Minnesota Sales Tax Guide for Selling Candy & Sweets


The following post has been adopted from the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Sales Tax Fact Sheet #102B, Candy.

Candy is taxable. The exemption for food products does not apply to candy. “Candy” means a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces regardless of size. Candy does not include any preparation containing flour and must require no refrigeration.


Items that contain the word “flour,” such as white, whole wheat, rice, corn, or brown flour, as an ingredient on the label are not taxable candy. Examples of items that contain flour that are not taxable include Kit Kats, Twix, Reese-Sticks, and licorice. Food ingredients such as soy or whey that are sometimes used in place of flour are not flour.


If an item requires refrigeration, it is not candy. For example, Popsicles and ice cream bars require refrigeration so they are not taxable candy. However, these items are taxable if they are prepared food. See Fact Sheet #102D, Prepared Food, for more information.

Candy that does not require refrigeration is taxable even if it is sold frozen.


Examples of sweeteners are corn syrup, dextrose, invert sugar, sucrose, fructose, sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, stevia, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, barley malt, honey, and artificial sweeteners.

Note: All food sold from vending machines, or food prepared by the seller, is taxable. Cotton candy is commonly thought of as candy, but it is not candy because it is not sold in the form of bars, drops or pieces. Cotton candy is taxable when prepared by the seller.

Examples of taxable candy include:

  • almond bark
  • breath mints
  • breakfast and nutrition bars without flour
  • candy bars
  • chocolate chips
  • chocolate-coated potato chips
  • fruit roll-ups
  • marshmallows
  • caramel corn
  • caramel apples
  • chocolate or carob covered raisins, nuts, etc.
  • sweet or semi-sweet cooking bars or chips
  • gum
  • honey roasted and honey coated nuts, beer nuts • peanut brittle
  • sugarless candy
  • yogurt covered raisins, nuts, etc.

Brand names are shown for illustration purposes only and do not imply sole representation in any category.


  • Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 3(d), Definitions
  • Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 33, Candy
  • MN Rule 8130.4700, Prepared Food, Candy, and Soft Drinks

Other Fact Sheets

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This fact sheet is intended to help you become more familiar with Minnesota tax laws and your rights and responsibilities under the laws. Nothing in this fact sheet supersedes, alters, or otherwise changes any provisions of the tax law, administrative rules, court decisions, or revenue notices. Alternative formats available upon request.

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