Since we love data and candy is a fun and relevant holiday topic, we put together a snappy looking interactive map. Some of the results are surprising, and there are a lot of conversation hearts and boxes of chocolate too. The underlying trends are also interesting.
Last year, Covid-19 struck Valentine’s Day hard, according to the National Retail Federation. Spending was down more than 20% from the previous year’s all-time high. People were struggling and there was a once in a lifetime worldwide pandemic. It was understandable.
This year, things are picking back up. The NRF is expecting a near-record breaking year with consumer spending for Valentine’s Day up nearly 10% and reaching $23.9B.
The number of people buying candy is expected to be at a new record high with 56% of consumers planning to buy candy for Valentine’s Day. Expected candy sales volume is also up and at $2.2B would be runner up only to 2020 ($2.4B).
Using sales data from the past 14 years from our online bulk candy store and industry partners, CandyStore.com compiled sales data to determine the most popular Valentine’s Day candy. In the interactive map above, you can hover over a state and see which Valentine’s Day candy they favor – interactive mode not viewable on mobile phones.
Here are some of the key takeaways from our data.
Conversation Hearts Are Back
It was a rough couple years for Sweethearts conversation hearts candy. After Necco got ripped apart and its brands sent off to various bidders, Sweethearts’ new owner took more time than anticipated to get their feet under them. In fact, Sweethearts weren’t available in 2019 at all. As the most popular brand of conversation hearts (Brach’s makes them as well), the sales of conversation hearts overall were down over 24%.
In 2020, they were back but only a limited supply was available. As new owner Spangler hurried to get them out, they ran into some printing issues and the cute little sayings written on them were distorted and blurred. Quite a few of them were blank – no words at all.
Last year was the breakthrough. With Spangler introducing all new sayings on Sweethearts, conversation hearts made a heroic comeback in 2021. Finally overtaking their arch-nemesis Heart-Shaped Boxes of Chocolates.
M&M’s keeps moving up
M&M’s continue to gain traction. They made gains in several states throughout the country, landing a new #1 spots in Vermont.
Since introducing the Cupid’s Message M&M’s in 2017, we’ve seen a rise in M&M’s sales for Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s Mix of Valentine’s Day colored M&M’s has also been very popular. The re-introduction of White Cheesecake M&M’s helped boost them as well.
Cupid Corn Resurgence?
Just when we thought they were fading away, cupid corn made a comeback last year. It even claimed a new #1 state in Nebraska. Also up one spot to #2 in Michigan after falling to third place the prior year.
So, which Valentine’s Day candy does your state love the most? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Here is a table with each state’s winners:
|State Name||Top Vday Candy 2022||2nd Place 2022||3rd Place 2022|
|Alaska||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Cinnamon Bears|
|Arkansas||Hershey Kisses||Conversation Hearts||Ghirardelli Gift Box|
|California||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||M&M's|
|Florida||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Roses|
|Montana||Chocolate Hearts||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|Nebraska||Cupid Corn||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Hearts|
|Tennessee||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Wild Berry Skittles|
|Vermont||M&M's||Conversation Hearts||Candy Necklaces|
|West Virginia||Cupid Corn||Conversation Hearts||Candy Necklaces|
|Oregon||M&M's||M&M's||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|North Dakota||M&M's||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|Connecticut||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||M&M's||Conversation Hearts|
|Idaho||Conversation Hearts||M&M's||Hershey Kisses|
|Kentucky||Chocolate Roses||Conversation Hearts||M&M's|
|North Carolina||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Cupid Corn|
|Colorado||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||M&M's|
|Michigan||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Cupid Corn||Conversation Hearts|
|Ohio||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Cupid Corn||Conversation Hearts|
|Georgia||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Roses||Conversation Hearts|
|New Jersey||M&M's||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts|
|Minnesota||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||M&M's||Conversation Hearts|
|Arizona||M&M's||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts|
|Kansas||M&M's||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Ghirardelli Gift Box|
|Texas||Hershey Kisses||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts|
|Alabama||Candy Necklaces||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|Maine||Chocolate Hearts||Ghirardelli Gift Box||Conversation Hearts|
|Rhode Island||Chocolate Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts|
|Wyoming||Chocolate Roses||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|Illinois||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Roses||M&M's|
|Wisconsin||Conversation Hearts||Hershey Kisses||Ghirardelli Gift Box|
|Hawaii||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Candy Necklaces|
|Louisiana||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||M&M's|
|Missouri||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Hershey Kisses|
|Oklahoma||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Roses|
|South Carolina||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Ghirardelli Gift Box|
|Virginia||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Cupid Corn|
|Mississippi||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Roses|
|New Mexico||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Roses||Candy Necklaces|
|Washington||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Roses||Conversation Hearts|
|Indiana||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Roses|
|Massachusetts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Chocolate Hearts||Conversation Hearts|
|Nevada||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Roses|
|New Hampshire||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Hearts|
|New York||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Cinnamon Bears|
|Washington, D.C.||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts||Cinnamon Bears|
|Delaware||Hershey Kisses||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Hearts|
|South Dakota||Hershey Kisses||Conversation Hearts||Chocolate Hearts|
|Utah||Hershey Kisses||M&M's||Conversation Hearts|
|Iowa||M&M's||Conversation Hearts||Ghirardelli Gift Box|
|Maryland||M&M's||Conversation Hearts||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates|
|Pennsylvania||M&M's||Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates||Conversation Hearts|