Where’s Your Halloween Candy Made? M&M Edition

Have you ever wondered where your Halloween candy is made? Welcome to the first in a series of articles on Halloween Meow exploring the origin of your Halloween candy. What’s the first candy up for discovery? Naturally, it’s one of the most popular candies of all time: M&Ms. 

M&Ms began as a “copycat” candy of the popular British Smarties. They were sold exclusively to the US Military during World War II as a candy that soldiers could carry with them that wouldn’t melt in their pockets (“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”). Eventually, the candy went “public” and now, the candy is so popular that it’s manufactured at three different facilities in the United States. 

Since 1958, the Mars Wrigley Confectionery has been producing M&Ms at their facility in Hackettstown, New Jersey. However, as demand for the candy grew, they opened another facility in Cleveland, TN in 1978, with the facility expanding in 2018 to incorporate the hazelnut spread (read: Nutella) flavor. 

In 2014, Mars Wrigley opened up a third manufacturing plant to meet the demand for the candy in Topeka, Kansas. Just this year, the Topeka manufacturer announced it would be adding three new flavors to their manufacturing line-up: Mexican Jalapeño Peanut, Thai Coconut Peanut and English Toffee Peanut.

Given that these candies are produced at one of these three factories, it may be confusing to figure out exactly which factory produced the candies you’re munching on. However, if you take a look at the back of your M&Ms package, the package will tell you exactly which of the three factories produced your candy.

Of course, there’s one step that they might miss if your brand of M&M is one with a peanut center: the peanut. Most of the peanuts used in Peanut M&Ms are sourced at their Albany, Georgia plant. These same peanuts also find their way into Mars Wrigley other peanut centric candies such as Snickers. 

Are M&Ms your favorite Halloween candy? If not, what’s your poison?

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Candy Best-By Dates: When Can You Start Buying Halloween Candy?

halloween candy

The heat has ramped up, the swimming pool is open and likely the last thing on your mind is all that Halloween candy you’re going to be buying in October. But what if you found a good deal on the best Halloween candy ever (!), Milky Ways, in the middle of July? Or maybe you wanted to spread out all that spending over the next few months instead of dumping a wad of cash all in one month.

But the sell-by dates! Won’t they go bad before then?

The good news? The candy you buy right now, in June, won’t likely go “off” until spring or summer of next year, depending on what you buy. You know what that means? 

You should start buying candy now. 

Over the next few months, I’ll be highlighting all the candy deals and finds before Halloween, so you’ll be ready to go on Halloween night. According to CandyStore.com, you can follow these guidelines when storing candy for next Halloween.

Does Candy Expire. Candy Shelf Life from CandyStore.comSource: CandyStore.com

But before you start buying, there’s some things to keep in mind.

I took a trip to Walmart to have a look at what was on their shelves and to get a glimpse of the “best-by” dates currently on the shelves. Rule of thumb? ALWAYS check the dates on the bags of candy. No matter when or why you’re buying it.

For instance, here’s a bag of snack size Reese’s Cup. While they’re not out of date, this was on the shelf on May 22, 2019. If you don’t eat these pronto, they’re not going to be “in date” in a month. But it gets better!

Here’s some Kit Kat Dark. Looks just spectacular, doesn’t it? Let’s check the date.

It’s May 2019, but this was out of date in February. Moral of the story? CHECK THE DATES.

However, there’s still no reason you can catch sales or start stocking up because most of the candy was a decent best-by date that would work for trick or treating. Such as this one:

Fun-Size Twix is typically one I pick up for my Trick or Treat bags and this one, while not currently on sale, is a decent date as well:

Perfect. Especially since most of the candy you give out on Halloween night will almost certainly be consumed before November 2.

Keep an eye out for all the latest candy deals here on Halloween Meow starting in July so you can get ready for October 31st. What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

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