Everyone’s got their favorite Halloween candy, and there are strong opinions out there about which is the best of the best. So we thought we’d ask you!
Here is our list of the “sweet sixteen” most popular candies handed out on Oct. 31. Which do you like the best?
Why Halloween candy?
Trick-or-treating hasn’t always been a pop culture tradition in the United States. Around the 1930s and 40s, the custom became more mainstream, but the treats that were handed out tended to be homemade or close at hand — cookies, pieces of cake, nuts or even coins and toys.
After World War II, candy manufacturers realized they could capitalize on the popularity of the holiday, and began marketing their products specifically for Halloween. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that handing out homemade goodies became more of a taboo, as parents became concerned that strangers with ill-intent might hand out harmful treats. Parents latched onto the idea of handing out pre-packaged and sealed candies as a way to ensure their children’s candy was free from tampering.
The history of your favorites
You might be surprised to learn candy corn, whether you’re a lover or a hater of the tri-colored Halloween candy, pre-dates the traditional trick-or-treat handout. Wunderle Candy’s George Renninger invented candy corn in the 1880s.
Other candies that are now Halloween staples have been around nearly as long. The first Hershey chocolate bar was produced in the year 1900, followed by the company’s iconic Kiss in 1907. Harry Burnett Reese invented the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in 1928, which Hershey eventually bought. And the Mars company introduced its Milky Way bar in 1923, followed by Snickers in 1930 and 3 Musketeers in 1932.
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