Every Halloween jack-o-lantern buckets, pillowcases, and bags get filled with approximately 600 million pounds of candy. Hershey bars, Snickers, and little packets of Skittles are all past out on the night of Halloween. Candy is a Halloween staple, but that was not always the case.
Originally, Halloween was a night where youth, particularly young boys would go out and wreak havoc on the neighborhood. Pranking that ranged from playful and fun to dangerous and destructive was what Halloween was about. Streetcars, mailboxes and gravestones were all targets to be destroyed due to the mischief.
The kids who were not out causing trouble would be celebrating Halloween with parties. Apple and pumpkin treats would be made for party guests to eat. Candy at the time was not even part of the festivities. Popcorn balls and fudge were the more appropriate kind of sweets that would be served on Halloween. If any candy were to be served, candy corn and jelly beans would be the candy of choice.
When trick or treating first came about around the 1930s, it was not even a national phenomenon. Candy was not the number one treat being passed out either. Baked goods, pieces of cake, nuts, and toys were all given to the trick or treaters at the time. Prior to 1930 candy manufactures did not associate candy with Halloween. Companies would use other fall and winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas to market their candy. It would not be until around 1950 that candy manufactures would try and get in on the fun.
Candy did not become popular till after the 50s and it was a lot more affordable than some of the other trick or treat options. Candy was cheap and easy to distribute which made it an easy option to hand out. Once candy started to become popular for Halloween, companies like Hershey’s and Mars started producing the little fun sized candy bars. Candy corn would also become popular with Halloween at this time.
It took some time for candy to become the essence of Halloween. It would not be till around the 1970s did candy become the legitimate treat. This was the time where manufactures would start marketing their candy for Halloween. Reese’s makes their peanut butter cups in bats and pumpkins. Certain companies put designs and orange wrapping around their candy to try and promote Halloween. This is when a correlation between candy and Halloween started to really take off.
Candy is now at the center of Halloween which begs the question what’s the best Halloween candy out there?
Over the years Skittles, Hershey’s and Snickers have all held the top spot. However, according to candystore.com Skittles is the only candy to pass three million pounds sold. Skittles ranks as the top selling candy in five states which is the most out of any candy.
Even though Skittles holds the top spot for Halloween candy, trick or treaters still love their chocolate. Reese’s peanut butter cups still come within the top five and Snickers, Hershey bars and M&M’s all range within the top 10 of favorite candies.
Whether chocolate or fruit flavored candy is the choice, trick or treaters will not be upset with whatever gets put in their bags. Halloween would not be the same without candy. It is at the heart of Halloween even though it was not at one time. Halloween and candy go hand and hand and it’s hard to imagine it any other way.