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IMAGE: Cute, small girl smiling and waving standing next to a Jack-O-Lantern.

The 5 Best Vegan Halloween Candies for Trick-or-Treaters

Somewhere out there, I am sure there are vegans who give carrot and celery sticks to trick or treating children on Halloween night. I am not that vegan! (I suspect that may even be an urban myth altogether, but investigating the claim is not my mission here today).

No, I’m more of the vegan variety who thinks that making vegan food as appealing as possible, no matter your particular taste bud proclivities, is the more successful path to growing our ranks.

Last year, during the early days of the winter COVID surge, we put a table at the end of our walkway and sat in chairs by our porch and watched as parents drove around looking for people actually giving out candy. They’d pull over and let their kids out to pick up candy from the table, wave hello, call out, "thank yooooou," and be on their way hunting for the next house.

This year’s Halloween may still be a strange one. It may be more similar to last year’s than to the Halloweens we remember from years past, so I think it’s incumbent on us all to make it a good candy year for kids who are experiencing their second Covid’ween.

To that end, here are the best vegan Halloween snacks for sharing. 

1. There are specialty vegan candy purveyors galore.

And here’s where I tell you about my favorite childhood favorite replicator: Go Max Go candy. They make a lot of different kinds of (full-size) candy bars, but in particular, if you’re looking to replicate an Almond Joy (because sometimes you feel like a nut), then their Mahalo is the way to go. This is a great list of other veganized versions of your favorite candy bars from your youth. If any year is the year to go full-size, this is the year!

2. My favorite mainstream vegan candy: Chick-O-Sticks.

Chick-O-Sticks are chock full of peanut buttery goodness. In fact, they’re much like what a Butterfinger candy bar would be if you replaced the chocolate coating with shredded toasted coconut instead. If peanut butter and coconut are two of your favorite things too, remind yourself and surprise yourself with how good Chick-O-Sticks are.

3. Are you Team Red Vine or Team Twizzler?

It doesn’t matter which you are; both brands are vegan. I’m one of the few people I know who doesn’t have a team in this fight. I really don’t have a strong preference. Just give me a red “licorice” candy to get stuck in my teeth, and I’m totally happy. Go ahead and indulge. 

4. Skittles!

Who can deny the power of the rainbow, the power of Skittles? (#Notsponsored.) I wouldn’t claim they can replace M&Ms in your life, but they have that hard candy coating and a soft burst of flavor inside, so they’re sort of like fruity M&Ms if such a thing existed. All flavors are vegan, and they just announced that this year they’re bringing the lime flavor back, so all’s right in the Skittles universe.

5. Sour Patch Kids!

If you are starting to get a sugar high (or sugar low) just reading about all the sweet treats above, then give another section of your tongue a work-out and chow down on some Sour Patch Kids. Disclaimer: These are still sugary candy treats, make no mistake.

Whether you go high-end, custom vegan treats, or mainstream, familiar happen-to-be-vegan options, let’s all do our civic duty this year and make Halloween special for the kids in our community! (And no one will tattle if you save a few aside for yourselves too.)

Elisa Camahort Page is a speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur, best-known for co-founding BlogHer. She’s the host of The Op-Ed Page podcast and This Week-ish newsletter, and co-author of Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All. Learn more at elisacp.com.

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