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A definitive ranking of America’s most popular Valentine’s Day candies

Given that I spent the vast majority of Valentine’s Days as a single woman, I never cared for the holiday much. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about a day where you’re constantly reminded of how lonely you are.

Before I went to college, though, I did always have one part of the holiday to look forward to: the candy my mom would buy me.

Now that I’m a grown adult, I usually end up buying the candy myself, but it’s still my favorite part of Valentine’s Day.

Of course, not all candy is created equal, and the rest of the country agrees. Candystore.com collects data on the most popular Valentine’s candies by state every year, and the results for 2022 are as follows:

  1. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates (17 states)

  2. Conversation hearts (12 states)

  3. M&Ms (nine states)

  4. Chocolate roses/hearts (five states)

  5. Hershey kisses (five states)

  6. Cupid corn (two states)

  7. Candy necklaces (one state)

Like I did during Halloween season, I’ll be rearranging this list into the order it belongs in (because the popular opinions are simply not correct).

7. Candy necklaces

This is one of the only candies that I believe is adequately ranked.

I’m confused as to what is going on in Alabama that caused such a large chunk of the population to choose these as their favorite Valentine’s candy. Unless I’m missing something, they aren't Valentine's candy at all.

The fact that they don’t belong on this list at all is one reason they’re ranked so low, but the other is that they’re gross. The candies themselves are okay, but the string tastes nasty and is impossible to avoid.

C’mon, Alabama. Make a better choice next year.

6. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates

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This will probably be one of my most controversial rankings.

Yes, America’s most popular Valentine’s candy is ranked sixth on my list. Why? Forrest Gump said it best: you never know what you’re gonna get.

I don’t like surprises in any capacity. I plan out every second of every day, and if something unexpected comes up, I panic.

When I bite into a chocolate, I want to know what’s inside. If that makes me boring, so be it.

It’s hard to avoid surprises in everyday life, but it’s slightly easier when it comes to candy. For that reason, I never buy boxes of mixed chocolates – heart-shaped or otherwise.

5. Hershey Kisses

I really like Hershey Kisses! They’re solid chocolate (no surprises), and honestly just hard to dislike, unless you dislike chocolate in general.

The reason they’re ranked so low, though, is because they’re boring.

They may have special wrappings during Valentine’s season, but the kisses themselves are the same as the ones you can buy year round. I suppose they have a somewhat romantic name, but that isn’t enough to make them Valentine’s themed, in my opinion.

4. M&Ms

M&Ms are pretty much the same deal as Kisses, although they get a slight bump on my list because they at least have a special Valentine’s version with only red, pink and white coatings.

They taste exactly the same as regular M&Ms, but at least they look cute and festive!

3. Chocolate roses/hearts

I grouped these two together because they’re similar in concept: solid chocolate molded into Valentine’s-themed shapes.

These, of course, are hardly different from Kisses in terms of ingredients, but they feel more special because of their shapes. Chocolate roses in particular are adorable and arguably better than real roses.

These still aren’t all that exciting because they’re just regular chocolate, but at least they’re attempting to be Valentine’s themed. And at least they don’t have weird, unpredictable fillings.

2. Cupid corn

If you read my Halloween candy ranking, you already know I love candy corn. That’s controversial, I’m aware, but I’ve already made that opinion known.

Cupid corn tastes the same as candy corn, but it’s dyed with cute Valentine’s colors. According to the Candystore.com article, cupid corn has made a major resurgence this year after its production was reduced during the height of the pandemic.

Hopefully cupid corn will continue to gain popularity in future years, because I think it’s the perfect Valentine’s candy; It tastes great, it’s cute and festive, and it’s only available during Valentine’s season.

If you’re a fan of candy corn, go grab a bag of cupid corn. You are quite literally guaranteed to like it.

1. Conversation hearts

As I’ve learned in conversations with my colleagues at The Student, my love for conversation hearts is also controversial, which I find shocking.

They’re the most iconic Valentine’s candy. They’re sweet and delicious. They’re a cultural icon. What’s not to love?

Conversation hearts were always the number one thing I looked forward to receiving from my mom, and I still buy myself at least one box every year. I love reading the cheesy little sayings on the candies, and I love the way they taste. They’re a little chalky, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.

I will never apologize for my love for conversation hearts, but if you’d like to discuss this opinion (or any of my other ones) further, go ahead and CALL ME.

@madphabes

phabymr@miamioh.edu 

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