It's the one night candymakers and dentists come together, preparing to cash in. One will make a killing now, the other ... later.
The National Confectioners Association (I wanna run for president of that!) predicts this year Americans will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween. That's $8 for every man, woman and child. Why am I including the adults? Let's face it, half the candy in junior's plastic pumpkin is going straight to your secret stash as you lamely explain, "I don't want you to get a sugar high, sweetie."
My must-haves are Butterfingers and Almond Joys. I am an outlier, though, unless I lived in New Hampshire. Almond Joy is very big there.
Here are the Top Best Most popular Halloween candies, based on the most recent figures available. Sorry, candy corn, the confectioners association says you make a valiant effort at 13 percent market share, but you can't stand up to the sweet, sweet taste of chocolate.
5. KitKat Bar
Break me off a piece of that ... now. According to USA Today, KitKat — owned by Nestle but manufactured in the U.S. by Hershey — had 2013 sales that topped $306 million.
And speaking of Hershey...
4. Hershey Bar
"This perfect blend of milky chocolate is a classic that Americans have loved for over a century," writes the Daily Meal. We've been kissing Hershey's chocolate since 1900, and USA Today says sales are in the neighborhood of $325 million.
"You're not you when..." you don't get this in your Halloween bag. Snickers is made by Mars, and for a while it was at the top of the Daily Meal list of favorite candy, but it slipped a bit despite the popular commercials with Betty White and other celebrities. USA Today said sales in 2013 were $457 million.
Over a half-BILLION dollars worth of M&Ms are sold annually. That's a lot of chocolate melting in our mouths, not in ourhands. The Mars-owned brand is in a pitched battle for first place and would probably be a clear winner, except USA Today reported M&Ms don't fare as well as rivals when it comes to "snack-sized sales." However, Savingadvice.com claims M&Ms are No. 1 in Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah.
Duh. I mean, come on, honestly. Have you ever tasted a better pairing in the history of candy than peanut butter and chocolate? Reese's are tops in the nation's most populous states: California, Texas, New York. USA Today reports 2013 sales neared $510 million, and when you consider the average unit price was $1.25, that's 408 million Reese's sold.
I take credit for 10 percent of those purchases.