The time is finally here, October 30th: National Candy Corn Day. Nothing will give you a cavity faster than a handful of the delightfully colored and waxy kernels. Whether you love or hate the sugary and nostalgic nubs they have a long history of being tied to the ultimate sweets holiday—Halloween.
Candy corn has been around for over 130 years when George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company, stumbled upon the perfect mixture of corn syrup, sugar and marshmallow flavoring, which invented the tri-color candy in 1880. In the early days of the 20th century, workers mixed the sugar slurry in large kettle and then poured the warm mixture by hand into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape. Today the process is mechanized.
The original name for candy corn was “Chick Feed” and was marketed toward farmers. Unsurprisingly, the name changed to candy corn and was sold to the general public. Even though Jelly Bell Candy Co. bought out Wunderlee at the turn of the 20th century, the original recipe is still used today. So, crunch on some of that familiar, slightly-stale candy from your childhood (literally) while we crunch some numbers.
Candy corn is the best-selling Halloween candy.
According to a candy experts (how do I apply?), candy corn is the top selling Halloween candy. At a whopping 35 million pounds a year, that’s enough candy corn to circle the moon 21 times. Which roughly translates to 9 billion individual kernels of corn.
Although a staple during Halloween, candy corn is not a favorite.
In a survey by the National Confectioners Association (who knew that was a thing?) in 2013, 12% of people surveyed named candy corn as their favorite Halloween candy.
No one knows how to eat candy corn.
Americans have debated on the style of how the kernels should be consumed. According to a survey, 46.8% of people think that the whole kernel should be eaten at once, compared to 42.7% that start at the white, narrow end. While the remaining 10.6% of people start at the wider yellow end.
Candy corn: Is it a vegetable?
If you’re trying to be health conscious around Halloween you’re in luck! Candy corn is fat free and only contains 28 grams of sugar and 140 calories per handful.
Google loves candy corn.
According to Google Insights, candy corn is the most searched for candy term in Google. Alabama has the highest about of candy corn searches out of all 50 states. The only thing sweeter than “Sweet Home Alabama” is the candy corn itself (cue guitar riff).
A recent CNN Facebook survey found that older people tend to like candy corn more than younger ones do. The study also found that 86% of females love candy corn compared to 14% of males.