If we’ve learned one thing this October, it’s that many people have intensely personal opinions about Halloween candy. Even among our own admittedly small staff, a great chasm exists between a candy-corn lover and a surly candy corn hater (with someone in the middle advising us to just add peanuts).
What happens when we open up Halloween candy preferences to a much larger sample size? CandyStore.com conveniently sent us its map of America’s favorite Halloween candy, broken down state by state, over 11 years of sales data on the site “looking in particular at the months leading up to Halloween.” The site sells nationwide, and has relationships with major candy manufacturers and distributors—all of whom, it says, contributed to and helped verify the findings.
The Candy Store site also offers an interactive map that lists the top three selections in each state. But even the top candies reveal some upsetting conclusions. As I’ve gone on the record as stating, I see little need for other candy when chocolate is around. Illinois, Oregon, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Texas, Florida et al.—you guys get it. So when you can choose any candy as the favorite, why Swedish Fish, Kentucky? Why Jolly Ranchers, Utah? Why Tootsie Pops, Tennessee? Then again, Skittles (the favorite of California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) is ranked as the top Halloween candy nationwide on Candy Store’s list, so maybe my chocolate bias is a bit skewed.
But why in the name of all that is holy about Halloween candy: Why would seven states pick candy corn, out of all the other candies out there? Is this a conspiracy? Are you under the thumb of Big Candy Corn, Iowa? What up, Nevada? Blink twice and send us secret emoji messages in the comments—we’ll never tell.