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Do Milky Way Candy Bars Expire Or Go Bad?

15 Feb 2024
Do Milky Way Candy Bars Expire Or Go Bad?

Do Milky Way Candy Bars Expire Or Go Bad?

When it comes to indulging in the creamy, caramel-rich goodness of Milky Way candy bars, many consumers wonder about their shelf life and safety after the "best by" date has passed. This article delves into the nuances of Milky Way candy bars' longevity, shedding light on whether these beloved treats expire or go bad, and offering guidance on how to maximize their enjoyment safely.

Understanding "Best By" Dates

What Does the "Best By" Date Mean?

The "best by" date on Milky Way candy bars and other shelf-stable products is a manufacturer's estimate of how long the product will remain at peak quality. It's important to note that this is not an expiration date. Food safety experts agree that many products remain safe to consume well beyond this date, although they may not taste as fresh.

The Shelf Life of Milky Way Candy Bars

Milky Way bars are designed to last. Under optimal storage conditions—cool, dry places away from direct sunlight—they can maintain their best quality for about a year. However, even after the "best by" date has passed, these candy bars often remain safe to eat. The key indicators of quality, such as taste and texture, may decline, but this does not necessarily mean they are unsafe.

Signs of Spoilage

While Milky Way bars are relatively stable, they are not immune to spoilage. Signs that a Milky Way bar has gone bad include an off smell, an unusual taste, or a change in texture, such as the chocolate becoming chalky or the caramel hardening excessively. Mold growth, though extremely rare, is a clear indication that the candy bar should not be consumed.

Maximizing Enjoyment and Safety

To ensure you're enjoying your Milky Way bars in the best condition possible, follow these tips:

  • Store Properly: Keep your Milky Way bars in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to high temperatures or direct sunlight, which can cause the chocolate to melt and affect the texture and taste.
  • Check the Packaging: Before indulging, inspect the candy bar's packaging. If it's intact, the candy bar is likely still good to enjoy. Compromised packaging can lead to exposure to air and contaminants.
  • Use Your Senses: Trust your senses. If the candy bar looks, smells, and tastes as expected, it's likely fine to eat.

The History of Milky Way Bars

Introduced in 1923 by the Mars family, the Milky Way bar was inspired by a popular malted milkshake of the time. This confectionery treat was designed to capture the taste of the milkshake in a candy form. Over the years, Milky Way has become a staple in the candy aisle, beloved by millions for its smooth nougat and creamy caramel covered in rich milk chocolate. Its longevity in the market is a testament to its enduring appeal and the careful balance of flavors that continue to captivate taste buds around the world.


Milky Way candy bars, like many shelf-stable foods, are designed to last well beyond their "best by" dates without compromising safety. While the optimal flavor and texture may decline over time, these changes do not necessarily render the candy bars inedible. By understanding the difference between safety and peak quality, consumers can continue to enjoy Milky Way bars with confidence. For those looking to stock up on their favorite treats, offers a wide selection of candy bars, including Milky Ways, ensuring you have access to your sweet treats anytime, at the best value.

By following proper storage guidelines and using sensory cues to assess quality, you can ensure that every bite of a Milky Way bar remains a delightful experience, even past the best-by date. So, go ahead and savor the rich, creamy goodness of Milky Way bars, secure in the knowledge that these treats can be enjoyed safely long after their printed dates suggest.

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