} for ease of locating them. Each year at the end of summer, I contact manufacturers to confirm their gluten-free and allergen-free offerings so that I provide you with the most up-to-date information available. But keep in mind, this information can change. For those who must be gluten-free or other allergen-free, always read all labels every time before consuming any candy or food. That applies to foods you try for the first time as well as those you enjoyed in the past. Manufacturers change recipes, ingredients and ingredient sources without notice to consumers. If you are uncertain about a product, contact the manufacturer. And remember, when in doubt, just skip that food. It’s not worth damage to your health.

Nima Testing for Gluten

Last year, in 2017, I tested some candies for gluten with my Nima Sensor. I no longer use Nima to test foods for gluten. You can read more about that here.

Don’t see your favorites?

If you don’t see a candy listed but want to know if it’s gluten-free, leave a comment. Also feel free to comment if you know of a candy that is gluten-free. I will check it out and add it to the list if it is.

 

2018 Gluten Free Halloween Candy List

2017 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List

Candy Corn

Gluten-free and other “free” brands:

  • A and J Bakery– gluten-free, nut-free; made in a dedicated nut- and gluten-free facility; contains egg and soy.
  • Jelly Belly Candy Corn – gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, gelatin-free, egg-free, tree nut free, vegan. Contains modified soy protein. This is a summary of Jelly Belly practices in terms of allergens and gluten.
  • {update} Brach’s Natural Sources Candy Corn – gluten-free; manufactured in a facility where milk, egg, almond, coconut, peanut and soy are used.

 

Questionable:

  • Brach’s Candy Corn – this is not the same product as the “natural sources” Brach’s candy corn listed above. Yes, Brach’s makes two types of candy corn. The traditional one is manufactured in a facility with other allergens, including wheat. In 2017, some packages were labeled gluten-free. The bag I bought was not, but it tested all smiles with Nima. One reader from Facebook found a package at Target with gluten-free labeling.

nima test candy corn

 

 

Caramel Apple Pops & All Tootsie Roll Products

  • According to the Tootsie Roll website, all of their products are gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut free.
  • Caramel Apple Pops – contain soy and milk.
  • Tootsie Roll uses corn products in their facilities.

 

Mars Wrigley Confectionery

{update} Here’s a change that started in 2016, but is just showing up on the company website now: Mars chocolates and Wrigley are integrating, and with that, information is even more limited than before.

What wrigley used to say every year when I emailed them about their products and gluten:

“While some Wrigley products may contain gluten, the majority of our products are gluten-free. In general, we avoid using ingredients that contain gluten where they serve no functional purpose or can be replaced by gluten-free alternatives; however, ingredients and formulas may vary between regions. When the use of ingredients containing gluten is critical to the product taste experience, we follow all labeling requirements to allow our consumers to make an informed choice. We always advise consumers who are concerned about food sensitivities to read the label and check with their doctor if they have questions.”

Now, on Mars branded candies (Dove, Snickers, M&Ms, Twix, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, etc.), you will see the following statement regarding allergens:

“DIETARY SUITABILTY – At Mars, we take food allergies very seriously because they affect our consumers. We have an extensive allergen management program which includes staff training, evaluating our ingredients and validating our cleaning procedures.

In order to avoid an allergic reaction to food, we know you must avoid the allergen. To do so, you count on the ingredient statements on food labels to be truthful and accurate. We want you to be able to trust the information on our labels. At Mars, our goal is to provide safe, high quality food products for our consumers. Therefore, we have developed strict rules about the labeling of allergens on our products.”

My advice then, and especially now: Contact the company to be 100% certain about specific products. The company says they do not maintain a list of gluten-free products, but they claim to call out any wheat, barley, rye or other gluten ingredients on the label. They also use allergen statements for other allergens.

The Mars allergen labeling policy here is still up, so have a look at it if you like, but I still recommend reading labels and contacting the brand using the contact info on the package to be sure about gluten and allergens in any of these candies.

The following brands fall under Mars Wrigley, according to their website:
  • M&M’s – must read label every time as all candies are not produced in the same facility; some bags say “may contain traces of wheat”; certain seasonal or limited edition flavors contain wheat/gluten; pretzel and crispy are not gluten-free.

I tested fall colors plain M&Ms candies with Nima, which returned a “no gluten” result. (These contain milk and soy, and bear an allergen warning that they may contain peanuts.)

 

White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms – gluten found! (Look at the M&Ms face!!)

 

White Candy Corn M&Ms – gluten found! (Again, the expression on the M&Ms face sums it up – GLUTEN!)

Neither were a surprise, as both packages bear an allergen warning that they may contain wheat.

 

  • Snickers – the label indicates regular Snickers bars contain peanuts, milk, egg and soy and may contain tree nuts with no mention of wheat.

The Nima device found gluten in this Snickers Almond sample. There are no obvious gluten ingredients on the package label and the allergen warning does not indicate wheat as a possible “may contain” ingredient. (Allergens listed are almonds, milk, egg and soy; possible additional allergens listed are other tree nuts and peanuts.)

{update} I found it interesting going through all the candies on Mars Chocolate site searching their nutrition info that the Snickers Crisper Singles do not mention wheat as an ingredient or allergen. I mean, we usually avoid anything “crisp” like the plague, right?? Well, the crisp rice on the label is listed as being from rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, honey and salt. You can check it out here. The same is true for the peanut butter crisper bar, which you can see here.

  • Skittles – GF
  • Dove – regular chocolates are GF according to the labels; the varieties with cookies or graham are not GF; I did not find any of the cookie varieties (like cookies and cream or cinnamon graham) listed on the Dove site. In the past some Dove seasonal varieties were not GF, so always read the label to be sure.
  • 3 Musketeers – GF
  • Life Savers -GF
  • Milky Way original contains malted barley so is NOT GF, but doesn’t list any potential allergen on the website.
  • {update} Milky Way Simply Caramelcontains wheat flour, so is NOT GF I have seen other websites with candy lists show these as gluten-free, but according to the latest labeling they are no longer a GF product!
  • Milky Way Midnight – GF
  • Starburst – GF
  • Twix and Malteaseres are not GF.

{update} A note about Altoids: in the past Altoids contained wheat maltodextrin. In most recent years, it was the Altoids Smalls that contained a wheat ingredient. However, the current information on the website indicates not wheat in any variety of Altoids. Always contact the manufacturer to be sure they are GF. This is another product I see called out as “not GF” on other sites with candy lists, so it’s best to reach out to the company before consuming these.

Again, even if you see GF above, always read labels before consuming.

 

Smarties

All Smarties® candy made by Smarties Candy Company are gluten‑free and vegan. All products are also free of milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. All candy is made in entirely peanut‑free manufacturing facilities.

See their allergen statement page for more info.

Smarties Important note 1:

Because some products with the Smarties brand are not manufactured by Smarties Candy Company, the company recommends always checking a product’s ingredients prior to purchase. If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206”, the product is gluten‑free and manufactured in a facility that makes exclusively gluten‑free products.

Smarties Important note 2:

Re-baggers buy candy in bulk, then repackage the product, so that could mean gluten cross-contamination.

Smarties in Canada:

There are two manufacturing facilities for Smarties®. One is in Union, New Jersey, and one is in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. There is virtually no difference between the Smarties® manufactured in our Canadian plant and our plant here in Union, New Jersey.

The candy in Canada called Smarties (which contains wheat, thus is NOT gluten-free) is similar to M&Ms candy coated chocolates. In Canada, the type of Smarties® candy I am referring to here is known as Rockets®. 

 

Jelly Belly

I mentioned Jelly Belly above under candy corn, but want to mention them again for their gourmet jelly beans, which are gluten-free according to the company website, “Jelly Belly jelly beans are gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, fat free and vegetarian friendly.” This includes the black (licorice) flavor. The modified starch listed in the ingredients is corn starch.

{update} From their site: “We make over 150 different candies and a few of our products use gluten-containing ingredients. These items include Chocolate Malt Balls, Chocolate Deluxe Mix, Seasonal Malt Balls, Licorice Bridge Mix, and Licorice Pastels.

Licorice candy typically contains gluten (wheat), but Jelly Belly assures us that the black beans are gluten-free. Note in the update above, it is the licorice bridge mix and pastels that contain gluten, not the black jelly beans. Confusing!

Jelly Belly beans are also made in a peanut-free factory, according to the website (peanut butter flavor was retired some time ago).

7 Foods to Start Eating Today for a Healthy Heart

Other Chocolates

There’s lots of terrific fancy chocolate out there that is gluten-free (and vegan and raw, etc.), but you’re not likely to find that in your trick or treat sack. We’re talking Halloween candy and that means the classics, so I’ll cover those here.

The Hershey Company

{update} Hershey seems to change their allergen statement annually. They have gone from having one of the best, clearest lists to being much like other brands and being obscure, sending us to “every label every time”. I agree, we should always read every label every time, but I also like a good starting point for knowing what is likely to contain gluten so I can just save some time from the start.

This is the Hershey Company Allergens Page and this is the Hershey Company Dietary Needs Page, with a list of gluten-free products for the USA and Canada.

 

Reese’s peanut butter cups are also considered gluten-free by Hershey. I still wanted to test them with Nima. Again, another “no gluten detected” result.

reese's peanut butter cups gluten free

The product package is labeled “gluten free” very discretely on the back near the ingredients.

According to the Hershey Dietary Needs page, all Reese’s products are gluten-free EXCEPT seasonal shapes and unwrapped minis. {update} This year Reese’s Unwrapped Minis Milk Chocolate and White are listed as GF!

Seasonal shapes would be Reese’s eggs at Easter, Reese’s hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc. However, I tested Halloween Eyeballs with Nima and was surprised to see the “no gluten detected” result.

The product label does not indicate gluten-free. I know this image is blurry, but there are no obvious gluten ingredients and there is not allergy warning on the package (i.e., for wheat). I really don’t know what to tell you about this one. I tend to err on the side of caution in these situations, especially when the company indicates certain products cannot be considered gluten-free. Again, just some additional info for you to use when making decisions for what to eat or avoid. :-)

 

Hershey’s Kisses: Plain Kisses (silver and colored foil wrapped), Special Dark Mildly Sweet, Hugs, Filled Kisses (caramel, cherry cordial, vanilla creme, mint truffle), pumpkin spice flavored candies.

Nuggets (milk, milk with almonds, dark with almonds, milk with toffee & almonds)

Bars (Hershey Bar, Hershey Bar with Almonds, Almond Joy, Mounds, all Heath bars, Reese’s Fast Break, Reese’s Nutrageous, Skor, York Peppermint Patties – EXCEPT York Pieces, Sugar Free Peppermint Patties, York Minis and York Shapes.) {update} several York items were added to the list!

All Dagoba products

All Scharffen Berger – Except Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder

Candies: Milk Duds (all), Reese’s Pieces, Rolo (EXCEPT Rolo minis)

Syrups (caramel, chocolate, sugar free, sundae dream caramel, sundae dream chocolate, lite, dark, strawberry, strawberry sugar free)

Toppings (Heath shell, hot fudge, caramel, milk shell, Reese’s peanut butter & chocolate peanut butter)

Baking Chips & Baking Bars (both Hershey’s and Reese’s)

Brookside Chocolate & Fruit Bars (cherry, cranberry, blueberry),

Hershey’s Cocoa (regular and special dark)

 

Nestle

{update} This year in January, Nestle announced they would sell their confectionery business to Ferrero, the parent company of brands like Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and Nutella. To confuse matters more, Ferrero also acquired Ferrara (maker of brands like Brach’s, Lemon Heads, Bob’s etc.) and merged them all. I point this out because in food manufacturing, bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to special dietary needs.

Last year, the following products, manufactured by Nestle, were listed gluten-free, according to the company:

  • Original Butterfinger candy bar
  • Baby Ruth candy bar
  • Raisinets
  • Bit O Honey
  • Oh Henry! bars
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Lik M Aid
  • Wonka Pixy Stix

These products may contain other allergens, so be sure to read labels carefully!

Note: Some Nestle confections do contain gluten, so be sure to see that category in the list below.

At this juncture, my best advice is read all labels, all the time. 

 

Sweet Works

Makers of Sixlets candies – Sixlets are gluten-free AND nut-free. Check out the different packaging and sizes here.

 

Peeps & Company

Peeps is a subsidiary of Just Born.

This company produces the following gluten-free candies:

  • Mike & Ike
  • Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews
  • Hot Tamales
  • Just Born Jelly Beans
  • Teene Beanee Gourmet Jelly Beans

Just Born recommends reading each label each time before you consume a product in case formulations change. They voluntarily offer cross-contamination risk information on product packages near the ingredients label as a “May Contain” statement.

{update} From the company website: “We are in the process of updating package labels to include gluten-free statements where appropriate.  The modified food starch that we use in our candies is corn starch.  However, because some of our products may be manufactured and/or packaged in a facility that may also handle non gluten-free products, we encourage consumers to read the labels carefully for the most up-to-date ingredient and allergen information.

Specialty Candy Made to be Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free

There are many specialty manufacturers producing gluten-free, allergen-free candies, as well. A few of these are:

  • Annie B’s Caramels – (handcrafted caramels, all flavors are gluten-free)
  • Enjoy Life Foods (NEW Halloween Chocolate Minis for 2017 – plus a discount of 10% off on those products as of Sept. 2017)
  • Yummy Earth (lollipops and more – most products are GF & top 8 free – read their allergen info for more)
  • TruSweets Company has 2 brands – TruJoy Sweets (Choco Chews and Fruit Chews) and Surf Sweets (Trick or Treat Packs & Spooky Spiders)
  • Gimbal’s Fine Candies has a variety of jelly beans and other chewy candies that are free from gluten, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and soy.
  • Red Bird Peppermint Puffs (from Piedmont Candy Company are top 8 free and they have seasonal flavors, like Pumpkin Spice)
  • Gin Gins® Ginger Candy (several varieties from which to choose)

11316_PSS1626 VFFS 4.75x7.5

Do you have a favorite specialty producer of gluten-free, allergen-free candy? Let me know in comments below so that I can add them to the list!

The following products are NOT gluten-free:

Note: This list in not all-inclusive, so please always read product labels and/or consult the manufacturer before consuming any foods you feel may contain gluten or those you feel may be cross-contaminated with gluten. Also see non-GF products in previous section that are in red. 

From The Hershey Company:

  • Almond Joy Pieces candy (Almond Joy candy bars are GF)
  • Reese’s Unwrapped Minis and Reese’s Seasonal Shaped Items (like Reese’s Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkins and Christmas Trees)
  • Reese’s Pieces Eggs (regular Reese’s Pieces candies are listed as GF on the Hershey website.)
  • Rolo Minis (regular Rolo candies are listed as GF on the Hershey website.)
  • Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder (other Scharffen Berger products are listed as GF on the Hershey website.)
  • York Pieces, York Minis and York Shapes (other York Peppermint Patty products are listed as GF on the Hershey website.)

Note: I tested Reese’s Eyeballs (seasonal shape for Halloween) with Nima Sensor and it returned a “smile” indicating “no gluten detected”. 

 

From Nestle:

  • Butterfinger Crisp, Giant, Snackerz, Medallions and seasonal shapes (Only original, regular size Butterfinger bars are GF, according to Neslte.)
  • 100 Grand Candy Bar
  • Wonka Nerds, Gummies, Kazoozles, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Wonka Bars (Regarding Nerds candies, according to the company, these are processed in a facility that also processes wheat and therefore they cannot ensure these are GF.)
  • Sweetarts
  • Chewy Spree candies

 

From Mars Chocolate:

  • Original Milky Way bar
  • Dove Cinnamon Graham Chocolates
  • Dove Promises Cookies and Cream
  • Pretzel M&Ms and certain varieties of flavored M&Ms, but Mars urges consumers to read each label before consuming to get the latest allergen update on products.
  • Mars bar
  • Twix candy bars

Note: I Nima tested Snickers Almond Fun Size bar and the device returned a “gluten found” result. 

 

I hope this list helps you make the best choices for your special diet. If you have updated information or other candies you’d like me to add, please leave a comment below so that I can update this page.

Happy and Safe Gluten-Free Halloween!

14 Comments

  1. NM

    Awesome information! Thank you!

    Reply


  2. turtles candy

    Keeep this going please, great job!

    Reply


  3. PJ

    Such helpful information, thank you! I had no idea original milky way’s were not gluten free!

    Reply


  4. NickiB

    Loved the M&M’s faces on your “Gluten Found” pictures! Says it all, indeed.
    It is a little concerning, considering we do sometimes pick up a small bag of M&M’s at check-out for the kids to share on our ride home. It is usually just the plain, peanut, or peanut butter flavor, and not a specialty one, but still! And none of the packaging indicates that it is processed in a facility, with wheat, etc etc. I may have to re-think them.
    The snickers almond is also concerning, because while I don’t normally eat candy bars, a Snickers Almond is something I like to enjoy maybe once or twice a year.

    Now I have a good excuse to order the delicious looking and sounding specialty ones to have on hand!

    Thank you, Thank you so much for this list!!

    Reply


    • Gluten Free Gigi

      Keep in mind, the M&Ms that tested “gluten found” were the seasonal flavors that aren’t typically gluten-free. Some use gluten ingredients, others are contaminated. The manufacturer states to ALWAYS read the label because they can be manufactured in different facilities. Also, the plain ones were “no gluten detected”, which is great since those are supposed to be GF. I would probably have them occasionally except the peanut cross-contamination issue, so I can’t. Snickers almond was VERY surprising to me! I’m going to do more testing on that, and other candies, so be sure to watch the eNewsletter mid-Oct. for that special report. It will not be on this list, as I am doing it with another company, so it will be eNewsletter only but will have TONS of candies Nima tested!! :) I’m glad this was useful – hope you have a happy Halloween! xo

      Reply


  5. Katie

    I am shocked with the Snickers Almond. I was glutening myself and blaming it on other things! (I have only ever had 2 but STILL!) I would be interested to know how the pumpkin Reese’s test with the detector. Thank you!

    Reply


    • Gluten Free Gigi

      Same here, Katie. Snickers are said to be GF, even the Almond variety. You remind me of why it is SO important to share info like this. I am glad you saw the info! So, regarding pumpkin Reese’s, according to the company, as stated in this post, those are NOT considered GF. While the ingredients indicates no overt gluten ingredients, these are processed on shared equipment with a risk of cross-contamination. BUT, as I tested the eyeballs from Reese’s on a whim and found a “no gluten detected” result, I will likely test the pumpkins, too. There is a HUGE report of Nima tested Halloween candy coming very soon. The only way to receive it is to get on my email list if you’re not already. If you are, that’s great (and thank you!) because you’ll receive it when it is ready. It will not go up here on the site, ever.

      Reply


      • Amanda

        So is the regular snickers gluten free?

        Reply


        • Gluten Free Gigi

          Amanda, regular Snickers bars are “supposed” to be GF; however, I did not test them, yet. I am actually testing several samples today with Nima for a big report coming out soon. If you’re signed up for my email newsletter, you will get it in your inbox when it’s out. :) Technically, Snickers do not contain gluten ingredients; however, the Almond Snickers do not, either, which is why I was shocked they tested “gluten found” with Nima. Remember, if you want to get a Nima, be sure to use code GIGI at checkout (on the Nima Sensor website) for an extra $15 off! xo

          Reply


          • Amanda

            Thanks for getting back with me! I will need to sign up for your newsletter.


          • Gluten Free Gigi

            Definitely get on the eNewsletter list, as that’s where you hear about new info first! ;)


  6. Karen

    I was confused to find some bags of Brach’s candy corn with this statement “This product was manufactured in a facility where milk, eggs, almonds, coconut, peanuts and soy are used in the production of other products.” No mention of wheat. And this was not the Gluten Free variety (which I didn’t care for).

    Reply


    • Gluten Free Gigi

      Yes, Karen. Those labels are confusing. They are on some bags and not on others because the candy is not all manufactured in a single facility. Some facilities use those other allergens, while others do not. That is one good reason to always read labels every single time. This is also VERY true of M&Ms candies. They have 3 manufacturing plants in the USA, as far as I know, and the allergen statements change on certain types. This was very true of the coconut M&Ms at one time (not sure if they even make those now). I hope these lists are useful to you! xo

      Reply


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