Christmas isn’t just about candy, of course – the holiday season is so much more. Yet, the presence of candy is undeniable, from baking and decorating to crafting with kids. All these activities often involve a sweet treat or two.
Do candy canes dangle from your Christmas tree? Are candy bars a staple in your stockings? Perhaps you enjoy adorning snowman cookies with colorful sprinkles and peppermint candies? Well, you’re not alone in these festive traditions. 🙂
So, what are the most popular Christmas candies in your area? It’s an interesting mix that differs from state to state.
As an online bulk candy retailer, we’ve tapped into the insights of our CandyStore.com customers to uncover these sweet preferences. This year, we gathered opinions from over 16,000 respondents. Additionally, we consulted with major candy manufacturers and distributors to ensure our findings reflect broader market trends.
The results, showcased in the candy map above, are intriguing.
The latest NRF survey puts food and candy as a top item on consumers’ shopping lists, ranking significantly at 29% (toys came in at 37%). This indicates a strong inclination towards gifting candy and edible treats, reflecting a broader trend in holiday spending.
And now on to the results of our interactive map. Here are a few interesting insights we can gather.
Peppermint Bark Bounces Back
Peppermint bark has rebounded. It dropped a whopping six #1 spots last year after a strong 2021. This year it regained 3, flexing its strength throughout the midwest. Why do the midwesterners love Peppermint bark so much??
And don’t forget, we are not even taking into account the homemade bark made in your own kitchens. You know how midwestern moms love to bake (bake bark?).
Now, the bark has not regained their biggest previous conquests: California and Texas. If they can manage that next year, they will be the clear kings of Christmas candy.
Candy Canes Also Bounce
Candy canes fell last year, and similarly to peppermint bark, they have rebounded this year. Thanks mostly to two New England states, candy canes have made a respectable improvement. Candy canes are newly #1 New Hampshire and Vermont and looking strong going into the holidays.
But candy canes are not the universally-loved Christmas candy you might think. They are often found on the WORST Christmas candy list, in fact. People who don’t like them cite reasons like they can be messy to eat, hard to unwrap in one whole piece and, once sucked on for a while, become sharp and dangerous.
But a lot of people still love them. Me included.
Starburst Keeps Rising
Starbursts don’t seem like a particularly traditional holiday candy, but who knows what those crazy kids are up to nowadays. Starburst didn’t gain any new #1 spots this year, but they did pick up five new overall top 3 spots. This may not seem all that spectacular, but remember we’re talking about Starburst. At Christmas.
Christmas Candy Quick Facts
93% of people gift chocolate and candy for the winter holidays
29% of gift givers plan to give candy.
LEGOs are a top 3 Christmas gift for both boys (#1) and girls (#3).
43% of Holiday shoppers started by the beginning of November.
72% of people eat a candy cane starting on the straight end, the rest start on the curved end. Weird.
Approximately 150 million chocolate Santas are produced annually.
1.76 Billion candy canes are produced every year for the holiday season.
The largest candy cane in the world was made in Switzerland. It was 51 feet long.
December 26th is National Candy Cane Day.
59% of holiday sales are expected to be online.
Which Christmas holiday candy does your state loves the most?
(Family Features) Whether you’re encouraging loved ones to start a new wellness kick or looking to add new ideas to an already-nutritious menu, families at any stage of a journey toward better health can use newfound favorites to bring fresh flavors to the table.
These dishes from Milk Means More provide an all-day assortment of deliciousness from breakfast to lunch and dinner so you can bring everyone together for tasty, nutritious meals no matter the occasion. Dairy foods, like the low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese found in these recipes, are fundamental to good nutrition.
Constructing a better-for-you menu calls for a balanced diet with a variety of foods to get essential nutrients. This balance is important for maintaining healthy gut and immune function while optimizing overall wellness.
Start by ramping up your family’s breakfast with these slightly sweet Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping for a protein-packed way to start the day with a healthy addition of fresh berries.
Fusion cooking is on the menu at lunchtime with the spicy-sweet combo of Cajun-seasoned chicken mingling with mango and pungent blue cheese in these Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas. Finally, finish the day with Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes – an easy-to-make family meal ready in 30 minutes.
1 cup fresh blueberries or chopped fresh strawberries
To make topping: Stir yogurt, syrup and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate.
To make pancakes: In mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, butter and vanilla. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until combined (batter should be slightly lumpy).
Scrape batter into large plastic food storage bag. Oil nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Cut off about 1/2 inch from corner of plastic bag. Squeeze batter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, onto hot griddle. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when bubbles form on surface of pancakes and edges are slightly dry.
Serve warm pancakes topped with cinnamon-maple yogurt and sprinkled with berries.
Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Servings: 4
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 pounds salmon or halibut fillets, cut into 4 serving-size pieces
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 18-by-13-by-1-inch (half sheet) baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In medium bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Place fish pieces, skin side down, on one side of prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper. Lightly press feta cheese on top of fish. Pour tomato mixture on other side of prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Place salmon on serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over top.
Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas
Recipe by Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 6
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon orange juice or lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled and chopped
3 large whole-wheat pita rounds (or 6 small), halved
1 1/2 cups spring greens
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 ounces)
To make sauce: In small bowl, stir yogurt, honey and juice. Cover and refrigerate.
To make filling: In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook and stir chicken with seasoning in hot oil 4-6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from heat. Stir in mango.
Fill pita pockets with greens, chicken mixture and blue cheese. Spoon yogurt sauce on top.
(Culinary.net) Many families crave savory and delicious weeknight meals. After a long day of work and school, it’s time to gather around the table to share a mouthwatering meal and memories together.
For something truly wholesome, try this Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad. It’s a full meal the whole family can enjoy, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it makes it to feed all the smiling faces.
This meal has layers of flavor and sneaks in a few vegetables like spinach and cauliflower, but even picky eaters can’t resist trying it.
Start with a beef tenderloin and drizzle it generously with olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons of pepper. Flip and repeat on the other side. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 F.
Next, add one head of cauliflower to a mixing bowl with five shallots cut into quarters. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; mix well with salt and pepper, to taste. Add this to the baking sheet with the beef tenderloin and bake 18-25 minutes.
While that’s cooking, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a mixing bowl with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and baby spinach.
To plate, add baby spinach salad first then the cauliflower and shallot mixture and, finally, that juicy, perfectly cooked beef tenderloin. Garnish with cranberries for a splash of color.
This meal is satisfying and only requires some mixing bowls and a large sheet pan to make cleanup a breeze so you can focus on what really matters most: time with your loved ones.
Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad
1 beef tenderloin (4 pounds), wrapped with butcher’s twine
9 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 head cauliflower
5 shallots, quartered
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 package (5 1/2 ounces) baby spinach
dried cranberries, for garnish
Heat oven to 475 F. Place beef on baking sheet. Rub 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons pepper into beef. Bake 12 minutes.
In large bowl, toss cauliflower, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to combine. Scatter vegetables around beef and bake 18-25 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Allow meat to rest 15 minutes covered in aluminum foil.
In medium bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and remaining salt and pepper until combined. Add spinach; stir until combined.
Serve by layering spinach topped with cauliflower and shallots then sliced tenderloin. Garnish with dried cranberries.
(Family Features) For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers.
According to Mondelez International’s Fourth Annual State of Snacking Global Consumer Trends Study, 78% are choosing small indulgences to pamper themselves and 68% are checking nutrition labels on snacks.
With today’s changing palates and the growing demand for sour, less sweet foods and beverages, a superfruit like tart cherries can help snackers permissibly indulge without the guilt. Primarily grown on small family farms in the United States, Montmorency tart cherries – also referred to as sour cherries – are available year-round in dried, juice and juice concentrate, canned and frozen forms.
More than 110 scientific research studies show Montmorency tart cherries are a superfruit. In addition to their sweet-sour taste and unique nutrient profile, research suggests tart cherries – one of the few natural food sources of melatonin – may help improve sleep, aid in exercise recovery, reduce inflammation, ease arthritis symptoms, improve gut health and promote heart health. In fact, in one study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” adults who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency.
While increasingly featured in functional beverages and health-positioned foods, tart cherries can also add drool-worthy flavor to superfruit-infused snacks, such as these Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits and Tart Cherry Brownie Bites. Plus, using tart cherries as a favorite ingredient in recipes like these adds a health halo to sweets – reinforcing the trend of permissible indulgences.
As an ideal superfruit snack that makes snacking more satisfying, tart cherries provide delicious flavor and potential health benefits in these recipes and beyond so you can savor the moment and cherish every bite.