The Top Selling Halloween Candy, Ranked
Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for candy. While certain brands come and go, some candies have been around for over a hundred years and are still going strong. In fact, if you get one of these in your bag on Halloween, you know you've had a successful time trick or treating.
According to the supermarket giant Kroger, these brands are the crème de la crème when it comes to Halloween candy sale predictions for 2022. We combined this report with cold-hard facts from CandyStore.com, which scoured 15 years of sales data (from 2007 to 2021) to see the pounds of candy sold in the months leading up to Halloween. Which ones make up the majority of what the National Retail Federation predicts will be $3.1 billion in Halloween candy sales this year?
We'll give you a hint: It's not surprising that shoppers are expected to purchase 7.6 million pounds of chocolate to celebrate the season. Our mouths are officially drooling...
10. 3 Musketeers
Pounds sold: 91,820
Bottom line: The yummy, nougat-filled 3 Musketeers bar has been with us since 1932, courtesy of Mars Incorporated. It originally came in three pieces of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but due to supply issues during WWII, it became a single bar in 1945. It was marketed as being so big, it could be shared with others.
While the bar is smaller today, not much else about it has changed, and it is still a Halloween and everyday favorite.
* The candy ranking comes from a combination of Kroger's candy sale projections for 2022 report and CandyStore.com's report of the pounds of candy purchased in every state.
9. Kit Kat
Pounds sold: 135,672
Bottom line: Kit Kats are sugary wafers separated and covered by chocolate with four pieces (or "fingers") that you can snap off to enjoy, one by one.
The KitKat bar got its start in the U.K. in 1935 and was originally known as "Rowntree's Chocolate Crisp" before becoming "Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp" in 1937. Hershey took over production of the candy for the U.S. market and introduced it to the public in 1970. It was an instant smash with candy lovers everywhere.
8. Milky Way
Pounds sold: 174,405
Bottom line: The Milky Way bar will celebrate its centennial in 2023. Created by Frank Mars, founder of Mars Incorporated, it initially came in chocolate and vanilla and was the first ever mass-produced bar with a filling.
Its name was not an homage to the galaxy, either, but instead to a popular malted milkshake from the era. Its early ads stated the Milky Way had "more malted milk content than a soda fountain double-malted milk!"
Milky Ways were initially mostly nougat (much like today's 3 Musketeers). Caramel was added years later to make the bar the deliciously gooey mess we love today.
Pounds sold: 209,693
Bottom line: Mars Incorporated also introduced the Twix bar in the U.S. back in 1979, but it had been known in Europe as the Raider bar until 1991 (when it changed to the Twix brand name.)
People liked the candy bar right off the bat because it felt like they were getting two bars in one. Rumor has it that the left Twix and the right Twix are different in terms of how much caramel and chocolate they have. While there has been no confirmation that this is the case, the company used this urban legend to its advantage by selling just left or right Twix to consumers.
Pounds sold: 688,862
Bottom line: Another candy approaching its centennial is the Butterfinger bar, which was invented by Curtiss Candy Company founder Otto Schnering.
The marketing campaign for Butterfinger involved it being dropped by airplane into select U.S. cities; it later became connected to Shirley Temple and was featured in one of her films.
In 1990, Nestle purchased Butterfinger, and the "crispity crunchity" bar solidified its place as one of the top-selling candy bars of all time.
5. Hershey Mini Bars
Pounds sold: 832,061
Bottom line: This simple square of milk chocolate is responsible for the whole Hershey empire. It was first introduced to the public in 1900 for just 5 cents and stayed at that price point until 1969 when it jumped up by another nickel.
The process for making the bar was developed by Milton Hershey and is generally a secret, but we do know that the company uses fresh milk from local dairies. This gives the chocolate a taste that is unique to the U.S. and makes it "The Great American Chocolate Bar" we know and love today.
4. Tootsie Pops
Pounds sold: 1,086,056
Bottom line: Tootsie Rolls were invented in 1907 and were one of the first mass-produced penny candies in the U.S. Chocolate with taffy-like consistency, the candies were invented by Leo Hirschfield, an Austrian-Jewish immigrant, who began his candy-making career in 1896. He named the candy after his daughter, whose nickname was "Tootsie."
The candymaker rolled out Tootsie Pops in 1931 after an employee of the Sweets Company of America (later known as Tootsie Roll Industries) licked his daughter's lollipop while chewing a Tootsie Roll. The idea stuck and gave us the Halloween treat we know and love today.
So how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? About 252.
Pounds sold: 1,129,797
Bottom line: The Mars family struck gold yet again when it introduced Snickers to the public in 1930. Named after the family's favorite horse, Snickers is made of nougat, peanuts and caramel — and it's a combination that remains popular to this day.
Mars has stated they make about 15 million bars a day and passed the $1 billion mark in sales in 2013.
Pounds sold: 2,813,637
Bottom line: Forrest Mars, son of the previously mentioned Frank, created M&M's in 1941 after seeing soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating Smarties, British-made chocolate pellets with colorful shells.
M&M's were immediately a hit with the U.S. Army. In fact, the candies were sold only to the military during WWII, as they were easy to carry in varying climates and did not melt, prompting the catchphrase, "They melt in your mouth, not in your hand."
1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Pounds sold: 3,548,467
Bottom line: The Reese's Peanut Butter Cup has been the top candy in the U.S. for decades. It was invented in 1928 by H.B. Reese, an employee of Hershey, who made the cups in the basement of his home. They quickly caught on, and Hershey began supplying Reese with the chocolate coating he needed to make the product.
After his sons took over the business in the 1950s, they sold it to Hershey in 1963. Today, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are Hershey's top-selling candy, and the company has a line of over 100 Reese's products, including candy bars, spreads, cookies and cereals. You simply cannot beat peanut butter and chocolate.