What Is New Jersey Sweet On?

Holiday candy facts to chew on.

Every once in a while, a factoid stops me in my tracks.

What, asks the folks behind the online confectionary shop, Candy Store, is the top Christmas candy in each of the 50 states?

It’s a fair question, given that candy sales are a billion-dollar industry in this country. I just never thought the results would vary so much by state. I mean, isn’t December (and Christmas in particular) candy cane season? Peppermint everything? (Or, at least, sparkly-sweet sprinkles on all those cookies?)

Yes, in some states. But New Jersey goes its own way, as we here in the Garden State tend to do.

Here’s what the Candy Store says about our state in its comprehensive report published on its blog on candystore.com:

New Jersey: “Horses and divorces they say. More horses than Kentucky and the fewest divorces in the country. Nice work, Jersey! Just don’t count on the bridges to be open when the politicians get cranky. Jersey loves Reese’s Mini Cups during the holidays,  followed by Pez and Skittles.”

Reese’s Mini Cups—our No. 1 candy for Christmas? With Pez and Skittles as runners-up?

Who’d’ve thunk it?

The more traditional folks in Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire favor candy canes. Connecticut goes with M&Ms. But Illinois taps into Jolly Ranchers, while neighbor New York goes for Skittles.

Anyway, the Candy Store surveyed more than 50,000 candy consumers nationwide to come up with these results. The retailer also spoke with the National Confectionary Association, which estimates Christmas-season candy sales will tally $1.93 billion this year.

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation estimates that the average consumer will spend $110 on candy and food, which is twice as much as they’ll spend on decorations.

OK, now that we’ve got that squared away, how about some Christmas candy quick facts from the people who chronicle all things sweet? Here goes:

* 1.76 Billion candy canes are produced every year for the holiday season.

* Approximately 150 million chocolate Santas are produced annually.

* The largest candy cane in the world was made in Switzerland. It was 51 feet long.

* December 26 is National Candy Cane Day.

Hershey Kisses and Peppermint Bark to you and yours this season!

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