Candy corn is like cilantro. Your taste buds either love it or hate it. For many, this three colored, triangle shaped Halloween staple is an essential purchase each fall and for others it’s the classic option that just comes back from the dead each year. While the jury isn’t out on which side is right, here are a few reasons why candy corn is loved and hated by the masses.
Why people love candy corn
You can find it anywhere
Unlike other candy options from big name brands like Hersey, Mars, or Haribo, candy corn is not owned by one particular entity. A simple Google search will allow you to to purchase candy corn from Russell Stover, Sweet Gourmet, Brach’s, Jelly Belly, Happy Candy, and more. In addition, other stores like CVS can make their own brand as well.
It’s unique to the fall season
Over 9 billion pieces of candy corn are sold each year in the United States, most of which is consumed in the fall months of September and October. While there are one-off Christmas and Valentine’s day colors, the main white, orange, and yellow variety are not available on store shelves throughout the year, making it something to look forward to.
It doesn’t change it’s look or taste
As previously mentioned, there are some variety of candy corn that appeal to consumers during other holidays like Christmas and Valentines Day, however what gives candy corn it’s longevity is the same look and taste for over 100 years. Invented in 1880 by a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger, the recipe has essentially stayed the same ever since, unlike other candy brands which experiment with different flavoring, colors, and even mascots.
Why people hate candy corn
The pure sugar taste is too sweet
Comedian Lewis Black once joked, “Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason — all of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911.” To make candy corn, sugar and corn syrup are blended, gelatin and sugar are whipped with air and a fondant is added, followed by the yellow and orange coloring. For many, this leads to a taste that has just too much sweetness and not enough mix of other commonly flavored textures like the stickiness of caramel or the crunchiness of nuts.
It’s old fashioned
While some people enjoy the fact that candy corn has been around awhile, it can have minimal appeal against more modern choices like Sour Patch Kids and gummy worms. After all, candy corn was actually originally called “chicken feed” because when it was invented that was what corn was considered. A popular treat among the baby boomer generation, only time will tell how much candy corn will last for those who did not grow up eating it.
In fact, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) polled people to find that candy corn ranks second on the list of most popular candy — but at just 13 percent popularity, it’s far below chocolate, which dominates with 70 percent. Chewy and gummy candy rank third and fourth, with 6 and 5 percent, respectively.
It’s not conducive to trick-or-treat packs
Unlike your regular M&Ms, Twix, Milky Way, or Three Musketeers, candy corn is usually sold in larger packets to be eaten in handfuls. Rarely will you find it packaged individually for trick-or-treaters to receive it in their goodie bags on Halloween. If you go to a grocery store to stock up on candy, you won’t find it in a variety pack with other desirable treats.
Halloween might not be Halloween without some cameos made by candy corn. Whether it be as a decoration, or an actual edible substance is still up for debate. For whatever it’s purpose it could very well live on for another hundred years or more.