The Best And Worst Halloween Candy In Each State

Halloween festivities were dulled in 2020 due to the risk of the ongoing pandemic, according to Food Network, which means many are planning on doing it bigger and better than ever this year. The National Retail Federation estimated that spending for the holiday would hit an all-time high with the country expected to drop $10.14 billion dollars pulling off a spooktacular holiday. If you're keeping track, that's almost exactly a $2 billion increase from last year.

Sixty-five percent of the country is expected to celebrate Halloween in 2021. Slightly more than half — 52 percent — plan to decorate their homes. Forty-six percent expect to dress up, and 25 percent will attend a party. Happily, 66 percent of the population plans to hand out candy to trick or treaters over Hallow-weekend. The latter data shows an increase after a lull last year.

The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said that children should be able to safely trick or treat with a couple of caveats in place to protect them from COVID-19 (via CNBC). That information is possibly driving spending on Halloween candy. The NFR estimated we'll drop $3 billion on sweet treats. We're expected to hit that number even though supply chain problems are creating delays in holiday planning (via Forbes).

If you're planning on passing out candy but haven't picked any up yet, we're here to tell you the most popular and least popular options in every state. That way you can be the most well liked house on the block.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups reign supreme across the country

If you surveyed every American and asked their favorite candy, you'd get a wide variety of answers. Thankfully, some existing research gives us a pretty solid idea of what are the most popular candies across the United States.

One candy consistently reigned supreme. A survey conducted by Halloween Express asked more than 2,000 Americans in 2017 about their most and least favored sweet treats. They discovered that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were the most popular option in 38 states including Texas, Ohio, Florida, and a good portion of the East and West Coasts. Almost exactly 20 percent of the population listed the candy as their favorite. Snickers — a favorite in 12 states (including a tie between Snickers and Reese's in California) — came in second and accounted for roughly 12 percent of the population's number one choice.

CandyStore.com ranked Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as the most popular candy sold by the pound in America. It landed at the number one spot considering data from 2007 to 2020. This year, it was the most beloved candy in six states including California (where buyers will pick up more than 1 million pounds), Florida, and Kentucky. It came in second place in five more states.

This all makes sense. YouGovAmerica found that 96 percent of Americans have heard of Reese's, and 79 percent like them. Reese's ranked as the third most popular food and snack brand. Interestingly, the most reviled candy is also very well known.

Candy corn is pretty much universally reviled

Candy corn will likely go down in history as one of the most contentious candies of all time. The Daily Meal confirmed that roughly 1.3 million pounds of the striped candies are picked up every year. That's a lot of candy. In 2021, candy corn will be the second-most purchased candy in New Mexico and Michigan, according to CandyStore.com. It falls at the number three spot in 12 additional states including New York, Nevada, and Utah.

It's unclear why so many Americans pick up the chewy treat because it ranked as the most hated option across the country, according to Halloween Express. Twenty-one states including California, Washington, Ohio, and Maine listed the option as their most despised. That accounted for nearly 12 percent of the population. Interestingly, Generation X and millennials were the most likely to rank the candy as their least favorite.

Although it's synonymous with Halloween and would look pretty cool as a motif on your nails, the classic candy elicited very strong thoughts on Halloween Express. It was called everything from "vile" to "an abomination." One person gave the ultimate review: "It tastes like chemicals and looks like a traffic cone." What's not to love?

Chocolate is always a safe bet

If Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not your bliss, and you're looking for another failsafe candy option to keep trick or treaters happy, any sort of chocolate is usually a safe bet. Halloween Express noted that most of the beloved candy options were chocolate. That included the likes of Snickers (already mentioned as the second place choice), Kit Kats, Twix, Milky Ways, Butterfingers, M&M's, Almond Joys, and 3 Musketeers are all inside of the top 10 options. The only non-chocolate entry is Skittles, which came in tenth place.

CandyStore.com included several of the above mentioned items in their top 10 list; however, there were some differences. Reese's Cups, Skittles, and M&M's landed within the top three, and Snickers came in at number eight. There were a couple other popular chocolate options: Hershey's Kisses and Tootsie Pops.

The Food Network noted that there are several newer chocolate based options debuting on the scene or returning to play this year. That includes revamped takes on classic faves such as vampire-themed Hershey's Kisses filled with strawberry cream, green chocolate Kit Kats, and peanut brownie-filled Snickers. Green is a popular color this year; if you're feeling daring, you can also pick up Frankenstein-themed Reese's Cups that feature green-dyed bottoms.

Interestingly, The Daily Meal ranked Skittles as the most popular Halloween candy of all time. That in and of itself is proof that this is all a matter of opinion, not fact.

Licorice and jawbreakers are not national favorites

Chocolate is clearly one of the most popular Halloween treats of all time. However, there are other popular options out there. Sour Patch Kids are a favorite in Hawaii, and Nerds are beloved in Alaska, according to Halloween Express. Meanwhile, CandyStore.com has Double Bubble as a classic in Montana, and Swedish Fish claiming the win in Georgia.

Fruit and gummy-themed treats can be pretty popular. However, two options are almost as unpopular as candy corn: Licorice and jawbreakers. Licorice was the least favorite candy in 13 states including Alaska and Hawaii. Research conducted by Epicurious implied a hatred of the treat could be written into some people's genetic code.

Remember how we said Gen X and millennials were most likely to loathe candy corn? Well, baby boomers were more likely to hate a different option — jawbreakers. Twelve percent of boomers surveyed listed the rock-hard candy as their most hated. "I lost a tooth on a jawbreaker," someone said. "And they don't even taste all that good. Phooey!" Phooey, you heard them!

If you keep these universally reviled and beloved options in mind while shopping for candy, you're all but guaranteed to be the most popular house on the block this Halloween! Of course, don't forget that you don't have to hand out candy. Here are some other options for trick or treaters. You can thank us for all the advice later!