Top Allergen-free Treats to Take some of the Scare out of Halloween
Halloween is one of the candy industry’s busiest holidays with consumers spending approximately 2.6 billion on candy in 2018, according to the trade publication Candy Industry. While a time of revelry and fun, it can be challenging for the 5.6 million children under 18 in the US who may have food sensitivities and food allergies. Their time is often spent hunting through labels to find fun and tasty allergy-free treats. Make the search easy for kids and their parents by creating a section in your shop filled with “free-from” candy favorites.
Set yourself apart from your competition by creating a special section among your Halloween candy offerings that is dedicated entirely to products that are “free-from” the main allergens. Thanks to social media, parent groups share the location of stores who are sensitive to the needs of kids with allergies. Create your own buzz by hosting a sale or spread the word on your social media pages that informs customers of your allergen-free offerings.
Worried it will be a sparse selection? Think again. “Free-from” doesn’t mean giving up popular brands or Halloween themed goodies. Check out the sweet stash we’ve put together. Our list focuses on foods free from some or all of the main allergens— peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, wheat, gluten and egg. There are plenty of resources to help you identify more. A great place to start is with the Teal Pumpkin Project. Always refer to all product packaging labels for the for the most up-to-date ingredient and allergen information as these can change.
Dum Dums Lollipops by Spangler
Free from: peanuts, nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and gluten
A candy classic since 1924, Dum-Dums lollipops are an iconic treat customers recognize at first glance. part of the fun of Dum Dums, is discovering your favorite true-to-life flavor in the bunch. From fruity cherry, orange, and pineapple, to deep root beer, smooth cream soda or butterscotch, and sweet cotton candy, there is a Dum Dums for everyone. Dum-Dums are a year round favorite, but for a festive presentation, take a page from the Dum-Dums craft playbook and create pumpkin bundles.
Free from: dairy, gluten, nuts
Chewy, fruity, crunchy, and colorful, Skittles are a candy classic. We love Skittles Zombie and their spooky packaging. They may look like mild-mannered fruity candies, but each pack features a zombie flavored Skittle hidden in with other fruity flavors. Customers will love challenging friends and family to find them all. And, they can do it without the fear of dairy, gluten, and nuts.
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Candy Corn, and Mellocremes
Free from: dairy, gluten, peanuts
Yes, candy corn is a polarizing Halloween candy. For those who love the iconic fall fare, Jelly Belly brings all the joy of this Halloween staple, without allergens like dairy, gluten or peanuts. Three ounce packs of original candy corn, or giant candy corn with fun flavors like cinnamon, and chocolate are sized just right for handing out to trick-or-treaters. And for the “haters” of candy corn, we recommend, Jelly Belly’s bulk Autumn Mix jelly beans in flavors like chocolate pudding, red apple, peach, toasted marshmallow, top banana, raspberry, and pomegranate. The brilliant colors and assortment of flavors make them super versatile. Stocking treats that can pull double duty as decorations helps add seasonal splendor to your shop. Jelly Belly’s Mellocreme pumpkins are a great choice. Bright orange and green candies look festive atop a dessert or in a candy jar. Both beans and mellocremes can be bagged and handed out as party favors, or used in “guess how many in the jar” games, too.
Free from: peanuts, nuts, gluten, soy
A nostalgic American holiday icon, PEZ candy comes in Halloween themed dispensers featuring shapes like ghosts, pumpkins, vampires, mummies, and witches. They add sweet and spooky fun. With dispensers available in blister packs or a standup display, there are multiple merchandising options. Great as party favors, and as always, a fantastic impulse item. Use signage on your display to alert customers to their “free from allergen” features.
Lolli Rocks Rock Candy
Free from: peanuts, nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, or gluten
The old-fashioned classic, Dryden and Palmer rock candy is not only tasty, it’s also free from many of the top allergens. A tub offers festive Halloween colors of black, orange, and yellow, in flavors like black cherry, orange, and lemon. Each lolli is individually wrapped so it can be sold by the piece or by the tub to customers that would want to give out for Halloween. Rock candy proves that simple is sweet. This enduring nostalgic candy is adored by every generation for its gleaming crystals and fun eating experience. Great for Halloween event concession sales. Make sure to advertise the allergy-free status.
Free From: peanuts, gluten
One of the best parts of Halloween is dressing up. Wax lips in classic and spooky colors, fangs, and even mustaches by Concord confections, give everyone the chance to play dress up and offer a chewy treat, too. Wax lips make a fun and unusual trick or treat giveaway that will get rave reviews. Fantastic as party favors, concession sale items, and impulse items. Parents can also be assured that these old school novelties are peanut and gluten free.
Tootsie Child’s Play Mix
Free from: peanuts, gluten
A long-time favorite Halloween giveaway, Tootsie’s Child’s Play bulk candy mix, makes it easy for customers to keep peanut-free and gluten-free with a collection of Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie bars, Tootsie fruit rolls, Tootsie pops, and Dots. With a variety of flavors and candies to choose from, this mix is a tried and true crowd-pleaser.
Free from: peanuts, gluten
Dressing up is fun, even if you’re a classic chocolate and mint treat. Junior Mints, get into the spooky spirit of Halloween in a themed theater box and a surprise inside – orange and black centers! A great trick-or-treat item, party favor, and popular concession sale item for all those fall events.
Keep it Fun for Everyone
A section with allergen free Halloween treats helps to build customer loyalty, while ensuring that everyone can enjoy the fun. Remember while Halloween is only once a year, customers are looking for allergen free treats all year round. If you find this dedicated section was successful for the holiday, consider making it a permanent portion of your store.