The map above reveals the results of our latest candy research: the top 3 most popular Christmas candies in each state. Hover over your state (non-mobile only) to see the goods.
Christmas may not seem like it’s all about candy, because frankly there is so much more to Christmas. But there is also a lot of candy happening. Think about all the baking and decorating and making fun crafts with kids that happens in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Do you hang candy canes from your tree? Maybe you make chocolate lollipops shaped like reindeer? Or decorate snowman cookies with sprinkles and peppermint candy? Ok well, a lot of people do, ya know. :) And it all adds up.
So which Christmas candy do people like the most? It varies by state.
As a distinguished online bulk candy store, we reached out to CandyStore.com customers to find that out. We got over 26,000 responses this year. We also checked in with our friendly major candy manufacturers and distributors to be sure our survey corresponded with their seasonal observations.
You might be surprised by the results, illustrated above in the interactive candy map.
Here are some key takeaways:
Peppermint Bark Thunder
Peppermint Bark continues to storm up the charts, increasing popularity nationwide as, for the second straight year, 3 new states have it as their #1 holiday candy.
What in previous years looked to be a regional phenomenon has shown to be more widespread with states like California and Texas now in the fold. Peppermint bark’s total of 11 states now is dominant in all regions, with the notable exception of the northeast.
Reese’s Cups Declining
Reese’s Cups lost 3 number one spots this year. Wait. There must be some kind of mistake here. Reese’s Cups have long been the divine candy of the Gods with zero flaws and only amazing chocolate and peanut butter combination along with perfect texture and soft snap. How could it be that they are becoming less popular?!
I can only give you the numbers. Two of the spots they lost were to the hard charging popularity of peppermint bark (California and Texas), and the other was lost to Hershey Kisses (Illinois). That doesn’t necessarily mean people love Reese’s any less, just that it’s not the only star of the show anymore.
Snickers also picked up 3 new number one spots this year, capturing hearts in Vermont, Arkansas and Georgia. That is a huge jump considering Snickers only shows up on the map 8 times total in any of the top 3 spots in any state. Snickers is awesome, everyone realizes. But is it also becoming a holiday favorite too? That could be very strong for Snickers going forward.
Chocolate Santas Soaring
Santa Claus is coming to towns all over North Dakota, Maine and New Mexico where they knocked off the likes of previous top holidays candies such as Reese’s Cups and Candy Canes. Whoa. These are great stocking stuffers and who doesn’t love a solid piece of nice chocolate. Festive and delicious, it makes sense but as a trend it’s difficult to identify the bigger question: why only now?
The National Retail Federation has said that holiday spending this year will be mostly on par with 2019, with more people and families focusing on decoration and food this year than gift giving, travel being way down for obvious reasons. #2020. If spending on holiday candy remains the same as last year that would put total holiday candy sales over $2 Billion. That’s using annual spending trends and applying them to the National Confectionery Association’s (NCA) $1.93 Billion estimate from 2017.
But there is another factor to consider. During the pandemic, candy sales have risen above normal levels. They are up 3.8% according to the NCA for the period between March 15th and August 9th, and Halloween candy sales were up 12% according to IRI sales data provided by the NCA. So we could go even higher this holiday season. An increase of 3.8% would put the 2020 holiday season candy sales in the ballpark of $2.13B. We won’t know until it’s all said and done.
Which Christmas holiday candy does your state loves the most? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
State By State
|State||Top Holiday Candy||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|AK||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes||Reese's Pieces|
|AL||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes||Peppermint Bark|
|AZ||Reese's Cup Minis||Hershey Kisses||Skittles|
|CA||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Cup Minis|
|CO||Candy Canes||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Pieces|
|CT||Starburst||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes|
|DE||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes||Hershey Kisses|
|GA||Snickers||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes|
|HI||Starburst||Hershey Kisses||Reindeer Corn|
|IA||Peppermint Bark||Reese's Cup Minis||M&M's|
|ID||M&M's||Hershey Kisses||Chocolate Santas|
|IL||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Cup Minis||M&M's|
|IN||Reese's Cup Minis||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes|
|KS||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes|
|KY||Peppermint Bark||M&M's||Candy Canes|
|LA||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn||Pez|
|MA||Candy Canes||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Cup Minis|
|MD||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Reese's Pieces|
|ME||Chocolate Santas||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes|
|MI||Reindeer Corn||Reese's Cup Minis||Peppermint Bark|
|MN||Reese's Cup Minis||Hershey Kisses||Peppermint Bark|
|MO||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses||Starburst|
|MS||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn|
|MT||Reese's Pieces||Reese's Cup Minis||Reindeer Corn|
|ND||Chocolate Santas||Reindeer Corn||Reese's Cup Minis|
|NE||Hershey Kisses||M&M's||Peppermint Bark|
|NH||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes||Reese's Cup Minis|
|NJ||Reese's Cup Minis||Skittles||Pez|
|NM||Chocolate Santas||Pez||Candy Canes|
|NV||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes||Starburst|
|NY||Candy Canes||Snickers||Reese's Cup Minis|
|OH||Hershey Kisses||Pez||Peppermint Bark|
|OK||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn||Skittles|
|OR||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Snickers|
|PA||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn|
|RI||Reindeer Corn||Peppermint Bark||M&M's|
|SD||Chocolate Santas||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Cup Minis|
|TN||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes||Starburst|
|TX||Peppermint Bark||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes|
|UT||Hershey Kisses||Reindeer Corn||M&M's|
|VA||M&M's||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn|
|VT||Snickers||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn|
|WA||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Skittles|
|WI||Peppermint Bark||Reindeer Corn||Starburst|
|WV||Peppermint Bark||Pez||Jolly Rancher|
|WY||Chocolate Santas||M&M's||Reese's Cup Minis|
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Does the list above match with what you like or your loved ones would like to receive as a gift?
If you get the wrong thing, just remember that – really – the holiday season is about family and friends. It’s the thought that counts, the gesture that matters. Unless you give me reindeer corn, in which case we are no longer friends.
Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!
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