Millennials aren’t killing candy corn—in fact, they won’t let it die

Hands holding a green bowl full of candy corn
Photo: Jupiterimages (Getty Images)

We’ve all seen plenty of infographics that break down the best loved Halloween candy, Valentine’s Day candy, and fast food chains by state; often these maps are of dubious origin and cause us to wonder what on earth our fellow countrymen were thinking. (Chocolate roses? MOD Pizza? Really?!) But now a new survey has asked people of different generations what their favorite Halloween candies are, and seeing a breakdown by age group reveals that, while Millennials are accused of killing many things, they might in fact be the only generation trying to keep candy corn alive.

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The survey is far from scientific. It was conducted by online education platform Shaw Academy and, according to a press release, it simply asked 1,000 American respondents this question: “What treat did you most look forward to finding after trick-or-treating on Halloween? (This can include a current or discontinued treat).” The question was purposefully open-ended, allowing for a broad range of responses.

Chart indicating survey results for Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z
Graphic: Shaw Academy
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Let’s start with the obvious: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were the top pick overall. Frankly, I’d be livid if they weren’t. Their supremacy—not only at Halloween, but all year round—is simply inarguable. But among the Baby Boomer respondents, Reese’s came in second to... Snickers. I am 100% convinced that Snickers only win their favor because it’s a more fun word to say. Respect to Snickers, but the peanuts aren’t even salty. It’s a muted, overrated candy bar, and you can tell the Boomers I said so.

Millennials have some explaining to do as well. Their top five picks were Reese’s (great), Snickers (see above), Kit Kat (this should absolutely rank above Snickers), Candy Corn (more on this below), and Twix (should be in dead heat with Kit Kat for second place).

Candy corn. Presented with all the confectionery options under the sun, Millennials selected candy corn as the treat they “most look forward to finding after trick-or-treating on Halloween.” Surely the affinity for candy corn is informed more by its year-round scarcity, rather than an actual fondness for the gritty, syrupy taste? I know there are people out there who love it; we’ve heard from you before. But does it really, truly rank higher than Twix, a candy bar that will never make you choose between eating candy and eating cookies? Can anyone make the case that it does?

There is a silver lining to these baffling results: if only one age group ranks candy corn in the top five, they definitely aren’t going to have any difficulty finding it on store shelves.

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Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Speaking as a Brit I’ve always been intrigued by candy corn, but a quick read of the ingredients (thanks, Google page results) has put it back in check for a while.