Ditch + Switch: Halloween Candy Edition

It’s that time of year where everyone has one thing on their minds… CANDY! Even as an adult, I still want my treats on Halloween. I might not be willing to go door-to-door to get them, but if I’m dishing out some candy to trick or treaters, I want in on the action too.

Stores like Target, Walmart, CVS, and just about every supermarket begin stocking their shelves with bulk-Halloween-themed versions of commercial candy brands in August!

A big issue I have with easy-to-find Halloween candy located on multiple end caps in stores is that those bargain deals are for terrible ingredients. Companies like MARS, Nestle, and Hershey’s aren’t known for their ethical policies or quality ingredients. (Note: Hershey at least makes an attempt.) Ethics aside, if you or your child have allergies or special dietary needs, you can forget about these brands having an option for you.

Author’s Note: I’m not claiming to never have purchased from these companies or never consuming their products. If a Kit-Kat bar is in front of me and I’m in the mood for it, I’ll have it. I do make an effort not to seek these items out and will choose to put my money toward a better company with a product that chooses better ingredients whenever possible.

With all of that said, there has been major progress in the candy market. Brands I could only find online or in a health food store 12 years ago are now becoming available in chains like Target, Walmart, and Walgreens. While vegan, allergen-friendly, and more ethically-sourced candies aren’t easy to come by in affordable bulk quantities, these items are still great for parties, goody bags, or for your family to indulge in.

Ditch + Switch: M&M's for Unreal Gems

Available in major chains like Kroger, Stop & Shop, Meijer, ShopRite, Whole Foods, Giant, Wegmans + more.

Available in 3 different varieties: Dark Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Dark Chocolates with Crispy Quinoa, or if you are okay with dairy, Milk Chocolates.

Unlike M&Ms, the Unreal Gems, which taste just as good if not better, use only verified non-GMO ingredients, vegetable extracts for coloring, and don’t contain any artificial ingredients.

Ditch + Switch: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Unreal Peanut Butter Cups

Available in major chains like Kroger, Stop & Shop, Meijer, ShopRite, Whole Foods, Giant, Wegmans + more.

Available in 3 different flavors: Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Crispy Quinoa.

Options also include single individually wrapped, 2-pack, and unwrapped 8-count bag.

Unreal’s nut butter cups are certified vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free, plus fair trade. On top of all of that, these taste AMAZING! I grew up eating Reese’s, but after switching over to brands like Unreal and Justin’s, I can taste the quality of the ingredients, and Reese’s just doesn’t taste the same to me now.

Ditch + Switch: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Justin's Peanut Butter Cups

Available in major chains like CVS, Meijer, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Target, Wegmans + more.

Available in 5 different flavors: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter, and White Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Justin’s, which is quickly becoming a household brand in grocery stores, offers individually wrapped peanut butter cups minis and 2-cup packs. The brand is certified gluten-free, organic, Kosher, uses orangutan-friendly palm oil, and their cocoa is Rain Forest Alliance certified.

Note: Milk Chocolate varieties use real milk.

Ditch + Switch: Nestle and Hershey Bars for Enjoy Life Chocolate Minis

Enjoy Life brand is available in most grocery stores. The Halloween chocolates are not so common, but I’ve seen them in Whole Foods.

Enjoy Life Halloween Chocolate Minis comes in 3 varieties: Dark Chocolate, RiceMilk, and RiceMilk Crunch (a great replacement for a Nestle Crunch). They make all 3 options available in a variety pack!

Enjoy Life is a brand that was my saving grace when I first delved into vegan territory twelve years ago. There weren’t as many options then as there are now for vegan treats and Enjoy Life continues to be a friend of people with common dietary restrictions and lifestyles.

Enjoy Life’s products are free from the top 14 common allergens. 

Go here to get a coupon to save $1.50 off any 2 Enjoy Life products.

Ditch + Switch: Snickers Bars for No Whey! Mini Bars

No Whey! is available in select health food stores.

While I won’t vouch for all of No Whey!’s products, (I’m not a fan of their PeaNOT cups) their candy bars and Choco-NoNos (their version of M&Ms) are great options. Free of 8 common allergens, No Whey! is completely nut-free and has a variety of Halloween options on their website and on Amazon.

Use code savetoday on No Whey!’s website to get 10% off your order.

Ditch + Switch: Brach's Candy Corn for Yum Earth's Organic Candy Corn

Yum Earth is available in health food stores and chains like Fairway, Food Lion, Walmart. Walgreens + more.

Love it or hate it, candy corn is a Halloween staple, whose main ingredient is corn syrup and other generally crappy ingredients. 

Yum Earth’s Organic Candy Corn is a better option. Note: This product contains egg powder. 

Yum Earth also makes lollipops and gummy candies for other non-chocolaty options that are vegan, organic, nut-free, gluten-free, and Kosher.

Use code SPOOKY20 to receive 20% off Halloween candy on Yum Earth’s website.

For more great Halloween candy ideas + Trick or Treating tips, check out my friend Mandi’s blog post at Nosh & Nurture.


  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.