Americans are expected to spend $6.9 billion on candy for Halloween this year. But with so many choices (we counted over 30 at our local CVS), which bags should you buy? The answer depends on who you’re buying for. We asked the second grade at Hawthorne Elementary to find out what they want to fill their plastic orange pumpkins with this year (hint: no one said raisins). But we also polled our staff and readers to find out which treats adults most want to steal out of their kids’ sugary haul.
Some of our candy experts from Hawthorne Elementary. From left: Mia Coyne, Natalie Partridge, Maeve Coyne, Elise Hurdis.
1. Kit Kat
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Turns out, most parents buy candies they want to eat themselves. Last year, the top-selling candies were Reese’s, M&M’s, Snickers, Hershey’s, and Kit Kat. Four of those candies appeared in the top five on our adult poll (Hershey’s was a close sixth behind 100 Grand). While only Kit Kat and Hershey’s were among the top favorites for kids.
Adults voted solidly for chocolate, but kids were more split. Kit Kat easily outpaced every other brand, and Hershey’s and Twix did well (as did M&M’s). But many of the other favorite candies were not chocolate. Besides lollipops (Blow Pops and Ring Pops) and Skittles, Air Heads, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, and (shockingly) candy corn all placed in the top 10. Some kids even had more eclectic tastes requesting Tic Tacs, Cadbury Crème Eggs, “European Chocolate,” cake, and ice cream. See some of their cutest response below.
The conclusion: If you’re looking for something to please both groups, stick with Kit Kat or M&M’s. (Though you could have a “Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I told my kids I ate their Halloween Candy” situation on your hands if you get caught swiping chocolate from their bag.) Of course, parents control the purse strings, and they want Reese’s! So, don’t be surprised the peanut butter cups end up on top again this year.
Our favorite responses to the second graders poll: