BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — For children, the question of what to dress as for Halloween is often the most important one of the season. For adults, however, the most important aspect is the type of candy you choose to give. While each individual has their own tastes, it’s important to make sure you have a solid selection to hand out on Halloween night — meaning that knowing the country’s most (and least) favorite candies can definitely provide a helping hand when selecting sweets.

In an attempt to discover America’s most beloved and most hated candies to receive during the holiday season, dental company Shiny Smile Veneers surveyed 1,000 individuals across the United States on a series of sweet statistics. When the votes for each candy were tallied, it was determined that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the most beloved Halloween treat in America, earning more than half of the gathered votes. The cups were only one of many chocolate candies that slid into the list of the country’s favorite candies.

RankCandyPercentage of Surveyed Individuals who Like
1Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups51.8%
3KitKat Bar41.0%
4Tie- Peanut M&M’s/Snickers Bar33.1%
5Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar31.9%
6Twix Bar31.6%
7Butterfinger Bar27.9%
8Reeses Pieces27.8%
9Hershey’s Mini Bars23.9%
103 Musketeers Bar22.9%
The ten best candies to receive on Halloween

In contrast to the chocolate and caramel-focused treats that America loves, many of the survey’s respondents leaned more towards hard, hot, or syrupy treats when it came to listing their least-favorite candies. If anything, the list of the worst candies to receive on Halloween night comes off more as a list of tricks than treats. Strangely enough, one of these hated options (Almond Joy) was also the 15th most loved, suggesting that not everyone in the study shares the same taste.

RankCandyPercentage of Surveyed Individuals who Dislike
1Candy Corn36.0%
2Hot Tamales26.1%
3Atomic Fireball23.9%
7Hot Tamales, Fire and Ice20.1%
8Brach’s Pumpkins18.5%
10Almond Joy*16.7%
The ten worst candies to receive on Halloween

Not every bad candy is just on the list due to personal opinion, however. In some cases, sweet treats can hide dangerous tricks that can hurt an unsuspecting sweet tooth or bring bad memories to those unfortunate enough to bite into them. Despite some concerns about the possibility of drugs, razor blades, or other poisons being placed in candy for trick-or-treaters, the chances of this happening are extremely slim if not entirely nonexistent — there has only been one confirmed case of a child’s death due to candy tampering in American history (and was directly perpetrated by the victim’s father rather than a stranger). This isn’t to say, however, that these treats can’t be dangerous, especially for one’s teeth. The study at hand showcased that sweets, especially around Halloween, can have an incredibly negative impact on dental hygiene. These situations are most commonly seen in relation to particularly hard sweets — and as such, jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, and Bit-O-Honey bars serving as the three largest offenders when it comes to causing dental damage.

2Jolly Rancher
5Tootsie Roll
6Laffy Taffy
8Atomic Fireball
10Blow Pops/Milk Duds
Top ten candies that have caused the most dental issues in America.

As if the threats of hard candy weren’t bad enough in this regard, even relatively softer entries can also pose hidden dental dangers if they are past their expiration date. This situation, while seeming unlikely, is actually quite common: 45% of trick-or-treat bags, according to the study, include candy that is ‘old’, and 12% of surveyed candy-givers even admit to handing it out themselves.

Even sweets that don’t cause permanent damage through their hardness or expiration, however, can still be uncomfortable. There are many types of candy that can be annoying to remove from one’s teeth, or simply not have the same impact on sweet-eaters now that they may have had in years past — and the study also determined which treats were the most reviled in these categories. The top ten candies most likely to be stuck in your teeth, according to the research, are as follows:

RankCandyPercentage of Surveyed Individuals who Dislike
1Laffy Taffy45.1%
3Tootsie Roll34.1%
4Salt Water Taffy30.1%
5Jolly Rancher25.4%
6Milk Duds24.8%
7Jelly Beans24.5%
8Gummy Bears23.3%
9Air Heads23.0%

And likewise, here is a list of the ten candies that survey respondents report loving as a child, but not in their adult years:

RankCandyPercentage of Surveyed Individuals who Dislike
2Candy Corn24.2%
3Blow Pops19.0%
4Fun Dip18.8%
5Air Heads18.2%
6Laffy Taffy17.1%
7Atomic Fireball16.9%
8Jolly Rancher16.6%
10Dubble Bubble 15.7%

While we’re on the topic of adults and Halloween candy, the study also revealed a plethora of information on how adults handle the annual haul — including some positive and negative practices that typically follow the holiday — as well as the treats that they dread seeing in their child’s spooky spoils.

  • Even after knowing of the overblown panic regarding the subject, 55% of parents still check their children’s haul for razor blades, drugs, glass, and other harmful materials.
  • 40% of adults admit to taking candy out of their child’s bag, so that they do not eat as much when the time comes to dig in. A further 18% will take candies out of the supply for themselves, using their parental authority to get first dibs on their favorites.
  • Usually, a candy supply can last quite some time after Halloween. However, 21% of parents admit to throwing the entire hoard out after a few weeks.
2Atomic Fireball
4Blow Pops
5Hot Tamales
The five candies parents hate to see in their child’s candy bag the most

In order to view the full study — including more in-depth lists of the country’s most loved and hated Halloween candies and the threat that they can pose to one’s oral hygiene — visit this page on Shiny Smile Veneers’ website.