The data presented below were first published after Halloween in 2006, here at The World’s Fair. We were fortunate after that publication to receive further (non-anonymous) peer review and thus we re-present below the hierarchy with amendments and adjustments, but no retractions, this time just ahead of Halloween and Ghost season.
For example, one reviewer, Prof. Turcano, rightly observed that Smarties “are clearly an index candy for the Middle Crunchy Tart Layer,” and that addition was made. Another reviewer, Dr. Maywa, noted that “anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers” were most definitely indicative of the “how dare they call this a candy” layer. I think some of Charles Lyell’s earlier work indicated much the same, but then the Royal Society got all up in the mix and it fell out again. (There’s a uniformitarian for you, right?)
To repeat our earlier claims to the report: Although there were some intra-family disputes about what belongs where, we did derive a basic candy hierarchy, and I do think it is more or less sound. This taxonomy is based on years of research and debate, on thorough testing and re-testing, on statistical comparison and quality measurement, on focus group testing, and on a series of FTIR scans that reveal various hydrocarbon peaks and whatnot.
It’s sound science.
And so to you the 2007 Candy Hierarchy, with uncertainties acknowledged:
Regular M&Ms — Junior Mints — Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups —
Three Musketeers — regular old Hershey Bars* — Twix
Gummy Bears straight up — White Bread — Licorice — Anything from Brach’s — Hard Candy — Bubble Gum — Including the Chiclets (but not the erasers) — Black Jacks — LemonHeads — LaffyTaffy — Good N’ Plenty — Jolly Ranchers (if a bad flavor) — Bottle Caps — Smarties — “those odd marshmallow circus peanut things”***
“anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers” — Now’n’Laters —
Hugs (actual physical hugs) — Whole Wheat anything
*These indicate the intra-family disputes. For example, I would keep Kit-Kat where it is, while other unnamed members of the family demand that it be given Top Tier Classification. That same other unnamed member of the family would not put Tootsie Rolls as a top-tier get, though I would’ve. Shockingly, there was no unanimous decision on the placement of Candy Corn, which as of 2006 remained unclassified, but as of 2007 has been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian.
**Remains an outlier, since it is in no way “chewy.” Further studies have not resolved this inconsistency.
***The literature shows that these are perhaps “an abomination too evil to distribute to the young nowadays.”
**** Prior studies show that “the whoppers that never properly whopped and are chewy, however, should always be a top tier item.”