Candy Corn: A Loved, or Hated Halloween Classic

POSTED ON JUNE 17, 2022   |   BY NEAL ROTHSTEIN

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Everybody loves candy, it’s hard to get people to disagree on that. Even when asked to pick out what your favorite candy is, odds are you’re not going to disagree with others’ choices too much. That is, unless they tell you their favorite candy is candy corn! Believe it or not, I know quite a few people that claim the sweet, tri-colored corn kernel shaped triangles as their favorite type of Halloween candy.

Now, that could be quite the deal breaker for some. I am not one of those who hates candy corn. I actually do enjoy it from time to time. Luckily for those who aren’t too fond, it only seems to appear around holidays like Halloween and the Thanksgiving harvest season in the United States. Candy corn is one of the most polarizing candy products in the world today. Just like pumpkin spice lattes - people either love it, or they absolutely hate it. But really, who could actually hate these cute little corn-shaped candies?

It turns out, a lot of people want to just throw all the candy corn in the trash! For example, even a kid’s show on Nickelodeon, Moose and Zee had to weigh in with their opinion on the topic:

As an adult, I’ve found candies that I enjoy more nowadays. But oh boy, I absolutely loved candy corn as a kid! There was something appealing about the huge bowl of white, orange and yellow candy at my grandma’s house that never seemed to go empty. I ate a lot of it when I was a kid, (thanks grandma) and perhaps it’s those fond memories of visiting her house that makes me still like it to this day.

How do you eat candy corn?

Since I am not a complete psychopath, I naturally eat the white tip first, then I go in for a bite of the orange center, and lastly you eat the yellow outside. For my entire life I thought everyone did it this way. It’s the only logical solution to eating a candy with three distinct parts! But apparently, different people have other ideas.

A very real, very scientific poll conducted by the National Confectioner’s Association in June of 2021 found that only 31% of you, who like me start by eating the white tip, then proceed to each individual layer. You know… the right way!

A staggering 52% of people just put the whole thing in their mouth and eat it all at once. (You monsters!) And for the truly strange ones, 17% of respondents start with the wider yellow end. Seriously, who would ever think that is okay???

With all of these divisive things out of the way, at least it’s nice to know that there are still people who enjoy eating the kernel shape deliciousness that is candy corn!

Okay, now hear me out: what about Candy Corn - ON THE COB!?!?

I’m kind of glad I’m not the only one who thought of this. There are many recipes online for candy corn on the cob that you can find through a simple Google search.

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The website Delish has a fun recipe where you take edible sugar cookie dough, roll it into logs and put rows of candy corn all around the outside, and guess what… It looks exactly like corn on the cob! This is a fun way to have your guests do a double take when they come over for your Halloween party! And even if your party guests absolutely despise candy corn, you’ll have some funny decorations for people to talk about!

Of all the recipes for candy online, this is perhaps the most fun and creative one we’ve ever seen.

How was candy corn invented?

According to National Geographic, candy corn has traditionally said to be invented in 1898 by Philadelphia candymaker George Renninger. This invention was soon picked up by the Goelitz Confectionary Company, (now known as Jelly Belly) and marketed as “Chicken Feed”.

The tri-colored design was initially made by hand, with each color needing to be placed in the molds, one at a time. The process involved converting corn starch into corn syrup. Then you mix the sugar, corn syrup, fondant and marshmallow for texture and flavor which creates something called mellowcreme. Finally, you’ll add a bit of food coloring to make the three distinct layers.

These would then be poured into tray molds, one color at a time by hand. Once the mellowcreme hardened, the candy is coated with a confectioners glaze and they are ready to eat.

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The early marketing of candy corn

As the website Mashed points out, there was a bit of irony when candy corn was invented. America was mostly an agrarian society at the turn of the century, with about half of the labor force working on farms.

Most people didn’t even eat corn at the time, that didn’t happen until shortly after WWI when food became scarce and the US government started food rationing programs. Before then, corn was largely produced as animal feed. So when it came time to name and market this new candy product, they called it “Chicken Feed” and featured an excited red rooster on their packaging and advertisements.

Chicken Feed, or Candy Corn was just one of the many mellowcream candies that were marketed to the agricultural region’s children of the time. Other shapes included chestnuts, clover leaves, pumpkins and turnips. But what really made candy corn so popular was their tri-color design.

Modern products that might turn the haters into lovers

Even with the intense dislike and negativity towards candy corn, it is still a very popular form of candy. The National Confectioner’s Association reports that 35 million pounds of the candy are produced annually. So it’s apparent that someone besides me actually enjoys this candy too!

However, if you’re one of the many who instantly conjures up negative thoughts at the mere mention of candy corn, there might be some tantalizing options for you yet to discover!

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Zachary Confections has a couple of exciting flavors that offer quite the twist to the kernel shaped candies. Their white, purple and black candy corn is flavored like blackberry cobbler.

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They also have a white, red and brown version of candy corn that is caramel apple flavored!

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And if you thought that candy corn is only for Halloween, check out their red, white and green Christmas-themed candy corn!

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With the popularity of gummy candy, of course someone came up with a gummy version of candy corn too! Vidal Candies offers a tasty, Gummi Candy Corn available in bulk on our website. They’re definitely worth a try if you fancy yourself a gummy connoisseur!

These are just a few of our products that we think people who love candy corn will love. And who knows, maybe even the people who despise it might actually like these new takes on the old-time classic.

If you’re an enthusiast for the vegetable shaped candy, National Candy Corn Day falls on October 30th every year!

About Redstone Foods:

Redstone Foods is a leader in the candy industry with over 50 years in the business of putting similes on people’s faces. Even the ones who don’t particularly like candy corn.

If you own a large, brick and mortar candy shop or even a small online candy selling business, we would love the opportunity to serve you. Give us a call today and experience the difference Redstone Foods can make!

1-800-444-3520