Who Likes Candy Corn Anyways? These States, According To Google

By Kathy Morris
Oct. 13, 2020

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Have you ever looked at a bag of candy corn and wondered, “Who the heck eats these?”

Join the club. Yet, despite its seemingly universal hatred, a whopping 9 billion kernels of candy corn – over 35 million pounds – are sold each year, according to the National Confectioners Association.

It begs many questions- Who? Where? And perhaps most evasively, why?

Using data from Google trends, we determined the most candy corn obsessed states in the US.

And attempted to decipher why they are making poor candy and life choices:

Most Interesting Findings

  • Iowa is the most candy corn obsessed state, followed by Missouri and West Virginia
  • Missouri is the location of candy corn manufacturing, so that makes sense, but what is Iowa and West Virginia’s excuse?
  • The most sane, non candy corn obsessed states are: Hawaii, Montana, and South Dakota
  • Jelly Belly employs 420 workers and Brach’s(another manufacturer) employs 2,400
  • Candy corn sells for $8.99 a pound ($8.99 better spent on almost anything else)
  • Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by history’s notorious candy villain George Renninger
  • The Goelitz Confectionery Company, now called Jelly Belly Candy, started making candy corn at the turn of the century.
  • Candy corn was originally called “Chicken Feed,” and sold with the logo: “Something worth crowing for.”
  • In one eight-hour shift, Jelly Belly makes 28,000 pounds of candy corn
  • The only corn in candy corn is high fructose corn syrup.
  • Not all candy corn is the same: different manufactures have different recipes. Brach’s, for example, adds honey.
  • In order to extend candy corn sales, candy corn manufacturers have started making Reindeer Corn for Christmas (green, white, and red), Cupid Corn for Valentine’s Day (pink, red and white), and pastel Bunny Corn for Easter.

10 Most Candy Corn Obsessed States

  1. Iowa
  2. Missouri
  3. West Virginia
  4. Indiana
  5. Kentucky
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Idaho
  8. Nebraska
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Utah

How We Determined This

This one was fairly simple. We turned to google trends to find which states see the most search traffic for the topic of candy corn.

We opted to look at the past year, giving each state a full year to reveal their candy corn obsession. Since apparently candy corn is now a year round tragedy, this also allows the full spectrum of confectionary seasons to be upon us.

Some related candy corn searches include, “candy corn squishmallow”, “candy corn ceramic tree” (Must we now decorate our house with them?), and “candy corn fudge.” A lot of people are just as confused as we are and google questions like “what does it taste like?” and “what are candy corn made of?”

There was also a disturbing search rising of, “Can dogs eat candy corn?” Maybe the real question is should dogs eat candy corn? The answer- Probably not, unless you hate your dog.

BUT WHY? Candy Corn, A Controversial Classic

But why buy candy corn?

Lisa Brasher, president and CEO of the Jelly Belly Candy Company, one of the major candy corn manufacturers, told USA Today, “Candy corn is a nostalgia item. A lot of people were raised with candy corn in their childhood and they now want to share that tradition with their kids.”

So tradition, and the odd outlier who loves the chalky tasting candy keep sales of the notorious candy high.

All that said, you’re free to buy whatever candy you like. But can we agree- as a gesture of good will to humanity- not to let candy corn become a year-round, every holiday tradition?

We don’t need Pilgrim Toes, or whatever they want to call it on Thanksgiving.

Most Candy Corn Eating States

Rank State
1 Iowa
2 Missouri
2 West Virginia
4 Indiana
4 Kentucky
6 Wisconsin
7 Idaho
8 Nebraska
9 Oklahoma
10 Utah
11 Kansas
11 New Hampshire
13 North Dakota
13 Ohio
15 Maine
15 Pennsylvania
17 Connecticut
18 Minnesota
19 Alabama
20 Colorado
21 Virginia
22 Wyoming
22 Illinois
22 Tennessee
25 North Carolina
25 Arkansas
25 Arizona
25 Michigan
29 Nevada
30 New Jersey
31 Delaware
31 Rhode Island
31 Massachusetts
31 Texas
31 Oregon
36 Washington
37 Vermont
38 Mississippi
39 Maryland
39 South Carolina
41 New Mexico
42 Louisiana
43 Alaska
43 Georgia
45 Florida
45 California
47 New York
47 South Dakota
49 Montana
50 Hawaii

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Study