For many kids, the wee hours of All Hallow’s Eve is just a time for gluttony. For true Treaters, there are calculated methods behind the indulgence, sugar highs, cavities and seas of candy wrappers. Every Treater has a motive. Every Treater has plan. Because when you traipse through dark neighborhoods, lug around a heavy pumpkin of plunder, lose feeling in your limbs due to frigid temperatures and wear a mask that hinders proper breathing, you deserve the best.
The Category: Anything name brand, especially in the Hershey family, automatically qualifies for a Keep depending on a Treater’s preferences. Besides, the main idea of disguising yourself and begging for candy is that you retain most of the spoils. I recommend establishing this Keep pile before any bartering or sharing commences.
The Candy: The candy often falls into 2 categories based on taste preferences. There is Chocolatey, and there is Fruity. The Treater must prioritize based on their favorite candies. Top Keeps, by common popularity, include but are not limited to: Hershey’s Chocolate (milk & dark), Snickers, Reese’s (cups or pieces), Milky Way (especially the “Midnight” variety), M&Ms (all varieties), Butterfinger, Skittles and individually wrapped Twizzlers.
Tips: Bear in mind, if any of these top ranking candies are not among your favorites, you hold a very powerful position once trading begins. Trade wisely. Unwanted prize candies can accrue and buy more of what you want.
The Category: Any candy which can be found at the hostess desk of an Italian restaurant qualifies for immediate disposal. Don’t keep these “filler” candies in your pumpkin to deceivingly bulk up your stash because you’ll never be taken seriously once trading begins.
The Candy: Most all mints. Peppermints, Wintergreen mints and even Andes mints apply. Butterscotch and Werthers Original also make the list. Specialty gum and Tic-Tacs are negotiable as Keepers provided the Treater finds them necessary or desirable.
Tips: Don’t be a hero and hang on to these Discards. As soon as you sift through your stash, dispose of them. They only impede further sorting.
The Category: Any top ranked candy which you do not like or the mediocre name brand selections which, when combined, can yield a much better piece.
The Candy: As above stated, use high value Tradables to your advantage. The mediocre varieties, the ones which make you shrug with indifference when they’re dropped into your pumpkin, are as follows: Twix, Kit-Kats, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Sweetarts and Tootsie Rolls.
Tips: In order to get the most from your mediocre candy trade, feign enthusiasm about these less than desirable candies. For example, compare Tootsie Rolls to brownie batter, share the jokes on the Laffy Taffy wrappers and perhaps sing the Kit Kat theme. A Treater’s salesmanship technique with the Tradables is the key to successful bartering.
The Share has no hard and fast rule. The type of “benevolent” candies vary based on the Treater’s preferences and approach to later trades. Share styles fluctuate with the Treater, but overall, a charitable share from your pumpkin spoils will help you later. We must view all people (friends, siblings, parents and otherwise) as potential traders in the future, so you need to establish an altruistic relationship with them. For instance, when you and your Treater partners are in the middle of a trick-or-treat quest and your energy levels are running low from scampering door-to-door, give your partner a Reeses Cup. Extend an olive branch in the form of your favorite candy. Relinquishing just one of your favorites will secure this fellow Treater as a future Trader.
The Category: This is a very sensitive category. Parents will always try to con Treaters out of good candy, so to appease them, Treaters must always allot a portion of plunder to their guardians. The gesture is akin to a tax or a tithe (since they do facilitate the trick-or-treating), but don’t be disheartened. Guardians can be easily consoled by the selections you deem disgusting.
The Candy: Any candy with nuts and any loot that’s not classified as candy. These selections include: Almond Joy, Mounds, PayDays and fruit (with the exception of Raisinets and candy apples.)
Tips: When handing over “parent tax,” Treaters must fake disappointment and play the pity card. More than likely, parents will confront the sudden change in taste, but Treaters must assure them that they do indeed like almonds (even if this requires a taste to prove so). When you willingly give over the “parent tax,” you are one step closer to receiving discount candy in bulk on November 1st.