WalletHub recently released their findings on the best U.S. cities to celebrate Halloween. Using 22 key metrics to measure 100 cities ranging from how many candy and chocolate stores per capita to the average price per Halloween party ticket to the share of potential trick-or-treat stops. New York City, NY came in first and San Francisco, CA came in second and Miami, FL came in third. According to their research, they also found that New York City, NY is the best place for “trick-or-treater friendliness”, Milwaukee, WI has the highest percentage of potential trick-or-treaters, Santa Ana, CA has the highest percentage of potential trick-or-treat stops, Americans will have or plan to spend $3.1 billion on Halloween candy this year and 86% of parents admit that they steal some of their kids’ Halloween candy! (Check out all of their findings here.) But, what is the best Halloween candy for 2022? It depends on who you ask.
According to the National Confectioners Association, 3/4 of American homes will be celebrating Halloween this year. Of those, 93% say that they plan to do so with chocolate and candy in some form. Of those participating in handing out the goods to little goblins, 97% say that they will be giving out a mix of chocolate and candy. But what is the most popular candy for 2022? The NCA polled Americans and found that the #1 spot goes to chocolate, candy corn comes in second followed by gummy candies. The NCA even went further asking respondents the “right” way to eat candy corn. 16% said that they start with the wider, yellow end while 33% said that they prefer to nibble on the top of the white end. 51% said that they don’t have time for those shenanigans and just eat the whole piece at once.
The Top Data market research firm found that Reese’s is the most popular Halloween candy for 18 states followed by Kit Kat with ten states. Skittles and M&M’s tied with five states each. Snickers is most popular in Idaho, Alaska, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Starburst is big in Texas and Delaware while those living in Florida, Maryland and Nebraska prefer Milky Way. Hot tamales is hot in Vermont and Montana and Kentucky prizes Butterfinger. These results are a big change from last year’s findings that found that Skittles was the most popular followed by M&M’s, Kit Kat and Reese’s. They also found that this year’s sales are forecast to exceed last year’s figures by 23%! (The Top Data team analyzed digital commerce trends during October 2021 and 2022 to determine the most popular Halloween candy in the United States.)
But new market intelligence and search startup, My Telescope found completely different findings ranking Snickers as the top bar in 23 states when measured with a Share of Search marketing metric that, according to them, “measures the relative interest for a search term in relation to a defined set of search terms.” They also found that KitKat and Hershey’s tied for second place ranking in five states each. My Telescopes say, “Research has shown that there is a correlation between what we search for and a final outcome, and that Share of Search can often predict shifts in Share of Voice over time.”
But it is CandyStore.com’s findings that throws another wrench into the above results. As they do every year, they take the findings from a dozen publications who do their own polling (like BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Huffington Post, etc.) and then add in their findings from the polls given to 15,000 of their own customers to come up with the ultimate “Best” and “Worst” Halloween candies. Here is what they found out this year:
Best Halloween Candy
- Sour Patch Kids
- Hot Tamales
- Kat Kat
Worst Halloween Candy
- Circus Peanuts
- Candy Corn
- Peanut Butter Kisses
- Necco Wafers
- Wax Coke Bottles
- Mary Janes
- Tootsie Rolls
- Black Licorice
- Good & Plenty
So who do you believe? While the findings are all over the board, Reese’s does seem to come out on top fairly consistently (but then again, they also have a larger array of items to sell in the form of pumpkins, Frankenstein and more) and everyone’s top candies are pretty much the same brands, just in different orders.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.