What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

The most popular Halloween candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with Skittles coming in second.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

It is that time of year again when we start to see the ghosts and goblins and witches and vampires all dressed in their finest. With Halloween right around the corner and safety still of utmost concern, not only do these ghosts and goblins have to make sure their costumes are up to par, but parents of these young monsters need to prepare for those coming to hit the doorbell with a “trick or treat!” With that, we ask what is the most popular Halloween candy in America.

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

We are not even going to mess around with this one, so let’s get right at it. Halloween candy purchasing ranks only slightly less on the spooky holiday importance scale than actually eating said Halloween candy. We are going to start with the absolute, without a doubt, most popular Halloween candy per numerous sources and then see how far down the list we go.

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – This candy is the most popular Halloween candy for a reason – it rocks. Who doesn’t love the sweet mixture of chocolate and peanut butter, pressed together and ready to inhale? With states like California, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina contributing 2.157 million pounds of Reese’s purchasing to its overall total, it doesn’t appear that any candy will be knocking the Reese’s off its perch any time soon.

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

Skittles – Who doesn’t love to “taste the rainbow?” Apparently, there are plenty in states such as Delaware, Vermont, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, who have purchased almost 780,000 pounds worth of the flavorful candy. Skittles sits as the second most popular Halloween candy because of its chewiness and many different flavors.

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

M&M’s – As the third most popular Halloween candy, we can only say “duh.” States such as California, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have lent their hand by purchasing 1.63 million pounds worth. M&M’s have been around forever and always rank near the top at any time of the year.

Starburst – This one is sort of a surprise, not that it found its way into the top ten of the most popular Halloween candy list, but because it ranks so high. Kiddies in states like Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, and Texas know what they like, and they like 1.27 million pounds worth.

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

Hot Tamales – How this sits at number five as the most popular Halloween candy is a mystery. They should easily have jumped Starburst and could even have replaced Skittles. 1.73 million pounds purchased by those in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, and Nevada have made Hot Tamales a sure-fire winner in our book (see what we did there?).

What Is The Most Popular Halloween Candy?

Sour Patch Kids – They are sour and they are chewy and apparently they are one of the most popular Halloween candies on the market. Kids in Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York flock to them like a moth to a flame to the tune of 384,310 pounds of sales. Are they really that good?

Hershey Kisses – For some reason, we thought the Hershey Kiss was more of a Valentine’s Day treat, but apparently it is also one of the most popular Halloween candies as well. Just ask those in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, and Nevada as they have ponied up to purchase 1.16 million pounds worth of chocolatey smooches. Not a bad call, especially if you are handing out the Hershey Kiss with the almond inside.

Snickers – Another winning combination candy – milk chocolate, caramel, and peanuts. Snickers satisfy any time of the year, but especially during Halloween as those in Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Virginia will tell you. All 1.05 million pounds worth.

Tootsie Pops – Not a bad entry into the Top 10. Tootsie Pops have a long history of crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle that kids in Utah, Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, and New Jersey apparently still love. Parents in these states have purchased over 896k pounds worth, so they will be ready.

Candy Corn – Yes, this one raised a few eyebrows. Candy Corn, cracking the top 10, say it ain’t so. Well, those in Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Utah, and New York have spoken by taking on 563,152 pounds worth of the little buggers.

Okay, those are the top ten that come from a few different sources. But there seem to be a few solid candies missing. Where is Butterfingers and what about the Milky Way?


You are going to see something very interesting on this list – a candy that is both popular and voted on as one of the worst candies to consume during Halloween. It’s a strange phenomenon, but we are getting seriously close to Halloween, so “strange” shouldn’t be so strange. Check out our list from one to five.

  • Circus Peanuts – While we think Peanut Butter Kisses should claim this spot each and every year, those across the country have said Circus Peanuts are the furthest away from being the most popular Halloween candy. We don’t blame them; they are even hard to describe how bad they are. To do that, you’d actually have to put one in your mouth.
  • Candy Corn – Wait, what? How did Candy Corn get on both the most popular Halloween Candy list as well as the least (worst) popular? Apparently, it’s a candy you love to hate.
  • Peanut Butter Kisses – How this candy isn’t the perennial number one is a shock, a mystery, and frankly, an outrage. You know these, they are those little candies wrapped in black and orange plastic paper. They are immediately gross, and it only goes downhill from there if you decide you want to pop another into your mouth.
  • Necco Wafers – Dry, chalky, disgusting. It is pretty easy to see why these are not even close to the most popular Halloween candy. Does anyone still eat these?
  • Wax Coke Bottles – As a teeny tiny kid, these may have had some value to them – a sweet, liquid inside surrounded by, well, wax. But they have climbed the list as one of the least popular Halloween candies and rightfully so. Steer clear.

There you have it. Stay away from these at all costs and do not hand them out. Not saying that we condone this, but you may find your house egged or TP’d by some very unhappy Halloweeners.


This spooky fun time of year always brings out some cool statistics as they concern the most popular Halloween candies. For instance, according to a CandyStore.com survey, those who hand out Halloween candy spend on average $27.55 for the holiday season and do 30 percent of their candy shopping online.

Most of the Halloween candy shopping is done during the first two weeks of October (right! We know this isn’t true because there are so many of you in the grocery store line on October 30th!) and over half the parents surveyed say they stash away their favorite Halloween candy to enjoy at a later date (this is the absolute truth).

Now that the pandemic has reached levels where families are feeling a little bit safer, Halloween is back in vogue and the hunt for the most popular Halloween candy can commence. Not every state feels the same way about the most popular candy, though. If you are curious as to where your state stands, you can head over to CandyStore.com and check out the top three most popular Halloween candies in your state.


So, how did we get here to the most popular Halloween candy sold in America? Well, you should probably first know that every Halloween sees Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy to hand out for consumption. You might be curious as to what 600 million pounds look like, so we will oblige.

A simple explanation of 600 million pounds is this: the Titanic weighed in at 100 million pounds. So, line up six candy-made Titanics, one next to the other, and there are your 600 million pounds of candy. Someone’s blood sugar is going to go through the roof.

But it wasn’t always about the most popular Halloween candy. In fact, candy wasn’t even on the menu pre-World War II. But let’s take this back even a little bit further.

Way back in the early 1900s, both Christmas and Easter were the prime holidays when sweets were given out. Sweets back then though were more baked goods than candy. So, candy makers were looking for a way to get their sweets into the mouths of the masses.

They came up with the idea of Candy Day, which would take place on the second Saturday in October. It was pitched as a holiday of friendship and goodwill with the bottom line of making money. The name changed to “Sweetest Day” and held that title until the 1950s.

As trick-or-treating became more of a fad, the candy makers decided it would be better to capitalize on the Halloween holiday and shifted their attention away from Sweetest Day and had shopkeepers promote candy as the thing to hand out for Halloween. This is where we began to see the most popular Halloween candy start to rise.

It still took some time for candy to fully catch on because, during the ‘50s and ‘60s, kids would routinely get toys, nuts, or even coins instead of the most popular Halloween candy. It wasn’t until the ‘70s when moms began to work more that the ease of handing out candy became a thing. Today, this is all we do.

So, where do you stand with the most popular Halloween candy? Do Reese’s hit the spot for you or does our list need some reconfiguring? Let us know what you think while you prepare for the ghosts and goblins to invade your neighborhood – Trick or treat!