It’s a delicate game, asking customers about their least favorite product of yours. The negativity flows so freely and easily. Once you open the door though, it’s difficult to encourage restraint.
We sell candy and love and respect candy of all kinds. The opinions below are not ours, but of some of our customers. It’s important to note that people’s preferences about candy are their own subjective opinions.
Candy is a much bigger part of culture than most people realize. People’s likes and dislikes are shaped by a thousand different influences over their lifetime, and especially their childhood.
They often contradict metrics like sales data. Some of the biggest sellers are also mentioned below as the most hated. Their popularity only serving to enhance the vitriol from those whose opinions have been shaped the other way.
We asked customers to give a few optional words to explain their choice for the worst… and the floodgates were open. Hopefully it has helped them get out some negativity and find some relief. And if you’re reading this from your newly zen place, respondents, thank you for your replies.
That is how we came to rank the worst Christmas candy. While doing a larger survey, we tacked this on as a final question, hoping to get something out of it. Over 11,000 customers responded.
Without further ado, the top ten WORST Christmas candies.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s only and in no way reflect the opinions of CandyStore.com.
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Honorable Mention – Peppermint Candy Canes
Ok, it’s not top ten, BUT given the extreme (cannot be overstated!) popularity of this candy during the holiday season, it merits a mention every year. It goes to show you that even the most popular candies have many haters.
Initial response from our team: What are these people thinking?! This is a huge seller and adorns a large number of peoples Christmas trees not to mention the general decor of pretty much everywhere in December. It’s objectively extremely popular. Why is it hated at all?
Theory: dislike is stronger for things we see a lot of. If one is never reminded of a thing’s existence, that thing is less likely to upset them. Whereas, if it’s everywhere they go…
We are not here to judge, only to convey survey results.
Ok, now the official top ten.
#10 Peppermint Bark
For the third year in a row, Peppermint Bark had the most positive movement of any candy. They were #9 worst last year, #7 before that, and now sit at #10. Peppermint bark seems to be having a serious bull run. It did really well on the Christmas Candy by State Map as well this year and last. All that marketing must be finally paying off.
It does seem a little controversial. It was also mentioned by a bunch of seriously passionate haters. The bark thing can be way overdone. Walk into Trader Joe’s and it’s everywhere. By the way, a Peppermint Bark smoothie is just a peppermint smoothie, ok. There’s no more bark if you puree it.
The biggest thing for me is that it should be this crispy, sharp crunchy candy like the broken up pieces of toffee, but it’s sometimes not. When it’s got no crunch, only a limp kind of bendy give and then soft separation, then I agree: yuk.
#9 Chocolate Oranges
Attitudes are changing about chocolate oranges. I had honestly never even heard of these before last year. Seems like they’ve become more well-known and apparently slightly less hated, coming in 3 spots better than last year’s #6.
I cannot speak to the actual taste of them, but it was my impression that they each had a real slice of orange inside. That would be really interesting to try and perhaps an effort to be applauded.
Nope. Milk chocolate (the inferior sibling of dark chocolate) covered orange cream, which some brands like to call Creme ‘de Orange. Let’s come back down to Earth here. It’s orange cream. I can see it. It didn’t just come out the back of a French patisserie.
In any case, I will leave the judging of its flavor to those who might better know.
#8 Ribbon Candy
Ribbon candy made a move in the wrong direction this year. From #10 last year, a spot it had occupied for several years, ribbon candy is apparently getting less desirable.
Most comments about ribbon candy seem to go along with the idea that the only thing ribbon candy has only one thing going for it: appearance. And while that can be the foundation for a very good life as a human, as a candy we need more. As anyone who watched the Great British Bakeoff knows, it’s gotta taste good and the texture has to be right.
Given the fact that it’s basically for decorative purposes only, in my mind anyway, I was surprised this wasn’t higher on the list. It’s supposed to be candy but if you actually eat it, well, it is just an awkward thing to try and eat.
Yeah, so clearly no one enjoys the actual eating of these. But there are 9 other candies the are more reviled.
#7 Candy Canes – Non-Peppermint
People love authenticity. When you take something popular and spin it slightly, it can come off as gimmicky and unattractive. Some will love it, but its popularity tends to not last as long. It’s trendy or considered tacky sometimes.
Of course, it make sense that anything popular will be replicated and iterated upon to infinity. The candy cane phenomenon is no exception. The results, however, are apparently vile. The rainbow fruit candy canes could almost pass for simply bad. But even those saw a lot of mentions in people’s top 3 worst Christmas candies. Many people are probably not even aware of such Franken-candy creations as pickle-flavored candy canes.
As if we even need to address this one. The texture alone gives people the heeby geebies. Is anyone really under the delusion that these are actually marshmallows? It’s like swallowing rubbery styrofoam. Then there’s the fact that it’s basically just rubber and sugar with a coating of sugar on the outside.
So obviously the Holiday Peeps are bad. But over the past few years, they have improved their position each year. Started at the #3 worst, and are now at #6. That is positive news for Peeps, which often draws a lot of attention both positive and negative. People do love them, but also many people do hate them.
#5 Old-Fashioned Hard Candy Mix
These old-fashioned candies moved up the list this year from number 7 last year. Same thing happened the year before, when it moved from #8. People are liking this stuff less and less. Not a positive trend.
I guess I can see why they made the list, but they sort of don’t even exist in a world of food to me. It’s like a bowl of jewels that have been around since your grandmother’s grandparents smuggled them from the motherland in the 1880s, except with a negative store of value. They look like they used to be pretty, but are kind of faded and sad and nobody really regards them much anymore. They might all be stuck together in one large mass now. It never really occurred to me to actually pick one up and try it.
*Editor’s note: Many of these replies throughout the article are edited for language. Curse words are omitted or abbreviated for the children’s sake. People feel very strongly about this.
#4 Lifesavers Story Books
Old-timey Lifesavers Storybooks are moving in a positive direction. They were #3 last year, now they are no longer one of the top three worst holiday candies. They are #4. That’s better, right?
These are the biggest letdown. It’s not even that LifeSavers are all that bad. They’re fine. It’s the packaging here. And it is an flagrant violation. Do not try package a bunch of normal Life Savers in a Christmas story book thing and pass that off as something I wanna read / receive in a stocking / consume on the most specialist of special mornings of the year. It’s going to end up camouflaged on the bookshelf for years on end.
#3 Reindeer Corn
Just when it seemed like the distaste was waning, Reindeer corn have dropped back into the top 3 worst. They apparently are still very hated. They were the #2 worst two years ago, so still not at their previous peak (valley?).
By the way, I disagree on this one. I like Reindeer Corn. Maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan, where it’s highly thought of according to our holiday candy maps. But there is substance here, people. It’s tasty sugary goodness and solid nostalgia. It feels like Americana, and if you cant get behind America on this one, I don’t know what to tell you.
Reindeer corn is also a very popular Christmas candy. So this is one that is very polarizing. Hate away haters, I love this stuff.
#2 Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cordials – Last Year’s Winner
Cherry cordials have jumped up and down the top 5 the past few years. There is steady dislike, but it seems to ebb and flow slightly. They were the #1 worst last year, and several years ago they were #5. In any case, it’s better to not be #1, so this is a good move for the goopy cherry balls.
Why do chocolate cherry cordials fail so miserably? Chocolate is good, yes. Cherries are good, of course. As with many things in life, it’s all in the execution.
Sometimes a surprise in the middle is a good thing. This is not one of those times. What in the name of all that is holy is that nasty watery sugar liquid seeping out from the inside. It’s just weird, and gooey in a way that totally creeps me out. In order to eat these without A) spilling nasty candy juice on yourself B) having to look at the inside of this vile creation and C) having anyone associate you with the nasty dripping chocolate thing you’re eating, you have to pop this whole thing in your mouth at once.
How many times can you tolerate a whole cherry cordial in your mouth? Once? Maybe, before I’m reminded of previous holiday seasons’ disappointment.
#1 Christmas Nougat
Oh well, Christmas nougat candies thought they finally had some momentum. Last year, as the runner up, it was the first time in 3 years nougat candies weren’t #1. There was hope. That hope has faded now.
The peppermint nougat candies have a fundamental problem. It seems they are thought of by many to have a flavor that is inconsistent with expectations for a nougat candy. Chewy texture suggests to many a rich caramel or chocolate experience. Maybe the minty flavor is just at odds with what your brain expects. Brain-mouth dissonance?
Also, some iterations do look like a poker chip that you can only cash in for sadness. Others look like a 1950s Jello party gone horribly wrong. The consistency at first is slightly resistant to the bite down and then accelerating into soft and gooey acceptance and then instant regret.
The stick-to-your-teeth factor is suborbital. So you end up moving your jaws in as many different directions as they’ll go to try and unstick the damn thing. Then that flavor hits. Oh man. That false minty flavor that gives you a little twinge in your brain and makes you aware again that your gag reflex is still working. Seriously the WORST! :)
So that’s our list. What did you think? Agree, disagree? Comment below. Try to keep it PG, please. :)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's only and in no way reflect the opinions of CandyStore.com.