April 20, 2024

Halloween candy purchases in the United States each year can tell us a lot about where we are as a country, a snapshot of the national mood as we head into the holiday season. Halloween kicks off months of indulgent snacks and purchases, and we are apparently more ready than ever to embrace that this season: according to the National Retail Federation, we’re projected to spend a collective $10.6 billion on Halloween this year, a good chunk of which will go toward candy. Which candy is your state most likely to hand out to trick-or-treaters?
CandyStore.com has created a map representing the most popular candies by state. Keep in mind that this aggregates 15 years of bulk candy sales data from online candy purchases (both via CandyStore.com and other outlets), and online candy purchases account for 30% of all purchases. So while we can’t see the full story from this data, we can at least see where a whole lot of the money is going. Here’s the list:
This list has a few fun takeaways; namely that Connecticut, Montana, and Rhode Island know what’s up. (Your trick-or-treaters thank you.) Hot Tamales has to be the marketing success story of the year—four different states bought this candy in bulk? Not to say this is the wrong choice, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a vocal Hot Tamales proponent in my life, and I make it a point to talk candy with whomever will listen.
A whopping seven states opted for Sour Patch Kids—as many as chose M&M’s!—which to me says that catering to people who don’t like chocolate, and/or those who have a peanut allergy, can translate to big business. And of course, Reese’s peanut butter cups will always have a strong showing in any list of the most popular Halloween candies, whether it’s data collected from sales figures, Google searches, or self-reported favorites.
Halloween candy brings out everyone’s inner debate team champion; even as adults, we’re transported immediately back to the era in which feverish swaps would be brokered across piles of trick-or-treat haul. How do you feel about your state’s most popular purchases? Would you be excited to see these land in your jack-o’-lantern bucket?
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