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Last Updated: 10/30/2013

Food and Food Ingredients, and Candy

​Food and Food Ingredients

"Food and food ingredients" are exempt. "Food and food ingredients" mean substances (whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated form) that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans. They are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. "Food and food ingredients" does not include "candy".


"Candy" is defined as 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. "Candy" does not include any preparation containing flour. A product that otherwise meets the definition of "candy" is not "candy" if it requires refrigeration.


  • Cotton candy: Cotton candy is not sold in the form of bars, drops, or pieces; therefore, it does not meet the definition of "candy". However, cotton candy is often prepared by the seller and sold as prepared food. The sale of prepared food is subject to Minnesota sales tax.
  • Breakfast bar: The ingredient label for a breakfast bar that meets the definition of "candy" lists "whole grain". This breakfast bar is candy because it does not specifically list flour as an ingredient and it is sold in the form of a bar.
  • Trail mix: Trail mix is a mixture of ingredients. Each ingredient is only a portion of the whole product. For example, the product being sold is made up of a mixture of carob chips, peanuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds. The individual items that make up the trail mix are not "pieces" but instead, are the ingredients. When combined, these ingredients make up the trail mix. Therefore, the trail mix is not sold in the form of bars, drops, or pieces and is not considered to meet the definition of "candy".

Packages Containing both Food and Food Ingredients, and Candy

A bundled transaction is the retail sale of two or more distinct and identifiable products sold for one non-itemized price. Bundled transactions do not include real property and services to real property.


  • A bag of multiple different types of individually wrapped bars. The individually wrapped bars are distinct and identifiable. The bag is being sold for one non-itemized price. This is a bundled transaction.
  • Various unwrapped food ingredients and candy (such as trail mix with candy pieces). This is considered "food and food ingredients". It does not contain two or more distinct and identifiable products. The combination of these ingredients is a single product, not a bundled transaction.

See the following resources for additional information:
Fact Sheet 102A, Food and Food Ingredients
Fact Sheet 102B, Candy
SSUTA Notice - Food and Food Ingredients and Candy
SST Rule 327.8, Food and Food Ingredients Definitions - Candy and Appendix N, Candy Product