Most popular Halloween candy state-by-state

Published 6:01 pm Friday, October 26, 2018

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


By Clair Robins

This year, it is expected that $2.6 billion will be spent on trick-or-treat, which is a lot of money. If we as a nation are spending that much, we might as well get it right. We gathered 11 years of data and made this map of 2018’s Most Popular Halloween Candy in America by state to help you choose wisely.
For over 11 years, we’ve been delivering tons of bulk candy around the country. As preeminent bulk candy dealers, we’ve got a lot of candy sales data to comb through. Including some we shipped to New York not too long ago…
This year, the National Retail Federation is estimating that shoppers will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy. That is lower than their $2.7B estimate last year.
With consumer confidence at it’s highest point in a September since 2004, fueled mostly by low unemployment and low inflation expectations, we feel like 2018 sales could be even bigger.
Industry research showed in 2015 that online candy sales were increasing by 15 percent. People are realizing they can save time and money by skipping the store and purchasing from the comfort of their home. But will you buy the right candy?

Halloween Candy Quick Facts
• 179 million Americans celebrate Halloween
• Nearly 1/4 of all Halloween purchases are made online
• Among those who celebrate Halloween, 95 percent will purchase candy
• They will spend about $27 on average
• In Oregon, full-sized candy bars are the norm for trick-or-treaters to receive
• Over 50 percent of parents stash some Halloween candy to enjoy later in the year

Alabama’s favorite Halloween candy remains the same as last year: candy corn. In last year’s report we saw Hershey’s mini chocolate bars fell from the top spot to number 2. This year it dropped off to #3. Overtaken by Tootsie Pops for runner up.
Alaska still loves Twix. It was the top candy last year as well. The dual candy sticks probably remind Alaskans of the skis they use to get around in the winter time. Or for exercise?
How many Snickers bars would it take to fill the Grand Canyon — over 10 million? That’s how many bars Arizonans ate over the course of our study. The 48th state can sure put away chocolate bars! Hot Tamales and Hershey’s Kisses are right behind them though.
The only state with an active diamond mine is rich in a lot of things. Johnny Cash, Douglas MacArthur, dulcimers. You might even say they’re jolly. That’s right, Arkansans love Jolly Ranchers at Halloween. This is even more fitting when you consider the vast acres of national and state parks in the state.
California’s most popular Halloween candy has changed again this year. The birthplace of Jelly Bellys has acquired more of an affinity for Skittles than last year’s winner M&M’s or prior winner, salt water taffy — to say nothing for jelly beans. Over 1.6 million pounds of Skittles don’t lie. Californians prefer to taste the Venice Beach rainbow.
Twix has come back! Colorado’s most popular Halloween candy has changedagain this year. Last year, Milky Way overthrew Twix in the mountains of Colorado. Now Twix has re-taken the lead!
Connecticut is the state where the Constitution was signed. Historical. And they love Almond Joy, which we find remarkable and lovely. Almond Joy is the number one candy here for the third straight year with Milky Way coming in second, M&M’s third.
Delaware has once again proclaimed Life Savers as their favorite Halloween Candy — third year in a row. Nearly 21k pounds of them. Second place, however, has seen a change. It now goes to Candy Corn. Third place is Skittles, last year’s runner up.
The sun shines strongly here, transforming many an upstanding Florida citizen into the Mr. Hyde of America, Florida Man. And as Florida Man knows all too well, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. Maybe that’s why Snickers is the new top Halloween candy in Florida. Skittles has been bumped down to #2.
I’m pleased to tell you that you can stop with the hate emails and Reddit flames, Swedish Fish have been taken down by a new winner in Georgia: Jolly Ranchers.
Hawaii’s most popular Halloween candy remained unchanged this year. Skittles keeps the Hawaiian crown. Hershey’s Kisses fell from the top spot last year and made way for the new winner of the Pacific Island state. It’s no surprise that the people of this gorgeous island want to taste the rainbow. Idaho
King (candy) corn reigns in Idaho, just like last year. Home of beautiful mountains, the largest single piece of protected wilderness in the U.S. and, of course, potatoes, Idahoans love their candy corn for Halloween. Second place goes to Starburst, Snickers third.
Man, Illinois always keeps things interesting whether it’s mythical monikers or Halloween candy data. There was much upheaval last year with the top 3 spots all changing hands, and this year is much of the same. Sour Patch Kids fell from the top spot to #2 and was replaced atop the throne by Kit Kat.
It’s not always hot in late October in Indiana. Leaves have changed and flannel shirts and basketballs are out in droves. To balance things out, Hot Tamales rain down in Hoosier country. About one hundred thousand pounds of Hot Tamales are consumed around Halloween time. Starburst come in second place, Jolly Ranchers third.
There’s a new winner in Iowa this year. Reese’s Cups no longer run the Ozzy Osborne show in Iowa. Candy corn has taken over the top spot, which if you just Google Image “Iowa” shouldn’t be a surprise. Kansas
Kansas’s most popular Halloween candy has not changed this year. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are still the king of the Sunflower State. M&M’s ruled a couple years ago, but the new champ has retained its crown.
There is a new winner in the Bluegrass State! For 2 years straight, our report had determined the top Halloween candy in Kentucky to be Tootsie Pops. Now, Swedish Fish have come out of nowhere to take the crown with over 73,000 pounds.
Pucker up trick-or-treaters in Louisiana, your favorite candy for the third year in a row is Lemonheads! Sweet and sour flavors must do well on Bourbon Street. The top candy has not changed with this years data results. What a bunch of Lemonheads they must have down there!
Maine is a gorgeous place to visit. Cool summers with dense deciduous topography. Moose tracks outside your cabin on a crystal clear morning near the harbor. Lobster rolls for lunch followed by Sour Patch Kids.
Home to the Naval Academy, Maryland rules the seas and navigates by the stars. They must have developed their love for Milky Ways with all that staring up into the night skies. Maryland consumes over 41,000 pounds of Milky Way bars around Halloween.
Massachusetts’s most popular Halloween candy has not changed this year. Sour Patch is still number one, Butterfinger still #2, and Dubble Bubble replaces Taffy in the #3 spot. So, if you live in Mass. stock up on those guys. Also, get a reverse osmosis filter and flame retardant bed sheets.
Though the trolls don’t believe me, Mighty Michigan still has a love affair with candy corn. This is the third year in a row. The favorite Christmas candy in Michigan is also reindeer corn, which is the same thing in Xmas colors.
Most popular Halloween candy has not changed this year. Tootsie Pops again at over 200k pounds. Skittles were #2, Candy corn #3.
Hey, what’s that? A Mississippi Candy bar. For the 3rd year in a row, the 3 Musketeers continue to top the most popular Halloween candies in this state that is home to the largest cactus plantation in the world. Random, but awesome.
Home of the Blues. Gateway to the West. Missouri a no nonsense type of place. A Milky Way bar on Halloween is no joke here. It’s still the most popular Halloween candy in the state so when trick-or-treaters come knocking in MO, make sure you show them the Milky Way.
Elk, antelope, deer, eagles, swans, Montana has a rich wildlife population. They also love their bubble gum. Classic Dubble Bubble bubble gum is still the most popular Halloween candy where a River Runs Through It. The #2 and #3 most popular candies swapped places again this year with Twix edging M&M’s in a back and forth battle for runner-up.
The naughty Sour Patch Kids candies have been usurped this year as the most popular Halloween candy in the state. Salt Water Taffy is the new winner. You do you, Nebraska. Don’t let those little sour whipper snappers box you in.
In Vegas they love shiny things. That must be why Hershey’s Kisses do so well in Nevada on Halloween. But they are not the #1 candy in Nevada anymore. After a 2 year reign at the top, they have been brought down by good ol’ candy corn.
New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s most popular Halloween candy has changed again this year. Starburst has climbed to the top of the ladder again, ousting Snickers, last year’s usurper. And M&M’s jumps Snickers for the #2 spot, leaving Snick at #3.
New Jersey
New Jersey’s most popular Halloween candy has not changed this year. Skittles have retained the #1 spot and M&M’s knocked last year’s runner-up, Tootsie Pops, back to #3.
New Mexico
Things keep Breaking Good for candy corn in New Mexico on Halloween. It has remained as the top candy in the state known as the desert-filled setting for Breaking Bad.
New York
New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured only one candy float. Guess which candy…. Yup, New Yorkers love Sour Patch Kids so much they build a rolling monument to them.
North Carolina
North Carolina’s most popular Halloween candy is M&M’s. Reese’s Cups used to rule the land where the Wright Brothers first flew, but they were knocked back to second place last year. Now M&M’s have taken over with over 101,000 pounds consumed. Snickers moved into third place, kicking candy corn out of the top 3.
North Dakota
There’s a lot going on in North Dakota lately. Boomtowns and new industries have changed the landscape in the past decade or so, but it’s still mighty cold up there. That must be why Hot Tamales are so popular. They remain at the top of the most popular Halloween candy list. Followed by Jolly Ranchers and candy corn.
Ohio’s most popular Halloween candy has changed again this year. After Blow Pops pushed M&M’s aside last year, M&Ms have seized back the lead, moving Blow Pops back to runner up. Starburst remains in the the number 3 spot. 164,000 pounds of M&M’s is nothing to sneeze at.
There’s a new top Halloween candy in Oklahoma. Dubble Bubble has risen from the #2 spot to take the throne away from Snickers, which sits at #2 this year. Skittles bumps Butterfinger out of the top 3.
If you’re throwing a ghost town takeover Halloween party, better bring your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups candy. Trick-or-treaters love these more than any other candy in Oregon. M&M’s is in second place, Candy Corn third.
Pennsylvania’s most popular Halloween candy has changed this year. Skittles took over the top spot from M&M’s, but not by much. Candy corn is #3.
Rhode Island
RI isn’t going to be pushed around by anyone. So you better have some candy corn lined up for those trick or treaters or some of their friends on Federal Hill might pay you a visit and make you an offer you can’t refuse!
South Carolina
South Carolina has a new top Halloween candy. The 8th State in the union loves Skittles, which takes over from candy corn after a two year reign. Hot Tamales retains the #3 spot.
South Dakota
The Crazy Horse mountain carving is most likely going to be pointing to another large mountain carving, of Starbursts. The candy is again atop the list of most popular on Halloween in South Dakota.
Tennessee loves the Vols, Music City and Tootsie Pops. Nearly 61,000 pounds of Tootsie Pops are consumed around Halloween time. It retains the #1 spot again this year, followed by Skittles and salt water taffy.
Texas’s most popular Halloween candy has changed this year. The Lone Star State ditched its Starbursts and returned to it’s previous love, Reese’s Cups. It’s an understandable move, since Reese’s Cups are objectively devine, and they were the top Halloween candy 2 years ago.
We can confidently state that Jolly Ranchers have a foothold there. Jolly Ranchers again retain the #1 spot in Utah with over 483,000 pounds consumed. Boom! But people from Utah do seem jolly and there are surely many ranches there, so Jolly Ranchers might be more fitting than Jello anyway. Tootsie Pops and Candy corn took second and third place.
They love Milky Way candy bars at Halloween time, and choose local Ben and Jerry’s when they need some ice cream. It might not be cold enough on Halloween to hand out ice cream to trick or treaters. Better stick to Milky Ways.
Virginia’s most popular Halloween candy has again changed this year. Hot Tamales have reclaimed the crown! There have been some people who doubt the viability of Hot Tamales as a top contender for favorite Halloween candy. We are here to tell you that spicy candy is for real. Believe it, and Virginia is one place where it is happening.
Salt water taffy had ruled the state a couple years ago, but in last year’s study Tootsie Pops stole the top spot. Well, taffy is back baby! Over 220,000 pounds of Salt Water Taffy are consumed in Washington around Halloween. Maybe that’s how Aberdeen cleaned up its act. They found a new vice.
Washington D.C.
M&M’s rule The District for the third straight year, melting over 26,000 pounds in their mouths, not in their hands. It isn’t really a state, but since people still trick-or-treat there, we included it in our study.
West Virginia
For Halloween, stock up on Blow Pops, Milky Way and Hershey’s Mini Chocolate Bars. They were numbers 1, 2, and 3.
Wisconsin’s most popular Halloween candy has changed again this year. Butterfinger reclaims its title as the Top Halloween Candy. The top 2 candies actually switched places again this year, as Starbursts edged out Butterfinger for the top candy in last year’s study.
The top Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Homes can be pretty spread out in Wyoming, but if you do plan on getting trick or treaters, make sure to give them — and their horses — some yummy Reese’s Cups.
So, what candy do people in your area like? If you get the wrong thing, the consequences could be dire. The inverse of treat is trick, as we all know. Streaming TP from your tree limbs? Ok hopefully kids in your neighborhood wouldn’t do that. But the adults might 😐

CLAIR ROBBINS is content strategist for Contact her at