The Cherry Mash might be the candy Missouri is best known for, but when it comes to the state’s most popular chocolate treat, the winner is the Milky Way bar.
With National Chocolate Day on Oct. 28 and Halloween three days later, BetMissouri.com took a break from covering Missouri sports betting and researched the most popular chocolate candies in each state. We started with Statista’s research on the most consumed chocolate candy, then utilized Google Trends to search the level of interest in each from Oct. 1, 2022 to October 18, 2023. We then determined the Top 3 chocolate candies of each state. Maybe this will make your Halloween shopping easier.
In terms of Missouri popularity, the Milky Way was followed by the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and the Kit Kat bar.
The Milky Way was the No. 1 choice of four states in our research, with Missouri joining Florida, Maryland and Nebraska. Reese’s was numero uno in 19 states and finished in the top three in 40 of the nation’s 50 states. Americans love a little peanut butter with their chocolate – or is that chocolate with their peanut butter? Americans also love to break off a piece of their Kit Kat bars, with the mix of chocolate and wafer first choice in 12 states, and top three in 26.
The other most popular chocolate concoctions in the country are the Snickers bar, Twix, M&M’s, Butterfinger, and the iconic Hershey’s milk chocolate bar. All but the Butterfinger – which was once part of the Nestlé empire and is now from the Ferrero Group – come from Big Chocolate. Reese’s, Kit Kat and Hershey are in the Hershey family (although Kit Kat is a Nestlé brand outside America and was created by Rowntree’s of York in the United Kingdom in 1935). M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers and Twix are part of the massive Mars corporation.
Missouri’s favorite, the Milky Way, was created by Frank C. Mars and first sold in 1924 – so get ready for the Milky Way Centennial, candy lovers. It is the oldest original Mars creation still being manufactured. A combination of chocolate, caramel and nougat, the bar was created to mimic the taste of a chocolate milk shake.
Although the Milky Way was created in Minneapolis, the chocolate for the coating was supplied by Hershey’s, which also supplied the chocolate for the original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (introduced in 1928). Reese’s, though, was located in Hershey, Pa., and later merged with Hershey. In its first year of existence, the Milky Way bar grossed $800,000, which, in 1924, was real money, especially when a bar sold for less than a nickel. Today the Milky Way sells close to 100 million bars just in the U.S.
It’s not surprising, as studies claim that Americans eat about 11 pounds of chocolate per year – 20% of Americans supposedly eat chocolate every day – and spend more than $7 billion on the sweet stuff. Honestly, that number seems low. Have you ever seen a Walmart around Halloween? It looks like a billion dollars’ worth of candy in each store.
Interestingly, in our divided population, there’s no logic behind a state’s favorite chocolate candies – geography, topography, politics are all irrelevant to America’s collective sweet tooth. Peanut Butter Cups are No. 1 in California and No. 1 in Alabama, because we really all are more alike than different. The only clear geographical fact is that the Hershey bar is a favorite in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. In the plains they like their chocolate plain.
Stay close to BetMissouri.com for stories of cultural interest such as this, updates on sports betting legislation and for Missouri sports betting promo codes.