It may not seem like a huge sweets holiday, but the Christmas candy season really is. Think about all the baking and decorating and making fun crafts with kids that happens in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
How many candy canes will you hang from your tree? Do you decorate snowman cookies with sprinkles and peppermint candy? Well, a lot of people do, ok. :) And it all adds up.
So which 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 30,000 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:
Reese’s made a major push from last year
Last year, Reese’s Cup Minis, a popular seasonal member of the Reese’s peanut butter cup lineup, took the top spot in just 3 states. This year: Ten. That’s a significant move. Political pundits would call that a Reese’s Wave.
Reese’s Pieces’ count remained at one state, though it changed from Maryland to Montana.
Pez was all over the place last year. It was the top candy in 8 states, confounding our readers and us writers too. Was Pez truly that popular, was there some flash phenomenon that boosted them temporarily? In 2018, Pez was the top candy in only 3 states and only showed up in the top 3 five times total!
Reindeer Corn Riding High
Reindeer corn is another big mover in 2018, finishing in the top 3 in 13 different states. Last year, it showed up 3 times total. Obviously, Michigan and Alabama have been on the reindeer corn train for several years now. Maybe all those who laughed at them went out and bought some for themselves.
The National Retail Federation has said that holiday sales will go up by 4.1% this year. That puts total holiday candy sales over $2 Billion, using the National Confectionary Association’s $1.93 Billion estimate from 2017.
With Thanksgiving on the earliest possible day this year, there’s the maximum time possible between Black Friday and Christmas. Add in a high level of consumer confidence and you’ve got a perfect spending storm.
The National Retail Federation projects that the average consumer will spend about $108 on candy and food, which is about twice as much as they’ll spend on decorations, and 5 times what they’ll spend on flowers and potted plants.
So, 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|
|AR||Starburst||Candy Canes||Peppermint Bark|
|AZ||Reese's Cup Minis||Hershey Kisses||Skittles|
|CA||Reese's Cup Minis||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses|
|CO||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Pieces||Candy Canes|
|CT||Reindeer Corn||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes|
|DE||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn||Hershey Kisses|
|HI||Starburst||Hershey Kisses||Reindeer Corn|
|IA||M&M's||Reese's Cup Minis||Hershey Kisses|
|ID||M&M's||Hershey Kisses||Chocolate Santas|
|IL||Reese's Cup Minis||M&M's||Hershey Kisses|
|IN||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Starburst|
|KS||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses||Candy Canes|
|LA||Pez||Reindeer Corn||Reese's Cup Minis|
|MA||Candy Canes||Hershey Kisses||Reese's Cup Minis|
|MD||Reese's Cup Minis||Reese's Pieces||Candy Canes|
|ME||Candy Canes||Hershey Kisses||Chocolate Santas|
|MI||Reindeer Corn||Reese's Cup Minis||Peppermint Bark|
|MN||Reese's Cup Minis||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses|
|MO||Starburst||Peppermint Bark||Hershey Kisses|
|MS||Snickers||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes|
|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||Candy Canes||Reese's Cup Minis||Reindeer Corn|
|NJ||Reese's Cup Minis||Pez||Skittles|
|NM||Pez||Chocolate Santas||Candy Canes|
|NV||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes||Starburst|
|NY||Snickers||Candy Canes||Reese's Cup Minis|
|OH||Pez||Hershey Kisses||Peppermint Bark|
|OR||Reese's Cup Minis||Candy Canes||Snickers|
|PA||Candy Canes||Reindeer Corn||Reese's Cup Minis|
|RI||Reindeer Corn||M&M's||Peppermint Bark|
|SD||Reese's Cup Minis||Chocolate Santas||Hershey Kisses|
|TN||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes||Starburst|
|TX||Reese's Cup Minis||Peppermint Bark||Candy Canes|
|UT||Reindeer Corn||Hershey Kisses||M&M's|
|VA||M&M's||Reindeer Corn||Candy Canes|
|VT||Candy Canes||Snickers||Reindeer Corn|
|WA||Candy Canes||Reese's Cup Minis||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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Without further ado, here are the states and their top Christmas time candies.
Reindeer corn is a festive candy that, yes, is derivative of its original Halloween counterpart. The Yellowhammer State loved that one too! Alabama’s top Halloween candy was candy corn. They love that stuff down there! I wonder what George Washington Carver would think about reindeer corn?
The Last Frontier State loves Hershey Kisses at Christmas time. If they had a kiss for every mile of coastline in Alaska, they’d have 6,640 kisses. And then they’d probably need some chapstick.
I wonder if there are Reese’s Cup Minis in space? If so, you’d definitely find them from Tuscon where they have the most telescopes in the world. AZ loves Reese’s Cup Minis at Christmas time, and who can argue with that. Reese’s made a big push this year, as you will see below. The runners-up swapped places this year with Hershey’s Kisses coming in second, followed by Skittles.
Shine bright like a Starburst in Arkansas. If you get that subtle (and bad) joke, you must be from AR! …and a Rihanna fan. The Natural State loves those fruity morsels, along with candy canes and Skittles at #2 and #3.
Peppermint Bark no longer reigns supreme in the Golden State. Reese’s Cup Minis, typically wrapped in festive colors, is the new #1.
Last year, I pondered how much peppermint bark it would take to replace the actual bark on the General Sherman, California’s ginormous and really old tree. It would sure look a lot more festive with colorfully wrapped Reese’s cups! M&M’s came in second in CA, Hershey Kisses third.
Did you know a silver nugget that weighed 1850 pounds (!) was found near Aspen? It was a long time ago, but it makes sense why Coloradans love Hershey’s Kisses. It is like a big silver nugget. Reese’s Pieces and candy canes were runners up.
Some people call people from Connecticut Nutmeggers. Must be an inside joke. But I guess Nutmegger is appropriate for a Christmas season article. It certainly rolls off the tongue better than Connecticuters. What else rolls down the tongues of Nutmeggers? Reindeer corn. It’s the number one holiday candy this year. Followed by Hershey Kisses and candy canes.
Register your candy canes here for the best tax advantages. You can visit them on your holidays. Candy canes took the number one spot in the land of corporate entities. Followed by Pez and Hershey Kisses.
Florida has a new winner this year. Snickers has surpassed Skittles as the number one holiday candy in the Sunshine State. We also saw this happen for Halloween candy. At least the people of Florida can agree on some things to vote for.
Weird trivia: They found an 8,000 year old body in Florida so well preserved they extracted DNA out of its brain tissue. Maybe in a few more millennia they’ll dig up some poor sap from our time with a belly full of Snickers. M&M’s and Skittles were runners up.
Sit on your idyllic Georgian porch, watch the willows weep and hand out candy canes to your neighbors. Sounds like a fine holiday tradition to me, even if I did just make that up. Candy canes topped the Peach State, followed by fruity combo of Skittles and Starburst.
When you have your own time zone, you don’t give a darn about daylight savings time. And so, Hawaii doesn’t. They do love their Starbursts in the Aloha State, as well as their royal palace. Hershey Kisses for that chocolate fix and in third place comes Pez.
No one Main Streets better than Idaho. The longest main street in America is in Idaho and it would take a whole lot of M&M’s to cover all 33 miles of it. Plenty of room along that road for spectaters for a Potato Parade. Ok bad potato joke. Second and third go to Hershey Kisses and Jolly Ranchers.
People in Illinois are smart. They reversed the flow of a river, for goodness sakes! In 1887!! Which makes it not surprising at all that their favorite holiday candy is Reese’s Cup Minis. They’re the best. M&M’s and Hershey Kisses were the runners-up.
Indiana has a new winner this year. Reese’s Cup Minis. These things are taking over the country.
Indiana may come off as conservative, but it really has a lot going for it. Indy 500, Notre Dame football, Indiana Hoosier Basketball, Stranger Things, The Upside Down. Ok, Indiana had a lot going for it in the 80s. But glory once again crowns this Midwest state as Reese’s Cups are truly majestic!
The Hawkeye State has the steepest railroad in America, a 60-degree incline. Santa’s sleigh can’t even handle that kind of grade! Ok, maybe it can. M&M’s are the winners in Iowa, followed by Reese’s Pieces and Hershey Kisses.
Kansas has been proven to be flatter than a pancake. If you’ve ever been to Kansas you really can’t dispute that. We were expecting reindeer corn to do well here, but maybe since there is already so much corn, they need to escape a little. So they choose fun and festive peppermint bark candy. Peppermint bark was first place, M&M’s second, and candy canes third. No word on how far down the list reindeer corn came in.
Conspiracy theorists claim that there’s not actually any gold in Fort Knox. Maybe that’s where they keep all their holiday M&M’s. The Bluegrass State loves M&M’s at Christmas time. Reese’s Mini Cups came in second, with Starburst closing out the top 3.
Louisiana loves football so much. How much? Once when LSU scored a last second touchdown to win a big game, the celebrations from the crowd registered on the Richter scale. So we will guess that the majority of Pez dispensers sold at Christmas time have a Tigers football helmet on top. Skittles came in second, followed by Reese’s Mini Cups.
Poor Maine. It kind of sticks out like a sore thumb..on the map. Hardy har har. But, it’s also the only state the only borders one other state, only one-syllable named state, and the only state where the state flower isn’t a flower. Bit of an oddball, Maine. Nothing odd about candy canes though. How very standard and traditional of you, Maine. You’re not fooling anyone.
Highest median income in America. Richy Rich Marylanders love good ol’ Reese’s during the holidays. Reese’s Cups are number one, Pieces number two. I love Reese’s too, but I would have guessed gold flake chocolate truffles or something. They’re just like us! Candy canes came in third.
It’s windy in Massachusetts, y’all. How windy? Sixteen of the top 25 windiest cities are in MA. Damn Daniel, no wonder the snow piles up so high there. Maybe all those candy canes are used to ski to work from November through April. Candy canes are number one here, followed by Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Cup Minis.
Yup, it’s candy corn again. Reindeer corn, that is. Michigan has consistently shown its preference to the stripy corn kernal candies. It’s been number one for Halloween and holiday candy for 3 straight years.
What can we say? The football team color is “Maize” for God’s sake. I’ve never heard of that color existing in any other context. Michigan is part of the Corn Belt. They even genetically modified their sweet corn to increase the sugar content from 9% to 35%. They just LOVE the corn.
But, there could be reason for hope for those in the mitten state who cry foul. Reese’s Cup Minis have leaped into the #2 position in a strong way. Will they unnseat candy corn in it’s own backyard? We’ll see what happens next year.
There’s a new winner in Minnesota. Reese’s mini peanut butter cups have taken control. Peppermint bark is #2. Hershey’s Kisses fall back to third.
Minnesota trivia is weird. The oldest rock in the world was found in Minnesota?! That stat confuses me.
Was the world made of liquid before this mother rock gave birth to the rest of the rock and crust, etc? Brain spinning. Ok, back to candy.
Hey what’s that? Home of the original Stetson cowboy hats, Mississippi has a name that has inspired many children’s songs made to encourage spelling. Fill your Christmas cowboy hats with Snickers this year.
The 1904 World’s Fair gave birth to many treats that we still enjoy today. Cotton candy, anyone? What about waffle cones and ice tea. Staples. A modern day holidays staple in MO is Starburst, the top Christmas candy in the state. Skittles and Hershey Kisses round out the list.
Ah Montana. Where the river runs through it and the temperature can jump from negative 54 to plus 49 degrees in one day. I hope you like your Reese’s Pieces frozen, Montanans. Pieces are the number one holiday candy, followed by Reese’s Mini Cups and Reindeer corn, which seems appriopriate.
If you’re a sandhill crane bird watcher, or a roller skate history buff, there is not greater state than Nebraska! Annual bird migrations bring thousands of bird watchers every year, and the world’s only roller skate museum resides there too. Stop by Omaha to see what the Oracle has to say about Christmas candy. Odds are he likes Hershey Kisses best, followed by M&M’s and Pez.
With all that Vegas going on over there, it’s easy to get distracted from the fact that there have been many nuclear tests done in Nevada. You would think the fallouts would have affected their judgement, but not judging by their holiday candy preferences. Pretty traditional: peppermint bark, then candy canes and Starburst. OK Starburst for Christmas isn’t quite traditional. Chalk it up to the nukes.
Live Free or Die. You can take this candy cane out of my cold dead hand. New Hampshire people will not be told how to live. Though, in this case, not many people will argue with candy canes for Christmas. So, chill out NH, enjoy your canes and don’t worry about any candy oppression this year.
Horses and divorces they say. More horses than Kentucky and the fewest divorces in the country. Nice work, Jersey! Just don’t count on the bridges to be open when the politicians get cranky. Jersey loves Reese’s Mini Cups during the holidays, followed by Pez and Skittles.
State law in New Mexico declares that no idiot shall vote. It’s not clear at the time of publication whether a definition for “idiot” has yet been entered into statute. But if you choose Pez, Chocolate Santas or candy canes as your favorite holiday candy, I’d say your voting rights are likely to remain in tact.
New York City has over 700 miles of subway tracks flowing under the city streets. I wonder how many people riding on the subway this holiday season will be snacking on Snickers? Odds are good that many of them will. It’s the number one holiday candy in New York. But New York state is more than just NYC. Dairy farmers and Woodstock re-enacters might also be downing Snickers. Or candy canes which came in #2.
The largest privately owned home in America is situated in North Carolina. In the mountains of Asheville, a house with a square footage exceeding 4 acres and 250 rooms waits for you to get lost in. The fireplace is probably gigantic too, so it would probably take a lot of Snickers to fill all the stockings hanging there. Snickers is the winner in NC, followed by Reindeer Corn and Starburst.
The official state beverage of North Dakota is milk. Awww. That’s so adorable. So I guess they won’t have a problem leaving out a glass or more of the milky goodness for Kris Kringle on Christmas Eve. Bottoms up Santa. Speaking of St Nick, North Dakota favors chocolate santas for their holiday candy. Pez and Reese Mini Cups run up.
The first ambulance service started in Ohio in 1865. The first electric traffic lights were installed in Cleveland in 1914. First state to use police cars too. The cash register was invented there. Clever mechanical and electric things come out of Ohio. No surprise that they love Pez candy during the holidays. Those funky dispensers are always new and unique and have that clever mechanical operation that is just satisfying. Still no idea who Sloopy is though.
The Sooner State is known for those incredible covered wagons of the pioneer days. I wonder how many Starbursts it would take to fill one of those. Early settlers might have need a more rounded set of equipment than just several tons of sugary candy. But they would have sure had a Merry Christmas! Starbursts are the number one candy in Oklahoma for the holidays, followed by Pez and Skittles.
Speaking of covered wagons. Oregon Trial is such a classic Apple IIe 1980s game I can’t even see the word Oregon without thinking of little digital men fending off all sorts of dire circumstances on my computer screen. Ah elementary school. If only those men had Reese’s Mini Cups to keep them nourished in those cold winter months. Maybe I would have finally made it to Oregon! The mini cups are number one in Oregon, with candy canes and Snickers rounding off the top 3.
If the Liberty Bell only used one N, then that’s good enough for me. Crazy right? There’s even a place in the Constitution where it’s spelled without the double n. Luckily for historical re-enactors and grammar nerds, the top candy in this state presents no such dilemma. Only one way to spell candy canes. Pez comes in second. Reese cups third.
Rhode Islanders were the first ones to take military action against their English overlords in the Revolution. They sank a British ship in the Narragansett Bay. Take that, HMS Gaspee.
For this bold move, Rhode Islanders can basically do whatever they want for holiday candy, even reindeer corn, no judgement from us. Reindeer corn is number one, M&M’s second, Peppermint bark third.
The official dance of the state of South Carolina is the Shag. The best shaggers create the illusion of slippery feet and rubber knees. Hm. I don’t know nothing bout that, but I do know that M&M’s makes their knees weak during the holiday season. Peppermint Bark comes in second, Pez third.
South Dakota is allegedly the least sleep-deprived state in the country. That could be why they make such wise decisions on holiday candy. Reese’s Mini Cups takes the number one spot, with Reese’s Pieces at number two. Can’t go wrong with ol’ Reese.
Tennessee borders a lot of states. In fact, on a clear day, from the top of Lookout Mountain it is said you can see seven different states. No word yet on whether that includes Tennessee.
Standing up on that mountain at Christmas time, you can probably also see a lot of Peppermint Bark – TN’s favorite holiday candy. Candy canes came in #2, Starbursts #3.
Don’t mess with Texas. That slogan was actually started as a anti-littering campaign! I guess they overshot a little, because it’s now pretty much the slogan of the state of Texas.
So Texans, be sure not to litter when you unwrap your Reese’s cups this holiday season. They are the number one candy in Texas. Peppermint bark – #2 – doesn’t typically come with individual wrappers, but candy canes do have wrappers that residents of Texas will no doubt diligently dispose of in the proper receptacle.
There’s a quarry in Utah where more than 1200 dinosaur bones have been recovered. It’s the highest concentration in the world. Centuries from now, archeologists might find the remains of al the reindeer corn sold in Utah during the holiday season. Hershey Kisses are #2, and M&M’s are third.
Vermont has the highest ratio of cows to people in America. That must be who’s eating all those candy canes. It was the first state to be admitted into the Union after ratifying the Constitution, and the last state to have a Wal-Mart. Sounds like good leadership to me.
Virginia is a generous state. One of the original colonies, Virginia used to be much larger but granted large sections of land for the formation of Kentucky and West Virginia. I hope Virginia gets me this year for Secret Santa. They love M&M’s in VA. That’s the number one holiday candy. Pez comes in second, candy canes third.
Apples and glaciers. Washington produces the most apples of any state and has more glaciers than all the others combined. Not including Alaska of course. Ok, yeah that’s a big exclusion. If you’re in the area for the holidays, grab some candy canes because that is what’s happening in Washington holiday candy. Reese’s Mini Cups are #2.
Jolly Ranchers dominate this volatile town where jolly doesn’t seem to describe anyone lately. Here’s to a jolly holiday season to a town to a town (district) that could use a break from all the crazy politics.
Note, DC was too small for the interactive map. Sorry guys!
West Virginia is often called the southern-most northern state and the northern-most southern state, which I think means the same thing. But maybe not? Someone explain that to me in the comments below. WV goes the way of the peppermint bark for Christmas time. Gotta respect that. They also love Pez and Jolly Ranchers.
For a state whose official dance is the polka and in which resides the World of Accordians, it seems kind of in keeping that their favorite candy during the holidays would be Peppermint Bark. Peppermint Bark has that same kind of nostalgic, non-mainstream following. Peppermint bark feels right for Wisconsin. Way to go Badgers. Also, the Dells is awesome.
The first national park was in Wyoming, Yellowstone. It was also the first state to grant women’s voting rights. And the first dude ranch too. So many firsts in Wyoming, but I also read there are only two sets of escalators in the whole state. Surely that’s changed by now?
One thing is for sure. Wyoming won’t be the first state to favor Chocolate Santas during Christmas time. They also love M&M’s and Reese’s mini peanut butter cups.
So which candy does your state prefer? 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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