25 Unusual Flavors of Familiar Candies
By Alvin Ward
Chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and saké? Fortunately, in the ever-evolving candy world, you don’t have to choose. For every tried and true flavor of one of your favorite candies, there’s probably a more adventurous version lurking out there somewhere in the world. Here are 25 of our favorites.
1. CANDY CORN DIPPED MARSHMALLOW PEEPS
Candy corn may be one of the world’s most divisive candies. Each year, as Halloween rolls around, candy lovers often find themselves having to pick a side on the Great Candy Corn Debate: delicious or disgusting? Regardless of your stance on the matter, that doesn’t stop candy makers from trotting out candy corn-flavored versions of their most popular treats. This includes the sugar-loving folks at Peeps, who infuse their already-sweet marshmallow chicks with candy corn flavor, then dip them in white chocolate to up the ante.
2. SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CANDY CORN
Not to be outdone, the candy corn folks have had their own bit of fun playing with both the colors and flavors of the traditionally yellow, orange, and white-tipped treat. One seasonal flavor that seems to be a hit (no matter which side of that aforementioned debate you land on): Sea Salt Chocolate Candy Corn—which, when you think about it, just makes a lot more sense.
3. REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA CREME CUPS
As one of the world’s most popular candies, Hershey seemed to have stumbled onto flavor-pairing gold when it put chocolate and peanut butter together into one delicious cup. But that doesn’t mean the brand hasn’t messed around with perfection from time to time. In 2007, they paid tribute to Elvis Presley by releasing a limited-edition Peanut Butter and Banana Creme variety, timed to the 30th anniversary of The King’s death.
4. HONEY ROASTED PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
In April 2017, The Hershey Company announced that some of their most beloved candy bars would receive new, limited-edition flavors modeled after a few of the culinary specialties of different corners of the country. For Georgia, they gave the Peanut Butter Cup a honey-roasted makeover that offered hints of floral, amber, and molasses. (It’s not too late to find some floating around for sale on the internet, including eBay.)
5. BBQ PAYDAY
As part of that same Hershey promotion, the company debuted a Payday bar that was full of BBQ-seasoned peanuts, in honor of the Lone Star State.
6. GHOST DOTS
Yet another discontinued treat that is clamoring for a comeback: Ghost Dots, which were really just a regular old box of Dots candy, but with every flavor the same translucent, greenish color, which made it hard to distinguish which flavor you were actually chewing.
7. CHLOROPHYLL PEZ
PEZ may be celebrating its 90th birthday this year, but this classic candy company isn't living in the past. They are (and always have been) on the cutting edge of new flavors, introducing dozens of new treats over the years. But even if you’re a rabid collector of their candies and dispensers, you might not know that in the 1960s they introduced a chlorophyll version of the dispensable candy, for anyone craving a plant-flavored experience.
8. PRETZEL M&MS
Milk chocolate M&MS are so 30 years ago. Beginning in the 1980s, M&Ms began experimenting with different flavors and textures for its treats, some of which—including Dulce de Leche—were quickly discontinued. But in 2010, they introduced a serious product for sweet-and-salty palates: Pretzel M&Ms, a round little pretzel ball covered in that iconic candy coating.
9. GREEN TEA HERSHEY KISSES
Anyone who has ever spent time in Asia probably noticed some truly unique flavors of your favorite chocolate candies—including Green Tea Hershey Kisses. According to Hershey’s Chocolate World, a 13,000 square-foot haven of sweetness on the Las Vegas Strip, “In this Kiss, milk chocolate surrounds a rich green tea–flavored center for an uncommon and mild Hershey’s experience.”
10. NEW YORK CHEESECAKE KISSES
You don’t have to hop on a plane to enjoy a one-of-a-kind Kiss. As a tribute to the Big Apple, The Hershey Company once concocted this milk chocolate treat with just a hint of rich cheesecake in the center.
11. BUTTERED POPCORN MIKE AND IKES
Much like Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly beans, Buttered Popcorn Mike and Ikes are pretty much a love ’em or hate ’em proposition. For those who are intrigued by the idea of a chewy piece of buttery candy, we’ve got good news: After more than a decade of extinction, the brand resurrected the buttery candy in 2016.
12. CHERRY COLA MIKE AND IKES
Joining their old-timey friends, Cherry Cola Mike and Ikes also made their way back to store shelves last year, after first being introduced as a limited-time flavor in 2003.
13. THANKSGIVING GUMBALLS
The holiday season is just around the corner, which means delicious turkey dinners, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie for all. But if you’re trying to watch your caloric intake, it might be worth seeing if you can find a tin of Thanksgiving Gumballs—and yes, they’re exactly what they sound like. Dubbing itself “a three-course meal in every tin,” the gumballs came in three flavors: turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie.
14. CHOCOLATE SKITTLES
Skittles haven't gone too far outside of the box—or the bag, as it were—since making their fruity debut in 1974. The brand has dabbled in subtle variations here and there; in 1989 alone, Tropical, Wild Berry, and Tart-N-Tangy Skittles all hit the market. But the company strayed too far from its consumer base in 2007, when it unleashed Chocolate Skittles on the world. The feedback was not pretty.
15. KEY LIME PIE TWIZZLERS
If you think the world of licorice amounts to just two choices—black or red—think again. Earlier this year, Hershey debuted a whole new twist on its beloved Twizzlers with a Key Lime Pie flavored variety, as well as an Orange Cream Pop.
16. FRESH COLA MENTOS
Besides being known for their cheesy 1990s commercials, Mentos candies are equally famous for what happens when you drop a few into a bottle of Diet Coke. (Spoiler alert: It explodes, as MythBusters once confirmed.) Now you can replicate that experiment in your belly—without the geyser, hopefully—with these Fresh Cola Mentos.
17. SWEDISH FISH JELLY BEANS
It’s not so much the flavor that’s unusual with these sweet candies—it’s the delivery method. Everyone knows that Swedish Fish are those addictive fish-shaped gummy candies. To experience that same flavor, but in a slightly crunchier jelly bean form, just feels, well, un-Swedish Fish-like.
18. JAVA TWIX
First introduced in 2007, Java Twix was released as a limited-edition candy—and it didn’t stick around for long. Though why, we can’t figure out. With its delicious mix of coffee and caramel, topped on a chocolate wafer, then covered in milk chocolate, the candy bar quickly gained a huge following. Its disappearance from shelves left a void in the sweet tooth of many angry candy and caffeine addicts—including, fittingly, the Candy Addict blog.
19. SAKÉ KIT KATS
When it comes to variety, Kit Kat is the candy to beat. Its popularity around the world means that it comes in dozens of flavors, not all of them readily available to American shoppers. In Asia, in particular, Kit Kats have been known to take on all sorts of amazing flavors—including saké. Introduced in 2016, Saké Kit Kats are white chocolate candy bars layered with saké powder.
20. BAKED SWEET POTATO KIT KATS
The packaging for these recommends that you bake them for the real effect.
21. SWEET PURPLE POTATO KIT KATS
Nope, we’re not done with Kit Kats yet! These sweet, bright lavender snacks, which are available in Japan, are filled with purple sweet potato flavor and might just be too pretty to eat.
22. WASABI KIT KATS
Ok, one more Kit Kat—and yes, that says “wasabi.” According to reviews of the light green candy, they’re not actually spicy, but they do manage to retain some subtle notes of wasabi (which is probably for the best).
23. PICKLE CANDY CANES
If you're sick of all those peppermint candy canes, you might be tempted to try one that tastes like a pickle. Maybe?
24. BACON CANDY CANES
Not into peppermint or pickles? Then maybe a bacon candy cane is the way to celebrate this holiday season. Believe it or not, Amazon has a whole slew of questionable candy cane flavors to choose from: wasabi, gravy, and coffee are a few others.
25. CANDY STRING CHEESE
Yes, we said this list was about strange flavors of your favorite candies. But what if one of your favorite foods was infused with candy flavor for no good reason? That’s just what a Wisconsin-based company called Cow Candy did earlier this year, when it created a line of fruit-flavored Monterey Jack cheese sticks, designed to be a sweet alternative to sugary treats.