A Look at State-By-State Halloween Candy Favorites

With Halloween candy sales this year expected to reach about $2.6 billion, 95% of U.S. households will buy candy for the holiday, according to research from Los Angeles-based CandyStore.com.

The organization has gathered 12 years of data to create its map of 2019’s Most Popular Halloween Candy in the U.S., crunched out in state-by-state fashion. This year, diversity of choice was apparent, with 20 candy brands represented across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The top three confection favorites turned out to be Skittles, Candy Corn and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

“We have seen a lot of surprising favorites and least favorites over the years,” says Ben George, content strategist for CandyStore.com. “That’s why working with unbiased data is so much fun. We looked at 12 years of sales data (2007-2018), looking in particular at the months leading up to Halloween. We sell nationwide (and to Canada) so we broke down our sales by state. We also have relationships with major candy manufacturers and distributors, all of whom contributed and helped us reach our conclusions.”

Halloween candy quick facts, according to Candystore.com, reveal that:

  • 172 million Americans celebrate Halloween.
  • Nearly one-quarter of all Halloween purchases are made online.
  • Among those who celebrate Halloween, 95% purchase candy and will spend about $25 on average.
  • Most Halloween shopping is done in the first two weeks of October.
  • In Oregon, full-sized candy bars are the norm for trick-or-treaters to receive.
  • More than 50% of parents stash some Halloween candy to enjoy later in the year.

Read on for a rundown of which Halloween candies are favorites in which states.

Skittles

The brand ranks highest in seven states: Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota and South Carolina. For Halloween 2019, Zombie Skittles from Mars Chocolate North America features a mix of five fruity flavors: Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Boogeyman Blackberry, Chilling Black Cherry and Blood Red Berry.

Candy Corn

The brand ranks highest in five states: Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, New Mexico and Nevada.

Several confectioners offer candy corn. Brach’s Classic Candy Corn, made with real honey, is regarded as the original sweet tricolored treat.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

The Hershey classic is a top performer in five states: Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

Hot Tamales

The brand, under the umbrella of Just Born Inc., trends north in four states: Arizona, Indiana, New York and Virginia.

Starburst

The brand is winning friends in four states: Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Tootsie Pop

Starting with Tootsie Pop, which has a strong allegiance in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Tennessee, two other brands have developed a three-state fan club at Halloween: Twix, in Alaska, Colorado and Rhode Island; and Salt Water Taffy, in New England, Washington and Wyoming.

M&M's

Beginning with M&M’s, which trends highest in Ohio and Vermont, four other brands saw two states jump on their Halloween bandwagons: Milky Way, in Connecticut and Missouri; Jolly Ranchers, in Georgia and Utah; Double Bubble Gum, in Montana, Oklahoma; and Hershey Mini Bars, in Alabama and Pennsylvania. M&M’s English Toffee Peanut recently joined the brand lineup permanently after fans selected it as their favorite new option during the M&M’s Flavor Vote campaign.

Snickers

Snickers wins with consumers in Mississippi, while six other confection brands also rank highest in a single state: Lemonheads in Louisiana, Butterfinger in Massachusetts, Sour Patch Kids in Maine, Kit Kat in Illinois, Blow Pops in West Virginia and Swedish Fish in Kentucky. This fall, limited-edition Snickers Pecan Bar debuted after the activation of a marketing promotion dubbed The Great American Nut Search, which made virtual stops in several states. The brand asked fans to rally behind the nut they’d like to see most in the next Snickers bar, with options also including cashews, pistachios and macadamia.