Most Popular Halloween Candy by State 2022

Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
Last Modified:

Table of Contents

  1. Most Popular Candy by State
  2. The Controversial Candy
  3. Candy & Teeth Concerns
  4. Best & Worst Candy for your Teeth
  5. Methodology
  6. Fair Use

The spooky season is upon us… and aside from ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, there’s another scary thing out there right now (at least for your teeth!): sweets. Halloween candy is front and center in every grocery store you walk in, just waiting to be put in your cart. 

We wanted to know which Halloween candy Americans crave the most. We surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about their go-to treat, and we also analyzed hundreds of Google search terms and phrases to determine the top candy by state.

Most Popular Halloween Candy by State

Favorite Halloween Candy

It looks like chocolate does not reign supreme in the United States this year. The top searched Halloween candy in most states was Nerds! That was the most searched candy in seven states across the nation from California to Missouri to New Hampshire. 

The other top candy was one many people love to hate: candy corn. It is the most popular treat in six states including three out West: Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. 

Neighboring states Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota all liked the same candy. The favorite sweet in all three states was caramel apple suckers. Down South, it looks like people don’t mind a little fire in their dessert since they’re already used to the heat. The top candy in both Alabama and Louisiana was Hot Tamales. 

Certain candies were only liked by just one state a piece (at least they won’t have to share it!). Illinois was the only one to love Tootsie Rolls, Nebraska is a fan of Skittles, North Carolina goes for Milk Duds, Alaska loves 3 Musketeers, and Indiana craves Butterfingers.

The Controversial Candy: Candy Corn

Favorite Halloween Candy_1

One of the most controversial Halloween candies is candy corn. People either eat it by the handful or throw it straight in the garbage! More than one out of three (34%) Americans hate it, and a little more than one out of five (22%) love it. The other 44% are indifferent.

Using Google search trends data, we found which states are closet candy corn fans by determining which ones search the most for it. The most candy corn-obsessed place is Las Vegas. Apparently, people are looking to spend some of their casino winnings on the classic candy. Behind Vegas is Denver, Seattle, Baltimore, and Portland. 

States that hate candy corn with a passion include New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Phoenix.

Candy and Teeth Concerns

Favorite Halloween Candy_2

A little over half (52%) of Americans are not planning to give out candy to trick-or-treaters this year. Some of the top reasons people are not planning to take part are because of inflation/to save money (24%), they don’t celebrate Halloween (23%), and because of health/safety reasons related to the pandemic (12%).

On average, most Americans buy about two bags of candy for Halloween, spending about $23. However, not all that candy ends up in the hands of trick-or-treaters. One out of three Americans admitted that they end up eating a lot of the candy they planned to give away! 

People are worried about how much sugar they’re eating. Nearly half (49%) try to limit their sugar intake around the holidays, and 55% are worried how candy affects their teeth (no one wants a cavity). When people have braces, there are certain candies they are told to avoid. Since you can remove Byte’s clear aligners you can eat any food you want, but that doesn’t mean you should. Here are the candies we feel are the best and worst for your teeth.

Best & Worst Candy for your Teeth

Worst Candy for your Teeth

  1. Caramels

  2. Taffy

  3. Hard Candy (like Jolly Ranchers)

  4. Coated Candy (like Hot Tamales)

  5. Toffee

Best Candy for Your Teeth

  1. Dark Chocolate

  2. Milk Chocolate

  3. Sugar Free Gum 

Some of the worst sweets for your teeth are the stickier and hard candies. While they may be tasty, sometimes people end up pulling off crowns by chewing candy like Jolly Ranchers! 

As for the best candy for your teeth, dark chocolate is your best bet. We recommend the ones with a higher cacao percentage and less sugar. We ranked milk chocolate second. Chocolate, in general, is better than the hard, sticky candies because it is easier to brush off your teeth. Sugar free gum (especially gum with xylitol) is also a good option.

No matter what candy you choose, after you eat it, don’t rush to brush your teeth right away. The best practice is to swish some water around right after and then wait! We recommend waiting at least a half hour before brushing your teeth. That protects your enamel and gives your teeth time to strengthen after the acid attacks from your sugary meal or treat. 

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, remember it’s okay to have some sugar in proportion. Enjoy the spooky season, and just remember to brush your teeth on Halloween night.


In August 2022, we surveyed 1,056 Americans about candy and their teeth. Survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to 84 with an average age of 36. 48% were male, 48% female, 3% nonbinary, and 1% transgender. 

For this report, we also analyzed Google search volume of 529 terms related to candy such as “Milky Way,” “Jolly Ranchers,” and “Reese’s” over the period of July 2020 to July 2022. We then analyzed the most disproportionately popular Google search terms. We compared each state’s search results to the national average in order to determine which search term has a higher search volume when compared to the national average. 

To figure out the most and least candy corn-obsessed cities, we analyzed Google search volume of 66 terms related to candy corn such as “Candy Corn M&M’s”, “Flavored Candy Corn,” and “Halloween Candy Corn” over the period of July 2020 to July 2020. Total search volume during this period was then calculated per capita and visualized per 100,000. To come up with our list, we analyzed the top 30 most populous cities in the U.S.

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Fair Use

When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.