My friend’s house gets stampeded on Halloween. The entire neighborhood turns into an extended haunted house, and after spending weeks putting up elaborate fake cemeteries and brainstorming how to dress up as a crazy ghost with a chainsaw, my friend spends the evening handing out hundreds of pieces of candy to kids.
Seriously, like 300 pieces of candy.
The thing is, my friend is also an incredibly conscientious person. She’s not the kind of jerk who hands out raisins or floss on Halloween, but she also doesn’t want to perpetuate the status quo of cheap, unethical candy. There's a reason those chocolates are so cheap, and it's because farmers are paid pennies for their hard work (think 80 cents per pound of cocoa beans) , which means you'll find extreme poverty and sometimes even child slave labor behind those sweets.
But when my friend asked me earlier today where to buy ethical Halloween candy that won’t break the bank, I was stumped. Well, for a minute.
Here are four solutions I found for her that I thought you, as an awesomely conscientious person, might want to hand out too. Each is reasonably priced and kid-friendly, and the pieces come individually wrapped, perfect for trick or treaters on Halloween.
Owner Shawn Askinosie is hands down the most ethical person I know. He devotes almost all of his time to sourcing cocoa beans directly from farmers, working to improve living conditions in Tanzania and the Philippines, in particular. Think building schools, buying textbooks and computers, and so many other initiatives that I can't even keep track. The bean-to-bar chocolate is also as high quality and delicious as it gets.
$127.50 for 150 bars (7 grams/bar) $.85/bar
I love this new trend of bean-to-bar makers coming out with mini versions of their badass bars. These come in pink sea salt or coconut milk, perfect for those too-cool-for-school vegan children (or, really, all children). If you’re looking for true candy, spring for Eat Chic’s nut butter cups, made with Raaka Chocolate and pretty much irresistible, though they’re a bit more expensive.
$80 for a box of 100 mini bars (8 grams/bar) $.80/bar
These lil' minis taste as cute as they look: Think an assortment of bean-to-bar maker TCHO's dark chocolate bars in "nutty" flavor, for the discerning trick or treater. There aren't any nuts in the bars; rather, the chocolate itself tastes nutty because of the cocoa beans' natural terroir. The Berkeley-based company practices direct trade, buying cocoa beans directly from farmers and investing time, money, and energy into improving their living conditions.
$42.99 for 120 bars (8 grams/bar), $.35/bar
Honestly I don't know that much about this company, but what I do know impresses me. The chocolate is not bean to bar, but it is fair trade and comes from a worker-owned co-op. Plus Equal Exchange worked with TCHO to create chocolate-making labs near cocoa farmer communities so that farmers can see how their beans taste, and make them taste even better. Try the minis with a hint of hazelnut, reminiscent of Nutella. $60 for 150 pieces.
$43.75 for 1 pack of 150 bars (4.25 grams/bar), $.29/bar
(Note: This post contains affiliate links.)