This is not a sponsored post. I selected and purchased all candies tested with the Nima Sensor gluten detection device; however, I want you to know that I am a Nima affiliate, which means if you purchase a Nima product from the Nima website and use the discount code GIGI at checkout, you will receive an additional $15 discount. As an affiliate, I receive a small compensation that has no effect on what you pay, but that helps me in offsetting the costs associated with the free content I share here with you.
At the time of this update (9/28/17) Nima is on sale for $80 off regular price, so Halloween is a GREAT time to buy! Not sure how long the discount will last, but not likely very long! Use code GIGI to save $15 more!
Now, let’s talk candy!
Whoa! This 2017 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List update is the BIGGEST one to date!
Each year there are a few changes with manufacturers and brands. This year is no different. You’ll see those changes reflected in the info below. I contact manufacturers each year at the end of summer to provide you with the most up-to-date info, but do keep in mind, it can still change, so READ ALL YOUR LABELS every time.
Gluten + Food Allergens
In addition to sharing gluten-free candies, and pointing out some candies that definitely contain gluten, other allergens are included when possible. I know many of you are like me and deal with celiac disease as well as multiple food allergies and intolerance.
New Candies + Nima Testing for Gluten
There are new candies on the list this year and I tested a random selection of candies with my Nima Sensor. If you’re not familiar with Nima Sensor or if you want to understand the process better, be sure to read my articles Understanding the Nima Sensor and What a “Gluten Found” Nima Test Result Means.
I randomly chose nine products from the supermarket. Some, I felt sure would contain gluten (the seasonal flavored M&Ms candies) and they didn’t surprise. Others, like the seasonal shape Reese’s Eyeballs DID surprise me, scroll down to see why!
Feel free to leave a comment if you know of a candy that’s GF and should be added, or if you have a question about the candies listed or any others.
I hope my 2017 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List makes life a little easier for you and the kiddos. I include other allergens when appropriate and when info is available.
Note: I try to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but is not all-inclusive. I try to include top Halloween/fall treats from mainstream brands as well as a few specialty allergen-free candies.
Always read labels before you dig in, as brands are apt to change recipes and manufacturing practices at any time.
Use this list as a guide, but never rely solely on ANY list without reading those labels first!
2017 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List
I’m sharing links to websites and vendors where I can for your convenience. This is not a sponsored post, and I do not receive any compensation at all, monetary or in product samples, for including any candies in my list. Also, keep in mind this is not a list of “healthy” treats. Use your own discretion when consuming sweet treats and note some of these contain artificial ingredients like color and flavor, so check those labels out first to make your best decision on what to consume for your special diet.
Always remember to carefully read labels and check sources for any candies or other foods before consuming them on your special diet as manufacturers can change ingredients and production methods at any time without notice.
Note: Nima testing pics are snapped with my iPhone. They’re not perfect, but testing so many products back to back is time consuming and life was happening all around me when I did the testing. I thought it best to get this info to you as soon as possible with Halloween right around the corner, versus waiting for enough time to snap perfect pics with the real camera. ;-) You understand and I thank you for that!
Many well known brands contain wheat, traces of peanuts and/or tree nuts and other allergens or are processed in a facility where wheat is present.
BIG update – Brach’s Candy Corn, which is not labeled GF tested all smiles with my Nima Sensor! (One reader from Facebook found a package of this candy corn with gluten-free labeling at Target. I will search to see if I can find one, too. If I do, I’ll update you!)
Please keep in mind while there are no overt gluten ingredients on the label, there is an allergen statement that this product is manufactured in a facility where milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy are used in the production of other products. You can see for yourself here (and in my fuzzy pic below).
So, should you eat this product? By listing this, or any, product here or elsewhere I am not suggesting you eat (or necessarily avoid) it. I am providing information to help you make the best decision for your unique situation. For me, with a product like this that is manufactured in a facility with numerous allergens, I believe it is too risky due to my celiac disease and multiple food allergies (soy, peanuts, tree nuts) and my avoidance of dairy.
However, as evidenced above, Nima testing was all smiles (indicating gluten-free for the samples tested). Again, it’s up to you, but since several of you sent me a note about Brach’s candy corn, I wanted to include it.
If you’re like me and shy away from the possibility of cross-contamination the following two options are gluten-free.
For gluten-free, nut-free candy corn, try A and J Bakery. According to the website, this product is made in a nut and gluten free dedicated facility, but does contain egg and soy ingredients. I saw on their website when doing my fact-checking for this article update that they are offering 25% off candy corn through the end of October with a discount code you’ll find via the link above.
Jelly Belly Candy Corn is gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, and gelatin free.
From Jelly Belly: Candy Corn contains modified soy protein. Jelly Belly Candy Corn does not contain dairy, egg, gluten, tree nuts or peanut ingredients.
This is a good summary of Jelly Belly practices in terms of allergens and gluten.
Caramel Apple Pops & ALL Tootsie Roll Products
At this time, according to the Tootsie Roll website, all of their products are gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut free. Note: Caramel Apple Pops do contain soy and milk ingredients.)
According to Wrigley, maker of Starburst, these candies are “free of any gluten”.
The Wrigley website says:
“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.”
My advice: Contact the company to be 100% certain about specific products.
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®.
These gourmet jelly beans 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.
Licorice candy typically contains gluten (wheat), but Jelly Belly assures us that the black beans are gluten-free. Jelly Belly beans are also made in a peanut-free factory, according to the website (peanut butter flavor was retired some time ago).
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
Their website information on gluten free products was last updated Dec. 2014 and contains a full list of their gluten-free candies, baking products and syrups for the USA and Canada. It’s best to check the list yourself, as there are so many Hershey products and a few exceptions.
Even though regular Hershey bars are noted as GF on the Hershey site, I wanted to test them for you. As you see, all smiles with Nima.
The product package does not bear a gluten-free label; however, the only allergen warning on Hershey bars is one about almonds processed on same equipment.
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.
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.
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 minis & shapes)
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)
The following manufactured by Nestle are gluten-free, according to the company:
- Original Butterfinger candy bar
- Baby Ruth candy bar
- 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.
Includes brands like:
- Milky Way
According to the Mars, the company no longer maintains a gluten-free list.
Instead, Mars instructs consumers to check the product label each time for the most up-to-date allergen information.
This is due, in part, to using alternate facilities to produce some products, particularly during busy holiday seasons (all manufacturers are likely to do this, too, so this is another good reason to always read those labels, even if we had a product in the past and found it was GF).
Mars states their policy on allergen labeling here.
Mars reports the following are gluten-free:
- Milky Way Midnight candy bar (note: NOT regular Milky Way bars)
- Milky Way Caramel candy bar (note: NOT regular Milky Way bars)
I Nima tested Milky Way Simply Caramel Fun Size bars and got a “no gluten detected” result.
Note the Milky Way Simply Caramel Fun Size bar ingredients label indicates contains milk and soy, may contain peanuts and eggs.
- Snickers candy bar (regular variety – note: the label indicates these contain peanuts, milk, egg and soy and may contain tree nuts)
I did not test the traditional / regular Snickers bar, but I did test Snickers Almond.
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.)
- 3 Musketeers Bar
- Plain M&Ms
I tested fall colors plain M&Ms candies with Nima, which returned a “no gluten” result. (These do contain milk and soy, and bear an allergen warning that they may contain peanuts.)
- Some varieties of flavored M&Ms
But NOT these seasonal flavors for Halloween and fall!
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.
- Dove products (not products with cookies added; see list below)
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.
According to the company (in email correspondence from Oct. 2016), “All of our candies that we label as gluten free meet the criteria outlined by the FDA for labeling products as gluten free, and do not contain wheat, rye, barley, oats or crossbreeds of these grains in their manufacture. The modified food starch used in our candies is corn starch. Also, Original Dark Chocolatey PEANUT CHEWS® do not contain milk as an ingredient; however they are made on the same equipment as Milk Chocolatey PEANUT CHEWS®.
Please be aware, however, that 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.”
The company does openly say they use GMO products (as do other companies listed here): (from their site) “We use ingredients derived from crop biotechnology in relation to corn, sugar beets and soy because these raw ingredients are not currently available in the USA in the high quantities that we need.” Read more here.
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)
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”.
- 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.)
- 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!