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America’s Sweet Tooth: Top 10 Candy States Revealed


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Welcome to America, land of purple fruity gummies and amber waves of cotton candy… er, something like that. Americans have had a love affair with sweet treats since our founding in 1776. Although sweets back then were mostly hard candy, sugar-glazed dehydrated fruits, and some nutty confections, we’ve always seemed to prioritize enjoying our favorite candies from time to time!

Then, as the world began producing more sugar in the 19th and 20th centuries, sugar prices dropped, and candy became much more accessible to the masses. This sparked its own kind of American revolution as we employed our spirit of boundless creativity and came up with many unique new ways to satisfy our sugar cravings!

A Snapshot of National Candy Sales Data:

Before we dive into the countdown, let's take a moment to understand the national candy landscape. Recent sales data paints a colorful picture of America's collective sweet tooth. According to the latest figures, the candy industry in the USA continues to thrive, with a wide variety of candies flying off the shelves. From nostalgic candies that evoke childhood memories to innovative creations that push the boundaries of taste, the market is as diverse as the people who are enjoying these treats.

Today, the people of the USA love chocolate and candies more than ever. A recent report of candy sales statistics by the National Confectioners Association shows that the candy market has been steadily growing year over year. In 2022, Americans spent $42.6 billion dollars on candy alone, and that number is expected to exceed $54 billion by 2027.

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Now, if you've ever wondered which states in the United States have the most insatiable sweet tooths, you're in for a delightful ride. Buckle up as we embark on a mouth-watering journey to uncover the top 10 candy states in the nation. From sour gummy delights to chocolate candy favorites, industry data shows Americans across the country love to indulge in an array of confections, creating a vibrant tapestry of candy consumption.

*For this list, data has been taken as a snapshot of the overall confectionary industry in each state. Some of these numbers are not directly correlated to consumption, they also include production, and candy-adjacent industries, resulting in an overall economic snapshot of each state. This economic data comes directly from the National Confectioners Association’s report: Power of Sweet.

Counting Down: The Top 10 Candy States in the USA:

10 and 9: A Sweet Tie Between Tennessee and Indiana

Starting off this list with a tie, Tennessee, and Indiana each make up $1.4 billion of economic activity resulting from the confectionary industry. From the Grand Ole Opry to the Indianapolis Speedway, these states sure know how to enjoy the sweeter side of life! Here, you can find plenty of people lining up at their local candy store to enjoy the comforting sweetness as these states enjoy their favorite popular candy treats!

8: A Sweet Surprise in Wisconsin

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I would guess that most people know Wisconsin for their cheese, but did you know that the ice cream sundae was also invented there? That being the case, it’s no surprise that America’s Dairyland also has a knack for everything sweet!

Coming in at $1.8 billion in the candy industry, Wisconsin’s strong showing proves that their residents enjoy not only the richness of their world-famous dairy products but also a wide array of candies that tantalize the taste buds.

7: Sugary Treats Galore in Ohio

Climbing up the list, number 7 brings us to Ohio, who adds $1.9 billion annually to the overall confectionary industry. Candy aficionados in the Buckeye State have a penchant for both classic and contemporary sweets, creating a thriving market for candy manufacturers and consumers alike.

With its inventive spirit, Ohio was the birthplace, and home of the wildly successful inventor Thomas Edison. In the world of popular candy, Ohioans are also responsible for the invention of chewing gum, and a Cleveland chocolate maker, Clarence A. Crane invented the wildly popular Life Savers candy there in 1912.

6: A Sugar Rush in New York

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The Empire State contributes $2.3 billion annually to the national candy industry. Who would have known that the Big Apple is also big on the hottest candy trends? New York City has always been an innovator and creator of the hottest trends in music and fashion but there is a special place for some of the best-selling candies as well.

Even the M&Ms Store is a major highlight of Times Square, which is one of the most prominent landmarks in the world! So, when you’re there be sure to grab a New York slice, see a Broadway play and finish off your whole experience with an abundance of your favorite sweet treats!

5: A Carnival of Candy in New Jersey

At the halfway point of our top 10 list, New Jersey strolls down the boardwalk with bright lights, and even brighter colors of candy! Contributing $2.5 billion annually to the confectionary industry, New Jersey boasts a vibrant candy culture. The Garden State is responsible for the invention of salt water taffy, M&Ms, Smarties and a multitude of other best-selling candies. Candy giant Mars Wrigley even moved their headquarters there in 2020, so New Jersey continues to add plenty of sweet memories to the American zeitgeist.

4: Don’t Mess with Texas When it Comes to Candy


Ahh, home sweet home. Redstone Foods comfortably resides in Carrollton, Texas – just outside of the Dallas metro area. We are happy to play our part in the $2.6 billion that Texans contribute to the global confectionary industry! Texas has long been home to entrepreneurs, innovators, and pioneers in life and in business. When it comes to candy, the Lone Star State takes our indulgences seriously. We embrace a wide variety of flavors and forms that cater to the diverse tastes of our residents.

In the heart of Texas, candy isn't just a treat; it's a cultural experience. From the iconic Texan pecan pralines that melt in your mouth, or the fiery excitement of chili-infused chocolates, to the sweet and savory experience of mouthwatering chamoy pickles, our state's candy scene is as bold and vibrant as our legendary barbecue!

3: A Chocoholic Haven in Pennsylvania

Coming in with a most impressive $5.9 billion, Pennsylvania is perhaps best known in the candy world for being the home of the undisputed chocolate giant, Hershey’s. I mean, they even have an entire town envisioned and built by the successful chocolate manufacturer! Milk, dark, or white chocolate – you name it, this state adores it. The rich, velvety goodness of chocolate has a special place in the hearts of its residents, making it a paradise for chocolate enthusiasts.

But Pennsylvania isn’t just about chocolate bars! Candy corn, bubble gum, and peanut butter cups were all invented in the Keystone State. The state's commitment to quality and innovation is evident in every piece of candy, whether it's a handcrafted truffle from a boutique chocolatier or a nostalgic candy bar from an American icon like Reese’s, or Hershey’s.

2: A Candy Wonderland in Illinois

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Securing the second spot on our countdown is Illinois, a true candy wonderland. Since the 1800’s the state’s largest city, Chicago has been known as the “Candy Capital of the World”, and for good reason! The variety of candies available in the Prairie State is nothing short of astonishing.

Tootsie Rolls, Wrigley Gum, Ferrara Candy Company, and Mars Candy all have their roots in Chicago. Even the National Confectioners Association was formed there, and they held their first meeting in 1884 at the historic Palmer House Hotel. With its central location and ample access to the railroads, Chicago gave early American confectioners access to the resources and distribution network to create their sweet creations on a global scale. All of this has helped the state come in second place on our list, contributing roughly $6.3 billion to the national candy industry.

1: A Sugar Rush in California!

And finally, we arrive at the ultimate sweet spot, California! Claiming the top position in our countdown, with a whopping $7.7 billion dollars annually, this state stands as the undisputed champion of candy consumption and production in the United States. Its residents have an unparalleled passion for all things sweet, turning every bright, sunshiny day into a candy-filled celebration.

Home to candy industry giants, like Jelly Belly, Annabelle’s Candy Company, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, See’s Candies, Taste of Nature, and Sconza Candy Co. (to name a few), the Golden State is clearly a vibrant hub of candy innovation and creativity. With 155 businesses dedicated to candy production, California boasts a diverse range of confections that cater to every imaginable taste bud.

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From the sunny shores of San Diego to the picturesque vineyards of Napa Valley, Californians revel in the artistry of their local chocolatiers, gummy makers, and hard candy artisans.

It also makes perfect sense that the USA’s most populous state comes in at number one on our list! From the bustling streets of San Francisco to the glamorous boulevards of Beverly Hills, one thing is for certain – California sure loves candy! So, whether you find yourself savoring a handcrafted truffle in a boutique shop or enjoying a handful of fruity jelly beans in a beachside town, you're tasting the essence of California’s sweet obsession – a sugar rush that enshrines the state's love affair with all things sweet.

There you have it – the top 10 candy-consuming states in the USA, each with its unique flavor and style. As we've unwrapped the sweet secrets of these states, it's evident that candy holds a special place in the hearts of Americans across the country. Whether you're a chocolate lover, a fan of fruity delights, or someone who enjoys the nostalgia of retro candies, we can all unite in our love for the vibrant world of American confections!

As America’s favorite candy distributor, Redstone Foods takes pride in bringing these delightful creations to candy enthusiasts all over the world. Our commitment to providing high-quality, diverse candies ensures that the sweet traditions of these states continue to thrive, bringing joy to countless individuals worldwide.

So, the next time you indulge in your favorite candy, remember the sweet stories behind each treat and the states that make them special. After all, in this candy-loving nation, every bite is a journey worth savoring.

With everything from bulk candy to glass bottle craft sodas, to gourmet, artisanal pickles, Redstone Foods is your premier wholesale candy distributor in the USA. Our level of customer service is second to none. Sign up for an account with us today to shop our extensive online catalog, or feel free to give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!