News Release
 October 11, 2018
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

Trends in Halloween Candy Through the Years

(Williamsville, NY) – “I’ll trade you my Baby Ruth for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!” “No way! What about my Snicker’s for your Swedish Fish?” Ah – how sweet it is. Literally. This time of year brings the kid, and sweet tooth, out in all of us as we fondly remember those days when we eagerly went door to door to gather candy from our neighbors only to come home and pour over our bounty. Even as adults our eyes widen just a little bit more as we enter the grocery store and see the vast array of sweet treats that greet us this time of year as we prepare to welcome the next generation of Trick-or-Treaters at our doorsteps. Over the year’s we’ve seen Halloween candy trends come and go. From Baby Ruth’s debuting on the scene in the 1920’s to what seems to be everyone’s favorite, especially in the past decade, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, as consumers we set the trend for this cavity laden holiday. Here is a walk down candy memory lane and what candy topped the list in homes across the U.S. Did your favorite candy make the cut?

1920s: Baby Ruth Introduced in 1921, this confection of peanuts, caramel, and chocolate-flavored nougat was an instant hit for trick-or-treaters. Other popular Halloween candies of the roaring ‘20s include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oh Henry! Bars, and Bit-O-Honey.

1930s: 3 Musketeers When it was first introduced in 1932, the 3 Musketeers bar consisted of three smaller chocolate-coated candies flavored with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (hence the name). Other new and popular candies from the 1930s include the still-popular Snickers, candy buttons, and Boston Baked Beans.


1940s: M&M’s It may be hard to imagine a trick-or-treat bag without the iconic M&M’s, but they first came on the market in 1941 and were a highly-popular wartime product. Bazooka Bubble Gum, Jolly Ranchers, and Almond Joys were also huge in the ‘40s. 1950s: Atomic Fireballs Fittingly titled, these fiery, cinnamon-flavored orbs were created in 1954 and quickly became a favorite for adventurous children. In a general sense, 1950s candies were a little bit more subdued, with Necco Wafers, Satellite Wafers, and black licorice-flavored treats winning over children.

1960s: SweeTARTS Sugar was back in the 1960s, led by the new sugary and tart (and fittingly named) candy, SweeTARTS, which featured fruity flavors such as cherry, lime, lemon, orange, and grape. Banana flavor was also huge with Necco’s Banana Splits and banana Slap Stix. Sugary, fruity candies such as Mike & Ike, Pixy Stix, and Starburst were also hugely popular.

1970s: Laffy Taffy Fun came in to play in the 1970s, with jokes on the wrappers of the chewy, fruity Laffy Taffy candy. Candies that had surprises were huge, with sizzling Pop Rocks, fizzy ZotZ, two-in-one Blow Pops, and the delightful Fun Dip in trick-or-treaters’ pillowcases.

1980s: Skittles Though it seems like they’ve been around forever, Skittles weren’t widely distributed in America until 1982. Willy Wonka candies such as Runts and Nerds were also hugely popular. In general, fruity flavors carried over from the ‘70s to the ‘80s with popular candies such as gummy bears, Ring Pops, and Sour Patch Kids.

1990s: AirHeads Though technically introduced in the mid-1980s, out-of-control AirHeads were an iconic candy for ‘90s kids. Other playful favorites followed suit, with Baby Bottle Pops, Push Pops, and Bubble Gum Jugs all being rare but coveted on Halloween. And who can forget the super-sour WarHeads? Try not to pucker when eating one of those.

2000s: Nerds Rope The ‘80s and ‘90s trends continued well in to the 2000s, with the popularity of cookies and cream chocolate bars, Sour Patch Kids, and of course the Nerds Rope. First introduced in the mid-‘90s, this gummy string candy with Nerds attached to it was a much-coveted big candy item. -more- 2010s: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups What’s old is new again in the 2010s. Despite new confections such as candy corn-flavored Hershey’s bars, classics like Kit-Kat Bars, Snickers, and M&Ms are most commonly found in trick-or-treat bags. The most popular candy? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and all of the company’s other offerings, such as bat-shaped Reese’s, Reese’s Pieces, and the Reese’s Fast Break, are huge. *Source: And this year is no different as the industry tries to reinvent itself. This year shoppers will see a new item hit the shelves – glow in the dark wrappers from Hershey. Now Trick-or-Treaters will look into their bags to find their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Hershey’s bars, and Kit Kat candies glowing as part of their new glow in the dark packaging. Maybe this time next year we’ll see these top the list of fan favorites! About Tops Friendly Markets Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 169 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs more than 14,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at



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