Best Valentine’s Day Candy in Stores in 2023

The best Valentine’s Day candy should feel special. You can literally eat any candy any day of the year, but the best candy for Valentine’s Day is giftable, shareable, and romantic

This should also go without saying (but tell that to the candy companies): Valentine’s Day candy should taste good. Sure, everyone loves a pretty pink confection, especially when we’re craving something festive during the least festive time of year, but way too many candy brands released cloying, artificial-tasting strawberry-flavored candies this year. Strawberry Shake M&M’s? Bad. Lindt’s dark- and white-chocolate strawberry truffles? No thank you! Can we maybe try cherry next year, my dudes? 

Allow us to spare you the disappointment of bringing home crappy candy to gorge on while you watch romantic comedies on the couch or, worse yet, to share with someone you love. These are the six best Valentine’s Day candies you’ll find on shelves this year. (Oh, and if you’re looking for the best boxes of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, we have you covered there, too.)

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best valentine's day candy dove strawberry creme

Best White Chocolate

Dove White Chocolate Strawberry & Creme

I know I just talked shit about fake-strawberry-flavored candy, but these Dove chocolates are good if you like very, very sweet stuff. The strawberry flavor is strong, but the creaminess tempers it enough to make it tolerable (that’s not the case with Strawberry Shake M&M’s, which have a fake-fruit flavor that lingers on your palate). These Strawberry & Creme Dove chocolates kind of remind me of strawberry-flavored Carnation Instant Breakfast, which I loved as a kid. This isn’t the best Valentine’s Day candy by a longshot, but if your curiosity gets the best of you, bringing a bag of these home won’t totally bum you out.

Credit: Merc / Target




best conversation hearts candy

Best Conversation Hearts

Brach’s Tiny Conversation Hearts

Do conversation hearts taste good? I’m going to go with no on that (although, if you like Necco Wafers like Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo, you might disagree). That said, they are an essential Valentine’s Day candy, so I’m compelled to direct you to the less bad ones. We tasted these Brach’s Tiny Conversation Hearts alongside Spangler Sweethearts and preferred these for two reasons: One, the messages on the hearts are actually legible, even though they look like they were printed with a 1980s dot-matrix printer, and, two, Brach’s has a lime-flavored heart that’s actually pretty tasty and Sweethearts does not. If you’re going to buy a bag of these weird, crunchy little things, opt for Brach’s.

Credit: Merc / Amazon




best valentine's day lollipops

Best Lollipops

Brach’s Strawberry Cupcake Glitter Lollipops

Have you ever had a Tiger’s Blood-flavored snow cone? It’s just a combo of strawberry syrup and coconut syrup, but it tastes good as hell and sounds tough, too. Anyway, that’s what the flavor of these Brach’s glitter lollipops reminds me of. It’s all very Spring Break ‘98 for me, and I love that (there’s something cute and nostalgic about Valentine’s Day in general). I’d say this is the best Valentine’s Day candy if you’re buying something for a classroom full of kids or want something fun to keep in a bowl on your desk at work. 

Credit: Merc / Target




best valentine's day hershey's kisses

Best Updated Classic

Hershey’s Kisses Roses Milk Chocolate Meltaway

I’m not a big fan of Hershey’s Kisses, mostly because I think they’re kind of chalky and unpleasant. These Milk Chocolate Meltaways are a huge improvement on a classic, thanks to their smooth, fudgey interior. While regular ol’ Hershey’s Kisses are better for baking than they are for straight-up snacking (‘sup, peanut butter blossoms), these Kisses are good enough to eat on their own when you need a late-afternoon dose of cocoa. They also come wrapped in foils that are covered in roses, so they’re cute and romance-y, too. 

Credit: Merc / Target




best valentine's day gummies

Best Gummies

Favorite Day Cherry & Strawberry Banana Gummies

These heart-shaped gummies from Target cover a lot of Valentine’s Day candy bases. They’re cute. They taste good. And they come in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon, so you can totally give them as a gift (to someone else or yourself). Their bold fruit flavor is their biggest strength. The red cherry gummy is tart and doesn’t taste medicinal, and the white strawberry-banana gummy is super unique and tasty. This is the best Valentine’s Day candy if you’re more of a gummies guy than a chocolate guy.  

Credit: Merc / Target




best valentine's day candy ghirardelli

Best of the Best

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Duet Hearts

Aaaaaand if you’re more of a chocolate guy than a gummies guy, I can’t stress enough that this is the best Valentine’s Day candy we tried this year. The chocolate is rich and dark with a bitterness that pairs brilliantly with the tart, gooey raspberry filling. This is real raspberry flavor, not phony raspberry flavor—you’ll even find crunchy little seeds in the filling. My favorite part is how thin and snappy these are. Everything about eating them is a delight. I kept these on my desk and our designer Liv kept coming back for more. 

Credit: Merc / Walmart




Other products we tried: M&M’s Strawberry Shake, Lindt Lindor Dark Strawberry Truffles, Lindt Lindor Strawberries & Cream Truffles, Valentine Dots, Starburst Heart Shaped Jelly Beans, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, Raspberry Creme Kit Kat. 

Share your favorite Valentine’s Day candy with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • My husband is definitely a gummy guy. I will be running to target to get those gummy hearts! Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Nice!