We hope your sweet tooth is ready because November 4 is National Candy Day. These sweet and sour treats have been our favorite snacks since childhood. Whether they’re hard, chewy, fruit flavored, or a “melt in your mouth, not in your hand” sort of treat, candy has been a consistent source of happiness and nostalgia as we get older. Candy is Dandy! Let’s celebrate National Candy Day on November 4!
History of National Candy Day
The story of candy begins in India. Between the 6th and 4th centuries B.C., the Persians and Greeks learned that the people in India had, what they called, reeds that make honey without bees. These reeds were sugarcane, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Ancient Indians would boil sugarcane juice, turning it into individual pieces of sugar, which they called “khanda.”
Before sugarcane was domesticated outside of Asia, honey was used in ancient China, the Middle East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome to coat fruits and flowers, which would preserve them and turn them into a form of candy. Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was used as medicine to either calm the digestive system or cool the throat. In the Middle Ages, candy was mostly consumed by the wealthy and was made of sugar and spices to aid digestive problems, which were very common, as the food was neither fresh nor balanced.
Candy first came to America in the 18th century from France and Britain. Very few colonists were skilled in sugar work, meaning only the wealthy were able to enjoy these new treats. In the 1830s, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, technological advances allowed candy to be accessible to more than just the rich, including a new market for children. While some artisan sugar workers remained, candy stores were becoming an American staple, especially in the lives of children across the country. Penny candy became the first thing a child would spend their money on, and candy store owners relied mostly on the business of children and families to keep them running.
National Candy Day Timeline
In a town in Yorkshire, England, Samuel Parkinson began making butterscotch as a hard candy.
David Bradley’s candy store in New Jersey flooded due to a major storm, resulting in him calling his taffy “saltwater taffy.”
M&M’s were invented by Forrest Mars, who got the idea from soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell during the Spanish Civil War.
Starburst candies were invented in the U.K. by Peter Phillips.
Candy By The Numbers
65% — the percentage of the candy produced Americans consume that is over 18.
65% — the percentage of U.S. candy brands introduced more than 50 years ago.
36 million — the number of heart-shaped chocolate boxes sold on Valentine’s Day.
The 1800s was when physicians commonly prescribed chocolate to patients with broken hearts.
1875 — the year when Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle created milk chocolate.
2.8 billion pounds — the amount of chocolate consumed in the United States annually.
Twenty-two pounds — the average amount of candy consumed each year by Americans.
Two ounces — the amount of poisonous milk chocolate for a 10-lb puppy.
$7 billion — the amount spent on chocolate every year.
Twenty-five pounds — the amount of candy eaten per person annually in the United States.
2 — the number of Ms on M&Ms for Mars and Murrie.
National Candy Day Faqs
Which holiday has the highest candy sales?
Halloween pulls in the most candy sales over any other holiday, as people load up on bags of sweets to pass out to eager trick-or-treaters.
When is National Candy Month?
National Candy Month occurs in June to celebrate over 100 years of candy and its impact on our lives.
What is the most popular candy in the U.S.?
Though the preferred candy tends to differ depending on the state, the two highest-selling candies in the United States are M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
National Candy Day Activities
- Buy candy for a friend.
- Give sweets to be sweet! Nothing says “Have a great day” better than a box of colorful candy.
- Make your own
- How about making your candy for a change? Candy is made by boiling sugar in water or milk until it starts to caramelize. Find a recipe that strikes your interest and make it at home!
- Try something new
- We all have our go-to candies, but next time you’re at the shop, try the candy you always look at but never actually pick up. It might be a new favorite.
5 Dandy Facts About Candy!
- Cotton candy’s original name
- Fairy floss was the original name of cotton candy.
- Snickers was a horse.
- The Snickers candy bar was named after Frank Mars’ family horse.
- Chocolate’s comforting properties
- The ancient Aztecs believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac.
- Candy is healthy
- Some candies, such as gummy bears, lollipops, and sour balls, are cholesterol-free, making them a healthy treat.
- The Swiss love their chocolate
- The Swiss consume more chocolate than any other country in the world.
Why We Love National Candy Day
- It’s delicious
- You haven’t lived if you’ve never had a king-sized Kit Kat bar or pack of Sour Patch Kids. Candy is great. End of story.
- Childhood nostalgia
- From crushing piñatas at birthday parties to passing out Hershey’s Kisses for Valentine’s day, candy was a big part of our childhoods. No matter how much we grow, candy always brings back those special memories.
- It improves your mood.
- Happy? Sad? It doesn’t matter! Many people use candy as a way to boost happiness. It has a natural knack for lifting our moods.