The Real Reason So Many People Hate Candy Corn

What's there to hate about candy corn? The orange, yellow, and white confection has somehow topped's definitive list of worst Halloween candies two years in a row now. For some people, it seems to be the texture. A reviewer over on The Takeout called out the seasonal treat for its chalky, waxy, crumbly texture under a headline that jokingly suggested the candy might be Satan's earwax. Two major candy corn manufacturers, Brach's and Jelly Belly, use ingredients like beeswax, gelatin, or confectioner's glaze, meaning candy corn's oft-maligned texture is a product of animal ligaments and insect secretions (Confectioner's glaze is made from shellac, which is produced by lac bugs, according to Taste for Life).

If people aren't complaining about candy corn's texture, then they're hating on the taste. The Stranger was especially adamant on this point, asserting that candy corn tastes like "crusty frosting," "spoiled honey," "dried wood glue," and a "lightly sweetened earplug." Who could resist? A Twitter war over candy corn also seems to rage every year around this time, with users like @choycebrown tweeting out disparaging remarks about not only the candy, but people who enjoy it as well. With her tweet "if you eat candy corn please don't speak to me ever again" receiving over 10 thousand likes from fellow candy corn haters.

We don't hate candy corn; we love to argue

For all the candy corn hate you can find on the internet, there are just as many defenders of the Halloween treat. After all, according to Vox, 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced every year. Surely not all of it is going into craft projects or the garbage can. The National Confectioners Association conducted a poll, and roughly half of respondents across all age groups said they liked candy corn — although the preference was stronger among the older Gen-Xers and Boomers. So the question remains: Why do the candy corn naysayers hate candy corn so intensely?

Some psychologists say the reason for all the hate has less to do with candy corn and more to do with America's love of arguing — and this may not be a good thing. "These behaviors can be seen more often in individualist countries like the United States," said Matt Scillitani, a demographic researcher with a background in psychology, to Matador Network. "The need to stand out and be different leads untalented, insecure people to form strong opinions and argue frequently to be in the spotlight without having to possess any positive skills or invest time into being productive." Ouch. People's use of social media as a platform to vent strong opinions only makes this tendency worse, Scillitani said. Candy corn lovers, we know you're out there. No need to be ashamed, maybe just steer clear of Twitter for a few more days.