Let’s Start the Conversation (Hearts): Which Holiday Tastes Sweetest?


Shutterstock/Leena Robinson, Anna Altenburger/Getty Images/iStockphoto, and Brent Hofacker

Candy is a top seller during Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Easter.

Alyssa Buchheit, Editor in Chief

Whether it be Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Easter, businesses thrive off of holiday candy sales. But do heart-shaped chocolates, fun size candy bars or chocolate bunnies fill the most American homes?

Most Money Spent

Valentine’s Day is coming up on Friday, and last year’s total candy sales for the lovey-dovey holiday was $2.4 billion, making up 52% of the overall Valentine’s day sales. Many people bought the traditional heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and conversation hearts, but many others also purchased Hershey Kisses, candy necklaces and Valentine’s Day-themed M&Ms.

M&Ms were also a popular candy for Halloween last year. The individual packages were the fifth most popular candy of the holiday, just behind Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Twix and Kit Kats. A total of $2.6 billion was spent on 2019 Halloween candy, with an average of a little more than $25 per consumer. In fact, October 28 is consistently the day of the year with the most candy sales.

Peeps are the candy of Easter. The adorable sugar-coated marshmallows were the most common candy received in Easter baskets and boosted Easter candy sales in 2019 to $2.5 billion. Cadbury Eggs, jelly beans and chocolate bunnies also filled many baskets and Easter eggs.

Surprisingly, the overall money spent on candy each holiday last year was spread evenly across the board, with Halloween emptying a few extra dollars from consumers’ pockets.

Largest Quantity Bought

Where the numbers start to differ is when you look at how much candy is bought during each holiday. 600 million pounds of candy is bought every Halloween, 90 million of which is chocolate. In comparison, 65 million pounds of chocolate is sold during Easter and 48 million pounds of chocolate is bought during the Valentine’s Day season.

This is mostly due to the high quality and cost of Valentine’s Day chocolate and higher cost of Easter chocolate compared to the value packs of candy bought for trick-or-treaters. Even though we spend almost the same amount of money on all three holidays, we get the most bang for our buck on Halloween.

Every time one of these holidays rolls around, keep in mind how much you’re spending to satisfy your sweet tooth.