Any day now, strangers will knock at your door. They'll act strangely, dress weirdly. They'll chant a sing-song request for treats, while at the same time threatening you with some heinous trick.
If you know what's good for you, you'll give them what they want: candy.
The food industry regularly uses Halloween as an excuse to experiment, coming up with all sorts of strange and unique sweets to attract the crowds of children donning masks and wigs. And sometimes, on occasions far too rare, they may even appease those who aren’t a 6-year old with a sugar fetish.
So whether you're a buyer, a retailer, or just someone who gives out candy on Halloween, here's a look at some of the various approaches you can take to Halloween candy in 2014.
Buy the candy that may be better than any other candy, ever
Last year at this time Food Dive published a piece about Halloween candies and focused primarily on an extraordinarily hard to find delicacy from Asia that captured our attention: the Kit Kat bar made with green matcha tea. It was sublime. It was perfect. And it may even have been healthy.
It seems the candy won the hearts of other folks too. This year the treat has been spotted in a number of specialty candy shops, sold in bags of miniatures perfect for appeasing the little monsters at the door.
Buy perfectly healthy bits of nature covered with sugar
The genius of the green tea Kit Kat is that it introduces something seemingly healthy to an otherwise unhealthy, albeit delicious, sweet. That's about the opposite of the approach taken by Thanasai Foods, which is selling pumpkin seeds flavored with sugar and cinnamon as a Halloween delight.
Buy candy that changes the color of your mouth
If you're going to embrace gross this Halloween, we can think of plenty of things nastier than seeds covered with sugar. Consider if you will, Painterz, a gum from the Dubble Bubble brand.
Taste isn't the point with Painterz. This stuff changes the color of your mouth. If you want a green mouth — and what kid doesn't? — you chew a green piece. Want your Mom to think you're choking to death and turning blue? Chew some blue gum and then pretend to gag. This is the candy you hand out if you want all the parents in the neighborhood to loathe you and all the second-grade boys to think you're totally cool.
Buy big versions of the little things the other neighbors hand out
And here's how you make any neighborly competitor look bad: Buy full-size versions of the miniatures they'll be handing out. No teeny-tiny Snickers from you! Give the kids a real candy bar. And this year you can do that with the almost-forgotten candy bar that had existed for years only as a mini version of its magnificent full-bodied self: the Krackle bar.
Buy some positively disturbing candies
If you have no interest in maintaining a civil relationship with your neighbors, there's no better time than Halloween to make it clear that your house is a place where children should never visit.
Why stop at candy cigarettes? No, if you want to be the guy that everyone talks about the day after Halloween, this is the year to invest in some "Breaking Bad" themed crystal meth candy in genuine drug dealer-type plastic baggies!