NCA survey reveals seasonal candy cane and chocolate favourites

As one of the perennial favourites of the Christmas confectionery landscape, the candy cane is something that continues to symbolise festive sweet treats – but is there a right way to eat them? A National Confectioners Association study has the answer, writes Neill Barston.

Its latest study found that a total of  55% of people start with the straight end, 28% go for the curved end first and 17% of consumers choose to break it into pieces. It makes sense that this debate heats up as the weather cools down: 93% of Americans say they plan to share chocolate and candy with friends and family for the winter holiday season.

As Confectionery Production has recently reported, despite ongoing issues regarding supply chain challenges and inflation impacting on the industry, there are still plenty of fine confectionery offerings (see our Christmas edition of the magazine to find out more).

“Chocolate and candy play a fun and unique role in all of the festivities around the winter holidays – and they have a meaningful impact on how families celebrate, enhancing traditions and helping to make special memories,” John Downs, NCA president & CEO, said. “Seasonal treating is an important part of these traditions for families across the country and around the world – whether playing dreidel for chocolate coins, adorning a Christmas tree with candy canes or delivering a gift to a loved one, chocolate and candy enliven the spirit of togetherness that is so emblematic of the season.”

NCA’s new survey also revealed some interesting answers to the following questions:

What’s the best kind of foil-wrapped chocolate?
46% Santas
30% coins
24% snowmen
Which type of candy cane do consumers prefer?
73% classic peppermint
27% fun flavours

NCA’s recently-released report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers, shows the importance of chocolate and candy during the winter holiday season. The category generated more than $5.6 billion in retail sales in traditional channels in 2022. Whether consumers are using chocolate and candy to fill stockings, decorate gingerbread houses or as part of games, Americans are enthusiastic about these treats as a key part of the holiday season.

With celebrations of all types taking place throughout the entire season, NCA is offering a robust set of resources at to help consumers find seasonal inspiration, as well as holiday fun facts and tips for treating as part of a balanced lifestyle. To join the conversation on social media, use #HolidayTreats, and follow NCA on Facebook, X and Instagram. Happy holidays!


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