But even nominally “good” candy can turn bad at that size. Consider Twix, a normally decent candy. For one, the name Twix is some sort of play on “Twin” and suggests two, and you only get one, so the name is basically a lie. On top of that, the caramel quality dips dramatically in the smaller version.
With Twizzlers, the ENTIRE taste and texture change at that size (the internet is already upset about this), and suddenly you are eating a knock-off, fourth tier Red Vine.
M&Ms, an average candy, almost always taste chalky and expired in fun size.
Candy Corns don’t exist outside of the Halloween oeuvre, and they are generally considered the worst of all candies not named Necco Wafers, with a flavor profile that suggests someone tried to create the candy version of sweetened Country Crock artificial butter.
Laffy Taffy does not exactly bring its consumer back to the days of eating candy while walking along the 1930s Atlantic City boardwalk.
And Whoppers, already a downgraded version of the superior British Malteasers, taste, in fun size form, like the textural embodiment of ennui.
Candy itself, mostly in the form of bougie $14 Mast Brothers-style chocolate bars, has an entire artisanal line now. But whereas other mass produced food products in America, like canned tomato sauce or chips, have made at least nominal ornamental changes in an effort to ingratiate themselves with the increasing number of Americans who fancy themselves food-conscious, aside from rolling out increasingly weirder flavors of M&Ms and putting all their money into offering the Asian markets fantastic Kit-Kat flavors, Big Candy has done none of these things, and the Halloween lines of big candy are the lowest end, because these are the ones companies know will be given away for free.
This is kind of crazy to think about on its own -- that there is an entire subset of the candy business dedicated to providing candy that’ll just be given away — but there, I think, is where we find the answer to why Halloween candy is so damn bad. With this holiday that requires a household spend, on average, around $22 (Americans spend nearly $3 billion total on Halloween candy) on something we will be giving away, we’ve essentially created our own shitty economic loop: the companies put their least amount of ingredient and production resources into the Halloween lines, and we buy the lowest end product because we have to give it away anyway.
And so kids all over the country, dressed as Blonde Pete Davidsons and Sexy Robert Muellers, collect that candy and then tithe a portion to their parents, who might sit down at the end of a long night of giving Hot Tamales to teenagers who didn’t even bother dressing up aside from wearing a slightly larger than normal shirt, and bite into lemon Starbursts, and weird Twizzlers, and chalky M&Ms, and realize that someone needs to break this cycle of Halloween candy mediocrity.
Or at least only buy Reese's Peanut Butter cups.