How Long Is Halloween Candy Good For?

Love to hoard treats after Halloween? Us, too. So how long is Halloween candy good for? It depends on the type of candy. Here are some guidelines to keep you safe, not spooked.

When I was growing up, my parents were strict about candy consumption. So when I came home with a pillowcase full of candy after trick-or-treating, I hoarded the candy, eking it out little by little for months afterward. I never stopped to wonder…wait, how long is Halloween candy good for?

Does Candy Expire?

Yep, candy does expire, but the good news is that most types of candy keep well for six months or more. Also, in general, the quality will decline before the candy truly expires or becomes unsafe. Most candies have low moisture content paired with high levels of sugar, which is a preservative.

How Long does Halloween Candy last chartClaire Krieger/Taste of Home

How Long Does Halloween Candy Last?

Here’s a guide by type. Note that this is for unopened candy. Once candy is open, try to eat it within a few months, regardless of type. And if you don’t think you can finish the candy within a few months, check out these recipes that use leftover Halloween candy.

6 to 9 Months

Peanut butter cups, caramels, gum and candy corn. Sensing a theme? Super soft, chewy candies, especially sticky ones, can go bad faster than others.

8 to 10 Months

Soft chocolates, like white and milk chocolate.

Up to a Year

Jelly beans and other jelly candies, and hard candies.

Up to 2 Years

Dark chocolate. This bitter treat keeps very well.

Pro tip: You may see a white “dust” on the chocolate bar. That’s not mold, but “bloom,” which is caused by moisture evaporating from the chocolate. It’s still safe to eat! If the chocolate tastes very dry or the texture has changed dramatically, or if it just doesn’t taste good, those are signs to toss the bar.

How to Store Candy

Whenever possible, store candy in its original sealed wrapper. Once it’s opened, move the candy to a sealed jar or container, or fasten the original packaging with a clip. Keep the candy in a cool, dark place, like a cupboard, pantry or even the basement.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.