Do you hear that? Listen closely: It’s the sound of numbers being crunched. Data being rendered into snackable bites. Chocolate bars and heart-shaped lollipops being unwrapped. In short, a map of America’s most popular Valentine’s Day candy by state has arrived for the year 2022, courtesy of CandyStore.com. It’s like the holiday is already here.
The map results take into account 14 years’ worth of candy sales figures, both in online sales and via partner outlets of CandyStore.com. Taken in the aggregate, this data paints an interesting picture of where Americans are allocating the $2.2 billion they are projected to spend this year on Valentine’s Day treats, according to the National Retail Federation.
Notably, the actual number of people splurging on Valentine’s Day candy is expected to rise to an all-time high this year, with 56% of consumers planning to participate. (Many have likely already participated; I know that my local convenience stores have been pushing Valentine’s treats for weeks now.)
Now, on to our favorite part, where we stand agape in the face of these baffling map results. No, we’re not confused by the proliferation of Conversation Hearts—it’s only natural that spending on those would peak in February each year, as consumers find themselves drawn in by the novelty of the new messages. (Plus everyone is excited to get their hands on a pack after the product nearly went extinct in 2019.)
The truly perplexing data point is that cupid corn, the cutesy name for Valentine’s Day candy corn, is apparently having a moment. “Just when we thought they were fading away, cupid corn made a comeback last year,” writes CandyStore.com. “It even claimed a new #1 state in Nebraska. Also up one spot to #2 in Michigan after falling to third place the prior year.”
My guess is that the Instagrammability of cupid corn might have something to do with its staying power. It could also be that cupid corn is a little harder to find on the shelf at your local convenience store, hence the need to order it through an online bulk candy retailer. And there’s the simple fact that, somehow, many people really enjoy candy corn. For the rest of us, there’s always the option to pair it with peanuts.
Candy necklaces, meanwhile, are a questionable inclusion for all sorts of reasons. Are we baffled because they can hardly be considered a Valentine’s Day candy, or is it weird to see them represented because we can’t think of a single person wont to purchase candy necklaces unless tasked with organizing a rave?
See the full interactive map and searchable data table here. Please let us know where you stand on cupid corn, candy necklaces, and whether or not you’ve ever actually given someone a heart-shaped box of chocolates before.