America’s Favorite Halloween Candy? It’s Definitely Not Candy Corn

October 18, 2017, 9:41 PM UTC

Halloween is getting closer, and with every passing day, store shelves are looking increasingly barren as shoppers snap up the best candy. But what’s the “best” Halloween candy? It’s hard to say. What tickles Texas trick or treaters tastebuds might make Georgia’s ghosts and ghouls groan. Luckily bulk candy seller mined 10 years of sales data to find the favorite candy for each state. And after sampling all the, um… data, the company has information about what the U.S.’s favorite spooky sweet is—and it’s not candy corn.

Listed as the best-selling candy more than any other, M&M’s are the most popular Halloween candy. Reese’s Cups comes second place, and both candy corn and Skittles are tied for third.

But this is an arguable title, because there are several ways to parse CandyStore’s data. First, the above standings were arrived at by counting the top three candies in each state, and giving the points equal weights. In other words, candy corn’s first-place finish in South Carolina counts the same as M&M’s being the third favorite candy in Nebraska. Under that scoring scheme, M&Ms scores 15 points to Reese’s Cups’ 14 and Skittles/candy corn’s 13.

Still, it’s worth noting that candy corn was the best-selling Halloween candy in six states, eclipsing all other sweets for top finishes. But M&M’s had strong second- and third-place showings, giving it the overall favorite honors.

And because CandyStore is a bulk seller, the company also provided information about which goodies sold the most by weight. And if that’s the metric, there’s a different winner: Reese’s Cups.

CandyStore sold 3,035,652 pounds of the peanut buttery treats between 2007 and 2016, making it the heavyweight in the Halloween market. The results varied from best-selling to bulk weight because big states like California, Florida, and Texas served as taste-makers. For example, the Lone Star state was responsible for nearly 2 million pounds of Starburst sales all on its own, though the taffy chews were only a top-seller in just nine states, overall.

And candy corn wasn’t even the second-heaviest seller. At 2,698,112 pounds, M&M’s tipped the scales as the number two candy. In comparison, candy corn was a lightweight, selling just 960,109 pounds of the sugary stuff over the past decade. Better luck next year, candy corn. In the meantime, bulk up.

But if those are the best candies, what are the worst? CandyStore did some in-depth research to determine what the most reviled treat was. And after a survey of 40,000 customers, the company ultimately declared what everyone already knew: Circus Peanuts are the worst candy.

Still, it being a Halloween poll, there had to be a spooky twist: Despite how much candy corn is sold, it was also voted the second worst Halloween treat. Scary stuff, indeed.