There’s really no better time to visit a CVS, Rite Aid, or Walgreens for candy than Valentine’s Day. Other holiday candy can’t compare: Halloween candy is just fun-sized versions of normal candy, Christmas candy arrives at a time of year when all the best stuff is home-baked, and Easter’s biggest confectionery contribution is Peeps. Valentine’s Day, meanwhile, presents us with fun dark-chocolate-and-raspberry-swirled concoctions, not to mention conversation hearts and Reese’s peanut butter roses.
Candy becomes altogether more luscious in the month of February, so you can forgive my confusion when I look at this perplexing map of America’s most popular Valentine’s Day candies by state.
To determine the “favorite” candy of each state, CandyStore.com “crunched the numbers from 15 years of our online bulk candy store and industry partners” and named a first, second, and third place contender in each state. Even allowing for second runners-up, nothing can explain the presence of Cupid Corn on this list. Yes, Cupid Corn.
What is Cupid Corn?
The candy corn industry has found a dastardly way to sneak its wares into other major holidays. In December, it’s red-and-green “Reindeer Corn,” presumably to feed Santa’s reindeer. In February, it’s pink-and-red “Cupid Corn,” and I can only infer that it provides much-needed sustenance to the arrow-slinger himself. And it just so happens to be the top Valentine’s Day candy in the state of Michigan and Nebraska. To which I say: you guys okay?
“Just when we thought they were fading away, Cupid Corn made a comeback last year,” reads the CandyStore.com report. “After claiming a new #1 state in Nebraska, candy corn also regained the #1 spot in Michigan, where it had fallen as far as the nimbler 3 spot in recent years after a long time top V-day candy for the state.”
Let me be clear: Cupid Corn should not be remotely approaching third place in any state, let alone second or first. I do not wish candy corn fans any ill will, but to declare a preference that grainy stuff over such slam-dunk Valentine’s selections as a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates can only be seen as an act of belligerence. Hell, even conversation hearts are better—they come with cringey slogans.
Setting aside Michigan’s and Nebraska’s crimes, another interesting takeaway is that M&M’s and Hershey Kisses are in dead heat, with seven states each listing one or the other as a top favorite. However, M&M’s wins out overall, with 15 states bolstering them as a top 3 candy versus Hershey’s 11 states.
If Cupid Corn continues its reign of terror, what might the rankings look like next year? I don’t even want to consider it. Save those thoughts for Halloween.