Study Reveals The Most Popular Valentine's Day Candy In Every State

Oh joy, Valentine's Day is almost upon us again. If you're not too thrilled about all that icky romance stuff, perhaps it will cheer you up to realize that, as any elementary school kid could tell you, this holiday is really all about the love of candy. The numbers back this up. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly one-third of American adults were single as of October of 2019. Of these people, half reported no interest in coupling up. On the other hand, according to a 2015 study published in the Advances in Nutrition journal, a whopping 97% of us eat candy!

While the U.S. hasn't gone to the extent of Ghana, the only nation to have re-christened February 14 as National Chocolate Day (via Visit Ghana), we're doing our best to honor the spirit of the day by consuming as much sugar as humanly possible. After all, who needs a sweetheart when you've got a sweet tooth? Just in time for Valentine's Day in 2022, examined its sales data from the last several years to round up the top-selling Valentine's Day candies in all 50 states, plus the often-overlooked Washington, D.C. (Non-state motto: "Why are we missing from the drop-down menu again?")

Most states go for some form of chocolate's list of the most popular candies in every state (and district) can easily be broken down into two different categories: chocolate, overwhelmingly favored by 36 states, and not chocolate, the less popular pick of only 15 states.

Of the chocolate-loving states, 17 of them — Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, and Washington, D.C. — opt for a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Another nine states go for M&M's, the favorite candy of Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Meanwhile, five states — Arkansas, Delaware, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah — celebrate Valentine's Day with a Kiss ... the Hershey's kind, of course. When Maine, Montana, and Rhode Island give their hearts, they mean foil-wrapped chocolate hearts, while romantic Kentucky and Wyoming opt for chocolate roses, instead.

Conversation hearts are still popular in some states

Of the states' favorite non-chocolate candies, there was really only one contender: conversation hearts. reports that this candy's sales have dipped drastically in recent years due to the fact that they were unavailable in 2019 and were kind of defective in 2020. They're back now however, and while conversation hearts still taste like Tums and are the most overrated Valentine's Day candy, they're evidently good enough for people in Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It may come as no surprise to realize that the main market for these candies is classrooms, as Necco marketing director Aimee Scott once admitted to Smithsonian Magazine. After all, conversation hearts are cheap, can be worked into English or math lessons, and are likely not all that tempting for teachers to eat themselves (which is not something that can be said about Hershey's Kisses or M&M's).

In Nebraska and West Virginia, people are fond of something called cupid corn, which is candy corn in shades of pink rather than orange. Believe it or not, this stuff's actually the second-place pick for two more states (Michigan and Ohio) and takes the third spot in yet another two (North Carolina and Virginia). Alabama, the outlier, is the only state to go for candy necklaces.