Sugar Highs (and Lows)

Candy consumption in the U.S. is like a very predictable roller coaster

If we asked you to guess which months of the year experienced the highest candy sales, you would probably get the right answer on your first try. You might even be able to rank the months of the year from highest to lowest, based on the consumption in your own home. 

The way we buy candy in America is predictable, which is why it’s not a surprise to anyone that the grocery aisles are currently filled with special displays of egg, bunny, and chick-shaped candies. (Props to you, candy marketers, for shaping the habits of a nation.)

But while habits are predictable, they’re anything but consistent. Candy consumption in the U.S. swings wildly from month-to-month, increasing and decreasing based on seasonal holidays (and our resolve toward eating healthy).

Unsurprisingly to us today, October sees the highest month-over-month swing in candy sales in America. Although this wasn’t the case until the 1950s…more on the fascinating history of Halloween candy here

December comes in second place, with candy being a favorite for gift-giving, stocking stuffing, and (ahem) behavior modifying. This is after a slow November when parents try their best to get pounds of candy out of their homes without being wasteful and dumping it straight into the trash. 

Thanks to Richard Cadbury, February comes in third for candy consumption. Because what better way to say “I love you” than by giving pounds of chocolate to the people around you who have recently sworn it off? 

Then, since we’ve mostly given up on our New Year’s Resolutions by March, the month just sees a small decrease over February. April quickly brings us a chance to unite around team Peeps or team Cream Eggs (cream eggs 4 lyfe) and then May brings a sharp decline when we all start to come to terms with how we look wearing half the amount of clothing we wore when indulging in all of this candy. 

The summer months see consistently low candy consumption,  as we all face the daily reality of fitting back into last year’s summer clothes, and the cycle begins again when we need a way to cope with the start of “back-to-school.”

We love to hate this roller coaster that says so much about our consumption habits and look forward to joining you for another fun ride on the Candy Express, departing September 2023. 

If you’re curious about what kinds of candy Americans are purchasing throughout the year, take a look at this post for additional insights (hint: it’s chocolate).