Americans’ Halloween Candy Preferences, Broken Down By State

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Twizzlers or Red Vines? Dum-Dums or Blow Pops? Your answer to those questions might be tied to where you live.

In honor of Halloween month, the folks at online grocery platform Instacart analyzed purchase data to reveal Americans’ candy preferences, and they identified some very interesting rivalries. Perhaps unsurprisingly to chocolate lovers, the top candies sold in October 2021 were Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut M&M’s.

Looking at a state-by-state breakdown, they found that people out West tend to favor Peanut M&M’s, while those in the eastern half of the U.S. are more likely to opt for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (However, in two states ― Hawaii and New Hampshire ― regular M&M’s were the favorite.)

The company also compared the popularity of a number of other similar candies in each state. With Red Vines versus Twizzlers, there was another East-West divide (though the pro-Twizzler eastern portion spanned a much larger area).

As for classic lollipops, the West Coast and parts of the Southeast and Northeast enjoy Dum-Dums, while the Midwest and other pockets of the South and Northeast go for the bubble-gum-filled Charms Blow Pops.

The analysis also covered Smarties versus SweeTarts, Haribo versus Trolli gummies, and Whoppers versus Milk Duds.

“The most surprising finding in this year’s Halloween report was unearthing a West Coast versus East Coast rivalry for the most popular candy in each state — seeing a near-even split between Peanut M&M’s on the West and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on the East,” Laurentia Romaniuk, a trends expert at Instacart, told HuffPost.

“Our theory is that this strong divide is a result of different factors that influence our flavor preferences — including environmental and cultural — affecting our food choices and even what candies we’re most likely to grab,” she added. “This inspires us to keep looking at state-by-state preferences, because our buying behavior can change but there will always be geographical ties to people’s overall choices.”

To determine the top picks, Instacart calculated how much of each candy was sold, by weight, during October last year. The company also teamed up with The Harris Poll to conduct a survey further delving into Americans’ leanings with Halloween indulgences.

“We hope these data visualizations inform and inspire people to engage in fun conversations about Halloween candy favorites in their carts and spark friendly debates about which reign supreme,” Romaniuk said.

Keep scrolling for more sweet rivalry maps, and read the full report on Instacart’s website for additional candy analysis and the methodology.

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