How to be the house that everyone wants to visit on Halloween, according to a candy expert

Hot tip: Sour candies are totally trendy.

Want to be the best Halloween house this year? Don't screw up the candy.
Want to be the best Halloween house this year? Don't screw up the candy. –Barry Chin/Globe Staff

There’s always one — the house that kids make a beeline for while trick-or-treating, the address where king-size candy bars are handed out and nary an apple is seen. That house. But if you want to establish neighborhood dominance this year, there’s more to take into consideration than simply offering colossal Hershey bars.

We chatted with Scott Kazlouskas-Noyes, general manager of Provincetown’s Cabot’s Candy (which has a second location in Cambridge), about the best ways to please everyone ringing your doorbell this Halloween. A Cabot’s employee for 18 years, Kazlouskas-Noyes knows his way around sugar, and the candies to buy if you want to kill it this year.

1. Pucker up! Sour candies are having a moment


Though often considered a polarizing type of candy, Kazlouskas-Noyes said sour treats are among Cabot’s most frequent requests.

“Sour Patch Kids are one of our top sellers,” Kazlouskas-Noyes said. “People come in asking, What is your most sour candy? A good majority of our bulk collection, around 40 percent, is sour-related.”

If you’ve been planning on a chocolate-focused Halloween stash, you’d be wise to throw in a few sour items like Sour Nerds, Sweet Tarts, Atomic Warheads, and the ubiquitous Sour Patch Kids.

2. Buy more dark chocolate than milk chocolate

Faced with a wall full of candy bars, your best bet is to go dark over milk.

“People seem to be on the lookout for dark chocolate,” Kazlouskas-Noyes said. “More and more, they’re asking what the percentage of cocoa powder is in the candy.”

Whether the reasons are health-related (dark chocolate often has less sugar than milk chocolate) or simply a matter of taste, Kazlouskas-Noyes said that dark is in. Reese’s Dark Peanut Butter Cups, Mounds bars, and Dove dark chocolates are all solid picks when curating a Halloween stash.

The fate of Necco wafers is unknown following the factory’s closure. —Charles Krupa

3. Get your Necco products while you still can

Ever since the Necco factory abruptly shuttered in July, the fate of Necco products — which include Necco wafers, Sweethearts, and Clark Bars — has been up in the air. Kazlouskas-Noyes has seen an uptick in people searching for candies from the Revere-based company.


“Necco has always done well, but now people are seeking it out more since they’re not sure if [the company is] coming back,” he said. “Some people haven’t even realized they’ve run out of business but are still searching for their candies, because [Necco makes] childhood favorites.”

Want to be a Halloween hero? Track down dwindling Necco products before they’ve disappeared into candy oblivion.

4. Be conscious of allergies

“Every year, it seems more and more common [to see] people with severe allergies in the store,” Kazlouskas-Noyes said.

And it’s not just nuts that need to be avoided. Kazlouskas-Noyes said that the most common allergy he sees is a gluten one. Thankfully, there are plenty of candy options that are gluten-free: Almond Joy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Payday, Sno-Caps, Laffy Taffy, and more. A complete list of gluten-free candy from the Celiac Disease Foundation can be found here.

The most important thing you can do, Kazlouskas-Noyes said, is to read ingredient labels and ask.