What's the Favorite Halloween Candy in Your State?

And what do people say are the 10 worst Halloween candies?

graphic image of a map of the United States showing which Halloween candies are the most popular in each state
Photo: Allrecipes

When a friend alerted me that she had spotted candy corn — the orange, yellow, and white treat that provokes a fierce love/hate debate each year — on grocery store shelves in late July, I was taken aback. It's my favorite Halloween candy (don't @ me!), but was summer the time to make its annual debut? In another year that seems to be in a time warp, I quickly went from being surprised by candy corn's early appearance to popping the sweet cone-shaped candies into my mouth, and I'm not alone.

It's safe to say that people are ready for Halloween.

"As the world continues to shift around us, Halloween is a constant that can bring us joy and excitement by helping people embrace time-honored traditions and create new experiences," said John Downs, National Confectioners Association (NCA) president & CEO. "The Halloween season has always been about people, traditions, and celebrations. Whether people celebrate with a classic night of trick-or-treating or other creative ways of enjoying the season throughout October, this season is all about how we Halloween."

Over the summer, NCA conducted a national online survey and found that 82 percent of Americans are confident they will find safe and creative ways to celebrate the Halloween season; 80 percent are planning to trick-or-treat this fall; and 79 percent of Americans say they plan to fill their Halloween candy bowls this season.

Now, what to choose to fill the candy bowl…

Favorite Halloween Candy by State

graphic image of a map of the United States showing which Halloween candies are the most popular in each state, plus a list of the 10 worst Halloween candies

To help guide your selections, Candystore.com recently released its 2021 findings of the Most Popular Halloween Candy by State. Interestingly, three candies tied at the top, each with six states under its wrapper: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Sour Patch Kids, and Starburst. Overall, 19 candies took top honors, and Skittles, the top candy of 2019, was considered crème de la crème in just three states this year.

To compile these findings, the folks at CandyStore.com took 14 years of sales data in the U.S. and Canada (2007–2020), along with input from major candy manufacturers and distributors, and looked specifically at the months leading up to Halloween.

Here's the breakdown for how the candies ranked, and which states chose them in popularity, from most to least.

Favorite Candy States and District of Columbia
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: California, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wyoming
Sour Patch Kids: Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York
Starburst: Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, South Dakota, Texas
M&M's: Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, D.C.
Tootsie Pops: Utah, Washington
Hershey's Kisses: Colorado, Maryland, Nevada
Hershey's Miniatures: Hawaii, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Hot Tamales: Arizona, North Dakota, Virginia
Skittles: Delaware, Oklahoma, Vermont
Butterfinger: South Carolina, Wisconsin
Jolly Rancher: Arkansas, New Mexico
3 Musketeers: Mississippi
Almond Joy: Connecticut
Blow Pop: Ohio
Dubble Bubble: Montana
Lemonhead Louisiana
Milky Way Missouri
Swedish Fish Georgia
Twix Rhode Island

How did your favorites fare? Were you surprised at the top candy for your state?

10 Worst Halloween Candies of 2021

With all this talk about the Most Popular Halloween Candy by State, we'd be remiss not to mention the Worst Halloween Candies of 2021, as reported by CandyStore.com. Topping the chart — or should it be bottoming out? — much to my chagrin, is candy corn. Rounding out the 10 Worst Halloween Candies of 2021 are:

  1. Candy Corn
  2. Circus Peanuts
  3. Peanut Butter Kisses (no relation to Hershey's)
  4. Smarties
  5. Necco Wafers
  6. Wax Coke bottles
  7. Mary Jane
  8. Tootsie Roll
  9. Good & Plenty
  10. Black licorice

With all this data behind you, you can be sure to hand out stellar Halloween candy to this year's trick-or-treaters, and perhaps have some of your favorites left over to enjoy yourself. Try these ideas for what to do with leftover Halloween candy.


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