Halloween is synonymous with costumes, pumpkins, and spooky tales, but there’s one treat that divides the nation each year that is candy corn. Loved by some and loathed by others, these tri-colored, cone-shaped candies are one of the most polarizing Halloween confections. Whether it’s their waxy texture or mega-sugar punch, candy corn has ignited a debate that continues to rage.
For the Candy Corn Lovers:
For candy corn enthusiasts, this sweet treat is a once-a-year indulgence, celebrated for its sugary goodness and tricolor appearance. Comedian Shannon Fiedler gushed about candy corn, acknowledging its objective “grossness” but proclaiming it’s what makes it so good. Fans of candy corn, like Paul Zarcone from Huntington, New York, appreciate it for what it is, even if it resembles a candle in appearance.
Market leader Brach’s produces a staggering 30 million pounds of candy corn each year, enough to circle the Earth about five times. This resulted in $75 million of the $88.5 million in candy corn sales in the past year. Candy corn’s niche status compared to chocolate and other candies hasn’t stopped it from seeping into popular culture.
Memes and More:
Candy corn isn’t just a candy; it’s a phenomenon. It has inspired memes, home decor, fashion, knitting projects, makeup looks, and even nail designs. Brands like Vans and Nike have used candy corn’s distinctive colors for shoe designs, and Kellogg’s created a cereal inspired by its flavor profile. Singer-actor Michelle Williams even recorded a song for Brach’s extolling her love for candy corn.
Brach’s has been experimenting with fresh mixes and flavors over the years, but not all have been successful. A Turkey Dinner mix in 2020 had kernels resembling green beans, roasted bird, cranberry sauce, stuffing, apple pie, and coffee. While it may have been newsworthy, it was not well-received for consumption. Candy corn has appeared in various flavors like s’mores, blueberry, cotton candy, lemon-lime, chocolate, and pumpkin spice.
The Candy Corn Experience:
While candy corn’s flavor and texture are a subject of debate, it remains a Halloween tradition for many. Some enjoy stacking candy corn kernels to create corncob towers. In terms of nutrition, it’s on par with other Halloween candies. Candy corn is composed primarily of sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, salt, gelatin, honey, and dyes.
The Rituals of Fans:
Candy corn lovers have their unique rituals. Some eat it color by color, claiming that each hue has a distinct taste. Others prefer it slightly stale for the right consistency. Some hoard candy corn, freezing it for year-round enjoyment, while others mix it with dry roasted peanuts or other salty treats.
Haters Gonna Hate:
On the other side of the spectrum, candy corn detractors question its appeal, likening it to “big ole lumps of dyed sugar” or “a bowl of old teeth.” These individuals equate candy corn with childhood memories of unwanted visits to the pediatrician’s office.
Candy corn, despite its divisive nature, continues to be a beloved Halloween staple for many. Whether you’re a candy corn enthusiast, a detractor, or somewhere in between, there’s no denying the candy’s unique place in the Halloween tradition and pop culture. As the candy corn debate rages on, it’s clear that Halloween wouldn’t be the same without this iconic treat.