We Tried Brach's Tailgate Hot Dog And Hamburger Candy Corn So You Don't Have To

It's available year-round, but most people would probably consider candy corn to be Halloween candy. Brach's has tried to break that association by offering unique flavors of candy corn tailored to other holidays and seasonal events. We've seen a wider variety of autumn-inspired flavors, including Green Apple, "Witches Teeth," caramel, and "Harvest Corn," which are made with a chocolate layer. Then came the Funfetti, Carrot Cake, and Pastel candy corn flavors, which were released to attract candy corn lovers during Easter and spring holidays. Finally, we saw the release of the Turkey Dinner candy corn collection, which took us into uncharted meat-flavored candy corn territory. We should have known it wasn't going to end there.

This year, Brach's has released another novelty candy corn collection called "Tailgate" candy corn. Given the time of year these candies were released, they will have some intense competition with regular Halloween candy corn. But the target audience isn't kids running around in costumes; it's adults looking forward to spending their Sunday afternoons tailgating outside a football stadium or wishing they were from the couch while watching the game. The 11-ounce package includes five flavors — fruit punch, vanilla ice cream, popcorn, hot dog, and hamburger. Once again, we're treading into meat-flavored candy territory, which is deeply unsettling. Naturally, we had to pick up a bag and taste them to find out what they were like ourselves. Here's everything you need to know about Brach's Tailgate Candy Corn flavors.

Hot dog

So here's what you'll do when you open the bag. You will separate all of the five candy flavors by color. Make sure you put all the hot dog-flavored candy corn in its own pile. These are light brown at the base and light pink pointed end (as pictured above). Once they're divided out by color, scoop this particular flavor up and immediately throw them away. Every last piece. Do not stop to taste one. Just throw them all away and never look back. While at it, double-check that none of them got mixed in with the other flavors.

Some of you may have the urge to try this flavor even more now that we've specifically instructed you not to, so to clarify our position — the hot dog candy corn tastes like a week-old hot dog that's been left decaying in the sun and has been partially eaten (and regurgitated) by a seagull. The acrid flavor hits the moment you begin to chew, making you question whether you're going to swallow this thing or lose your lunch. Frankly, it's enough to make the most devoted hot dog lover consider going vegetarian. We're not trying to be mean when we say that this flavor shouldn't exist; we're trying to save you from the pain of ever having to experience it. We'd genuinely rather try a ketchup and mustard or horseradish-flavored candy corn before ever tasting the hot dog flavor again.

Fruit punch

After tasting the hot dog-flavored candy corn, it was understandably difficult to carry on. So after washing it down, we opted to try the fruit punch-flavored candy corn as a palate cleanser. After confirming that it's a relatively normal flavor, we were relieved and happily munched on a few more. It's vaguely berry-flavored candy corn that's not quite as intense as a Starburst cherry or strawberry candy but chewy and satisfying. If it were any chalkier, it would remind us of the "Assorted Berries" Extra Strength Tums, which you might also want on-hand if you're tailgating anyway.

It's pretty easy to pick this flavor out of the bag, with its light pink base and dark pink top. There was also a more significant portion of this flavor in the pack than either of the savory flavors, which was very much appreciated. While enjoying the fruit punch candy corn and strategizing which flavor we'd try next, it dawned on us that Brach's might be creating the candy corn equivalent of the Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Bean from Harry Potter, and brought to life by Brach's competitor, Jelly Belly. There are certainly flavors to enjoy, but you might also end up with a rotten egg. Luckily, the fruit punch candy corn is a safe bet, even if it isn't the most creative flavor in the bag.


By smell alone, it's difficult to tell the flavors of the popcorn and vanilla ice cream, and they don't look especially different either. Both have ivory-colored tops, but the bottoms of the popcorn candy corns are a light yellow, whereas the bottoms of the vanilla ice cream flavor are darker yellow to light orange color. Neither are especially attractive. Even after chewing on a popcorn-flavored candy for a couple of seconds, it wasn't immediately apparent that this flavor was anything but sweet and waxy. Eventually, after the candy is entirely chewed, the popcorn flavor shows up. It's surprisingly mellow, decidedly artificial — but not disagreeable, with an ever-so-tiny pop of cooked butter flavor at the end before it all recedes into general sweetness. We'll take it.

For those who enjoy lightly seasoned popcorn and sweeter novelty popcorn, these candy corns might be appealing. But if you're the kind of person who likes a substantial amount of salt on your popcorn and enough butter to make your hands greasy, these will be a little underwhelming. After a handful of the popcorn-flavored candies, we realized that they taste more like fresh raw corn kernels than popcorn, which has a nice summery vibe. Perhaps if Brach's decides to make a summer barbecue candy corn collection, they'll include this flavor rebranded as corn on the cob.


Between the horrific experiences of tasting the hot dog-flavored candy corn and the roasted turkey flavor in the Turkey Dinner pack, giving another meat-flavored candy corn a chance seemed like a terrible idea. We thought about avoiding it altogether, but we carried on in the name of science. These candy corns have the opposite coloring of the hot dog candies, with a darker pink base and a light brown top. For the love of all things, please do not confuse them. A sniff test didn't give us any hint of what to expect. They only smell delicately sweet and absolutely nothing like a hamburger. Perhaps a sweet Hawaiian roll burger bun?

We'd learned our lesson by now, and instead of popping the whole candy into our mouths, we took a nibble from the tip first. Yes, sweet like a Hawaiian roll and a little buttery like frosting. That gave us the courage to eat the candy corn whole, which may have been ambitious. The meat flavor hit while we were chewing and immediately triggered memories of the rotting meat hot dog flavor, but luckily it never came on quite as strong, and the sweet bun flavor was strong enough to keep it on the leash. Finally, a strange char-broiled taste appeared, reminding us of a Burger King hamburger but sweeter and far less satisfying. The best we can offer is that the hamburger is the most palatable of the meat flavors, but we strongly recommend throwing it away.

Vanilla ice cream

Finally, in what seemed like the smartest way to end this roller-coaster of a tasting, we came to the vanilla ice cream flavor. Having lost all hope and possibly part of our souls, we put a whole candy corn in our mouths and prayed for it all to be over. Somehow, magically, a flavor appeared that tasted like the perfect nostalgic childhood birthday. Thick white vanilla buttercream burst across our tastebuds, reminding us of when we'd scoop the frosting off the cake with our fingers and didn't care about the cake underneath. Visions of sprinkles and cupcakes danced in our eyes, and for a moment, we forgot all about the traumatic flavors that brought us to this moment.

After inhaling as many of the vanilla ice cream candy corns as we could find in the bag, our awareness returned, and we can confidently tell you that this flavor is the sweetest in the whole bag without hesitation. It also doesn't have a robust vanilla taste, which may not be surprising, but it needs to be said for the audience's deep and moody vanilla lovers. Instead of a milky ice cream flavor, it's got a buttery finish, as you'd expect from frosting. It's both obvious and knit-picky to say, but unless you've stored your candy corn in the fridge, they're also not cold, like ice cream clearly would be. But we think a quick chill in the freezer sounds like an excellent idea for this particular flavor.

Where to find Brach's Tailgate candy corn

If, at this point, you still feel the need to try this candy corn, that's on you. You'll only find Brach's Tailgate candy corn at select Walgreens stores, which you can locate by searching the stores online by zip code. You can also order them online and have them delivered. We went to several Walgreens stores in our area before laying our hands on them, so it's safe to assume that availability might not be exactly reflected online. It was also challenging to find them in-store since they weren't on the regular candy or Halloween candy aisles — but at the bottom of an end-cap display that featured mostly traditional candy corn. The limited edition candy corn is reported to be available through October, so you've got some time to hunt a bag down.

The price for a single bag was $3.49 before taxes, and two bags are on sale for $6.00 before taxes. If possible, we'd suggest picking up a different flavor of Brach's candy corn if you decide to get a second bag so that you remember what decent candy corn is supposed to taste like.