15 Most Popular American Candy Choices

When the craving comes for a sugary treat, the number of options on store shelves might seem overwhelming. But to those with a serious sweet tooth like myself, it’s easy to filter out the most popular candy in America.

a handful of candy choices in a bowl

Whether I’m dreaming of a chocolate-covered morsel or a sticky, sugary treat, there’s sure to be something to satisfy that need for something sweet.

You can keep things simple and go for the longstanding classics, or mix things up and reach for the newcomers on the block.

If you’re looking to prepare for the Halloween rush and want to know everything there is to know about the most popular candy in America, you’re in the right spot.

I’ll take you on a treasure-filled tour of these incredible treats so that you can be sure to bring your A-game to your trick-or-treat adventures.

Check out the most eaten candies in the US and find your new favorite!


It’s hard to overstate the importance of the classic M&M’s in the candy world.

All M&M’s share a colorful candy coating with a soft milk chocolate interior.

But for those who want something else tucked inside these little treats, there are options.

My favorites are the peanut and peanut butter-filled choices, but you can get crunchy cookies, fudge brownies, or pretzel pieces hidden inside.

M&M’s might be the most popular candy in America. And one thing that’s great about them is they melt in your mouth, not your hand.

Reese’s Cups

In my opinion, it’s incredibly challenging to beat the combination of peanut butter and chocolate when it comes to candy.

And if that sounds good, Reese’s Cups need to be part of your life.

Reese’s Cups are disc-shaped pieces of candy with a peanut butter core surrounded by milk chocolate.

And now they come in many variations, including mini cups, potato-chip-filled big cups, and all-peanut-butter options.

They are delicious. Just one word of advice. Unlike M&M’s, Reese’s Cups will melt quickly in your hands.


While I tend to gravitate toward rich chocolate candy, sometimes you need something different.

Skittles and their fruit-based flavors are the perfect way to add something different to the most popular candy in America.

While they might look similar to M&M’s with a hard candy shell, Skittles are primarily made from sugar, corn syrup, and oil.

They are filled with a fruit-flavored sugary interior and leave the chocolate behind.

The Original Skittles come with strawberry, green apple, grape, lemon, and orange flavors, but there is another lineup in the Wild version, plus gummy and sour options.


When I think of the most popular candy in America, Snickers must be on the list.

Not only do Snickers candy bars bring a lot of flavor to the table, but they also can do an excellent job at satisfying hunger.

Snickers are a chocolate-covered candy bar with nougat, caramel, and roasted peanut interior.

Biting into one is a memorable experience that will cure your cravings and make you come back for more.

As if that’s not enough, Snickers also comes in an ice cream version that can tackle summer heat like nothing else. It is my favorite type of Snickers bar. 

Hot Tamales

Spicy flavors usually don’t come to mind when talking about candy. Unless we’re talking about Hot Tamales and their fierce cinnamon flavor.

Some people are a little timid around Hot Tamales, but as part of the most popular candy in America, there is a perfect time and place for this spicy candy. Just make sure to take it slow.

Hot Tamales are a pill-shaped candy with a semi-solid exterior shell and a soft gel-like interior.

They are primarily made from sugar, corn syrup, and food starch. One might not register with too much spice, but pop in a handful, and you’ll feel the heat.

Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids are soft, chewy candy with a sugary coating packed with a sour flavor.

The sour flavor makes me wince nearly every time I pop one in my mouth, but then I’m left with a nice sweet taste to follow up with.

The small kid-shaped candy pieces are made from sugar, inverted sugar, corn syrup, and modified food starch.

They hit you with a strong sour taste that eventually fades as the sweet fruit flavors take over. The combination of two worlds brings a unique experience to the table.

If you’re looking for one of the most popular candies in America to make everyone squirm, Sour Patch Kids is a perfect choice.

Check out other popular sour candies!


Starburst Fruit Chews add a punch of juicy fruit flavor to every bite.

Even though they don’t have any liquid, the mouth-watering candies flood my mouth with a burst of flavor. They are made from sugar, corn syrup, and palm oil.

Orange, cherry, lemon, and strawberry-flavored pieces are the original Starburst lineup, but I’m a fan of the strawberry.

And apparently, I’m not alone. Starburst now offers an all-pink, all-strawberry version of this popular candy. It gives you the best flavor every time.

The original chews have a square shape, but now you can also find the Starburst flavors in gummy and air varieties for a softer choice in candy.

Candy Corn

Some candies you see throughout the year at nearly every store you enter. Then there is Candy Corn.

As part of this list of the most popular candy in America, there’s no doubting how many people love it. Especially right around Halloween.

Candy Corn is a tri-color corn-shaped candy with a unique, rich texture unlike anything else.

They’re usually made from sugar, corn syrup, and confectioner’s glaze. The white, orange and yellow candy pieces have a flavor all of their own, and for some people, including myself, once you pop, you can’t stop.

Keep an eye out for Candy Corn around the Halloween season. Sometimes you can even find similar pumpkin-shaped alternatives.

Jolly Ranchers

Sometimes I like to take my time with candy. Jolly Ranchers are the perfect solution when that’s the case.

These fruit-flavored hard candies made from sugar and corn syrup slowly dissolve while providing plenty of flavors.

The original Jolly Rancher flavors include green apple, cherry, watermelon, grape, and blue raspberry.

My favorite is cherry, but I’m a sucker for cherry flavor in almost any instance. The green apple is a close second for my taste buds.

Jolly Ranchers are a great way to slow down and enjoy some of the most popular candies in America. They’re also now available in gummy versions and a cinnamon fire flavor to add some heat.


What happens when you boil sugar, butter, oil, and flavors? When done properly, you end up with taffy.

It’s a light, fluffy candy with nearly any flavor you can get your hands on. It is soft and can stretch unlike a lot of other candies.

For me, salt-water taffy is the classic choice of the most popular candy in America.

It originally started in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but is now sold at many oceanfront shops along the Atlantic coast and elsewhere.

Taffy Town is perhaps today’s most popular taffy maker, but I suggest keeping an eye out for smaller vendors who make fresh taffy. There’s something very special about freshly-made taffy.

Tootsie Pops

Tootsie Pops revolutionized the sucker world by introducing a chewy, Tootsie Roll center hidden under a hard candy coating.

These bring back tons of childhood memories for me. For an unknown reason, a rumor started that if you find a Tootsie Pop wrapper with a specific shooting-star image, you could exchange it for a free Tootsie Pop.

The truth is that all Tootsie Pops images are used in the same frequency, and the company never endorsed the legend.

Nonetheless, there is something special about those pops with the shooting star on the wrapper.

Tootsie Pops are made from sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, citric acid, condensed skim milk, cocoa, and whey. The hard candy coating can last a long time, but the soft center usually goes in one or two bites.

Kit Kats

I have always had a sweet spot for sugar wafers and their crunchy goodness.

Kit Kats have a similar recipe, but add even more richness by bringing milk chocolate in combination with wafer layers.

Usually coming in a pack of four stick-shaped pieces connected, Kit Kats are well-known for their slogan, “break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”

They’re easy to share and can take the edge off of any sweet craving.

While I’m a big fan of the original Kit Kat with just milk chocolate and wafer interior, they now come in dark chocolate, white creme, and two-flavored “Duos” flavors.

The Duos are bringing innovative flavors to the world of Kit Kats.

Hershey’s Mini Bars

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars are a great way to feast on nothing but pure milk chocolate.

But for other events, especially Halloween when variety and bite-sized pieces can do great, the Hershey’s Mini Bars are the perfect solution.

The most popular candy in America includes these smaller Hershey’s Mini Bars, which come in a full assortment of flavors in one bag.

You get your traditional Hershey’s bars made from milk chocolate, some with dark chocolate, plus Krackel Chocolate Bars with pieces of puffed rice, and Mr. Goodbar Chocolate Candy with peanuts.

The Hershey’s Mini Bars are a great way to please everyone and keep them coming back for more.

Milky Way

Some people absolutely love Snickers bars. If you like the idea but could do without the roasted peanuts, Milky Way bars are a good bet.

They’re quite similar to Snickers, basically just without the peanuts.

A Milky Way candy bar is covered in milk chocolate and filled with a nougat and caramel interior.

For me, it’s a simple pleasure that tastes great and leaves me satisfied for hours. They are a great balance of sweetness and richness in one candy bar.

Milky Way bars now come in many flavors, including dark chocolate, salted caramel, and fudge.

You can find the right selection for nearly any taste.

Hershey’s Kisses

How does the Hershey company manage to sell kisses? Simple, they reintroduced what a kiss could be. And they nailed it.

Hershey’s Kisses are tear-drop-shaped pieces of milk chocolate that come individually wrapped in foil.

Their shape is now iconic in the most popular candy in America, and their taste is unrivaled. I like that they are individually wrapped, making them perfect for sharing.

Like many other candies, they are also available in other varieties like milk chocolate and white creme, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate with almonds.

I like to have all the flavors on hand to keep me guessing what’s next.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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