According to the World Health Organization, individuals shouldn’t consume anything over 25-50 grams of sugar per day.
Does the average consumer follow this recommendation when it comes to those heavenly treats we know and love as candy? Why do people eat these sweet delights at all, and when do they purchase them the most?
These are all relevant questions that we will cover in this article. Scroll down to find all the essential and surprising candy consumption statistics right now.
Candy Consumption Statistics Editor’s Pick
Below, we handpicked the most exciting stats regarding the consumption of candy.
- In the US, the average candy consumption per capita is 10.6 kilograms.
- About 26% of Americans over the age of 2 consume candy on a given day.
- The average candy portion size was about 40 grams and about 176 kcal.
- Snickers is the most popular candy brand in the US, with 48.06 million consumers.
- In 2020, 268.09 million Americans consumed candy.
- 83% of consumers consider candy a treat rather than a meal replacement.
- US candy sales reached $36.7 billion in 2020.
- 83% of American parents monitor how much candy their kids eat.
- Germany, Russia, and the UK have the most people who regularly eat candy.
All these are very intriguing, we know! And we have even more of them below!
Global Candy Intake Stats and Facts
1. Germans are the nation with the most consumers who eat candy on a regular basis.
Europeans, alongside Russians, seem to consume candy regularly more than other nations. In fact, 61% of Germans, 60% of Russians, and 60% of Brits admitted to eating confectionery regularly. They were followed by people in Turkey and the US, where 59% and 50% of the consumers said they eat sweets on a regular basis.
Two other European nations come next. In Spain and France, respective 49% and 43% of customers eat candy. In China, less than one-third (30%) of the people consume sweet delights often, while in South Korea, the share of regular candy eaters represents only 19% of the population.
2. US confectionery sales reached $36.7 billion in 2020.
According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans spent $36.7 billion on candy in 2020.
Most of those products were chocolate ones, and those generated sales of $21.9 billion. The remaining revenues came from non-chocolate treats ($11.5 billion) and gum and mints ($3.9 billion).
3. Western Europe boasted the most confectionery sales by region in 2017.
Data collected in 2017 reveals the regions that generate the most candy sales worldwide.
Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America led the way here with respective $51.1 billion, $41.4 billion, and $37.2 billion in confectionery sales.
They were followed by Eastern Europe ($20.3bn), Latin America ($18.9bn), Middle East and Africa ($11.3bn), and Australasia ($4bn).
If Americans thought they were spending too much money on candy, it’s time to think twice as Europeans are clearly in the lead here.
American Candy Consumption and Sales Statistics
4. The average per capita candy consumption in the United States is 10.6 kilograms.
This number is lower than the average per capita consumption of 10.8 kilograms recorded in 2020.
According to the projections by the Statista Consumer Market Outlook team, Americans’ per capita chocolate confectionery intake will hit 10.9 kilograms by 2025. By comparison, this figure was only 8.6 kilograms per capita in 2012.
Between 2012 and 2022, candy consumption per capita jumped from 8.6 kilograms to 10.5 kilograms. This change represents a 22.09% 10-year jump in chocolate sweets intake among Americans.
5. Americans eat about 22 pounds of candy per year.
PRNewswire research revealed that the average American consumes about 22 pounds or 9.97 kilograms of candy per year. Most of this is chocolate. That’s why about 1,200 companies in the States make chocolate and cocoa products. By contrast, only 420 focus on non-chocolate confectionery.
5. Over one-fourth of Americans consume candy on a given day.
About 26% of Americans over the age of 2 consume candy on a given day. This percentage is even higher among those aged 2-18 at 31%. These trends reveal that minors are the most likely candy consumer in the country. However, research shows that almost every person eats at least one type of candy within a given year.
On a day of eating candy, the average portion size was about 40 grams and about 176 kcal. According to the Oxford Academic research, candy represented 2.1% and 3.2% of Americans’ total fat and saturated fat intake. Confectionery contributed even higher 4.7% and 6.4% to US consumers’ sugar and added sugar intake.
7. Snickers is the most popular candy brand among US consumers.
In 2020, Snickers boasted 48.06 million consumers. With that, it topped the list of the most popular and consumed candy types in the country.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups came next with 42.86 million consumers, while Hershey’s Kisses (42.58m) and Kit Kat (41.45m) followed closely. The top-five most consumed candy list ended up with Peanut M&M’s, whose consumer base counted 40.36 million people.
|Candy Name||Number of US Consumers|
|Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups||42.86 million|
|Hershey’s Kisses||42.58 million|
|Kit Kat||41.45 million|
|Peanut M&M’s||40.36 million|
8. About 84% of customers consider chocolate a treat, and a substitute for a meal.
In a 2019 report focused on chocolate consumers in the US, the NCA establishes some interesting candy consumption trends. Most consumers consider chocolate candy a treat they enjoy on average 2-3 times a week.
For 84% of customers, chocolate is just a treat and never a meal replacement. Moreover, 83% of chocolate buyers believe such products can be part of a balanced and healthy diet.
9. The average US household consumption of chocolate sweets is 2.6 times a week.
Among all consumers, 39% responded they eat such products once a week or less. Respective 31% and 27% said they consumed chocolate candy more than four times a week and 2-3 times a week. Only 3% of shoppers said they never eat chocolate treats in a typical week.
10. 90% of chocolate candy consumers go for mainstream products.
The NCA establishes three main categories of chocolate candy: mainstream, premium, and fine chocolate.
About 90% of consumers go for the mainstream options like Hershey, Baby Ruth, and Snickers. A fewer 70% consume premium chocolate such as Ferrero, Lindt, and Ghirardelli. Finally, fine chocolate candy is enjoyed by less than one-third (27%) of consumers.
Interestingly, the highest share of fine chocolate consumers of 31% was seen among younger millennials. About 27%, 29%, and 24% of Older Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers consumed such confectionery.
11. 81% of people feel that it is okay to eat candy from time to time as a way to treat themselves.
About 4 out of 5 (81%) American consumers believe that consuming candies as an occasional treat is fine.
Even though 77% of all customers believe that emotional well-being and physical health are closely related, most find eating candy acceptable from time to time.
12. Over 80% of parents monitor their kids’ candy consumption.
Five out of six (83%) parents monitor how much confectionery their children eat. Moreover, three out of four (75%) American parents discuss candy consumption and finding the right balance with their kids.
These figures show increased awareness of the negative impact of overconsumption of sweets like chocolates, licorice, mints, etc. Parents are willing to invest their time in educating their children and building healthy eating habits.
13. In 2020, 268.09 million Americans consumed candy and chocolate.
According to the latest Statista data, 268.09 million US citizens consumed candy in 2020, while 61 million didn’t. In the upcoming year, candy consumption in the United States kept growing at a modest pace. Hence, in 2021, about 269.43 Americans responded positively to eating chocolates and candy.
14. The US market for candy is expected to grow by 1.8 million people each year.
Based on previous data, Statista’s team of experts forecasted that the consumption of chocolates and candy in the US would keep on rising. According to their projections, the number of people who would consume these products in 2022, 2023, and 2024 is 271.31 million, 273.18 million, and 275.03 million.
The expected annual growth of the number of people who consume candy is 1.87 million between 2022 and 2023 and 1.85 between 2023 and 2024. Put differently, America’s candy consumer base is expected to increase by at least 1.8 million people a year.
15. Candy consumption in the United States increased by 17.06% in ten years.
Statistics show that in 2011 about 230.16 million Americans consumed chocolates and candy. This figure has been steadily increasing over the following ten years and nearly hit 270 million (269.43m) in 2021.
By contrast, the number of people who don’t consume these products dropped from 77.31 million in 2011 to 61.39 million in 2021. These figures reveal a negative 10-year change of 20.59%.
So, while the number of consumers grew, the number of those preferring a healthier lifestyle decreased.
Candies and Holidays Statistics
16. Candy spending is among the top three profit generators during the Easter season.
In 2021, American consumers spent the most money on food, gifts, and candy. Each of these categories noted a year-over-year increase in average spending per person. The most money went to food ($52.50) and gifts ($31.06). Yet, Americans do like to splurge on chocolates, biscuits, licorice, and other sweet delights too.
The average candy spending during Easter jumped from $23.30 in 2020 to $25.22 in 2021. This trend of increased spending aligns with the Statista forecast that candy consumption in the United States will grow in the upcoming years.
17. Candy lovers are always on the hunt for good deals on their favorite products.
Not all Americans celebrate Easter, but many of those who don’t are on the lookout for Easter shopping deals. Over half (52%) of consumers who said they don’t celebrate the holiday admitted to spending an average of $21.11 on Easter deals.
The most popular item for this category of shoppers was – surprise, surprise – CANDY!
18. Americans consume $3.4 billion worth of candies in the period leading to Valentine’s Day.
Candies are traditionally given as Valentine’s Day gifts. Hence, the six-week period leading towards the day that celebrates love typically generates over $3 billion.
In 2022, Americans were extra generous, and candy sales reached $3.6 billion.
19. Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween.
About 158 million Americans celebrate Halloween each year. Candy is a central theme during this holiday, and 95% of those who participate in Halloween purchase candy. This massive consumer base spends about $2.08 billion on about 600 million pounds of Halloween candy.
Fun fact, that’s the equivalent to the weight of six Titanic ships’.
20. On average, Americans consume 3.4 pounds of Halloween candy.
If you’re not sure how much that is, here are some everyday items that typically weigh about 3 pounds. We have a table lamp, a small bag of potatoes, a laptop, or a steam iron. So, we’d say that’s a bit too much for our taste! The average person who goes trick or treating typically intakes about 3 cups of sugar. Yikes.
And kids take it to the next level during Halloween. Many of them consume up to 7,000 calories during the holiday, and most of those come from candy intake. To burn all those calories, they need to walk for about 180 miles and 60 hours.
Candy Consumption During COVID-19
21. Total confectionary sales during the pandemic grew 4.1%.
Research by the National Confectioners Association shows that COVID-19 boosted candy sales by 4.1%. Total confectionery sales reached $10.6 billion, and most of the revenue came from chocolate candies. In fact, $6.8 billion or nearly 65% of candy sales amid COVID-19 were chocolates, while the remaining $3.8 billion were non-chocolate candies.
Chocolate confectioneries are getting more popular faster too. Their total sales jumped by 5.5%, whereas the ones of non-chocolate candies grew by only 1.6%. Not only do Americans love candy, but they also have a specific taste for it, or so it seems.
22. Candy consumers have tried new things since the pandemic started.
With bad news around every corner and lockdowns, candy consumers shuffled things up with their purchasing habits. Nearly 60% (59%) of those who purchased confectioneries experimented with different pack sizes. Moreover, respective 46% and 42% of customers went for different items and different brands.
Old habits aren’t easily broken, though. About 94% of Americans who typically consume chocolate candies stayed true to their taste even after the pandemic started. During COVID-19, chocolate candy remains a favorite among customers; 92% bought such products compared to 80% of customers who purchased non-chocolate confectionery.
23. Online candy shopping increased, but it isn’t as sweet.
As visiting crowded spaces wasn’t safe anymore, consumers turned massively towards online shopping. This trend has affected candy customers, too, as 42% of them reported purchasing confectionery online. Consequently, the chocolate and non-chocolate online sales flourished by 75.5% and 77%, respectively.
However, online shopping isn’t doing favors to candy consumption. About 46% of shoppers claimed they were less likely to buy candies online compared to when in-store shopping.
Confectionery Intake of Kids Statistics
24. Adults who live in a household with kids are more likely to consume candy.
Experian did research focused on candy consumption among kids and households with children. Even though the data is from 2009 and there isn’t any newer information, these are still relevant trends that help us better understand sweets intake.
It turns out people who live with kids under their roof are more likely to consume candy! About 75% of American adults eat chocolate candy. By comparison, 76% of those with children in the house are likely to do the same.
Around 74% of Americans without kids in the household are likely to eat sweets. Moreover, those who live with kids have a higher likelihood of eating at least ten servings of candy a month.
25. Having kids affects the type of candy package households consume the most.
Households with kids are much more likely to purchase individual king-size bars and individual regular-size bars too. Miniatures packages and packages of loose candy are the least popular in such families.
By comparison, households without children are more likely to purchase and consume miniatures packages, multi-pack of bars, and packages of loose candy. Fun-size packages and individual king-size bars are the least common type of candy consumed in child-free families.
26. 96% of American kids aged 6-11 consume candy.
While children of all ages seem to love candy, the older ones seem to consume it the most. Those aged 10-11 typically consume at least six servings per month, while most kids aged 6-7 consume 3-5 servings. The typical monthly intake of sweets for most children from the 8-9 age group was 1-2.
Economic Impact of Candy Consumption in the United States
27. The US confectionery industry employs over 200,000 people.
The NCA calls the confectionery industry ‘The Power of Sweet’ for a good reason. This sector creates 203,248 jobs, most of which are retail jobs. The rest are manufacturing and wholesale as well as broker jobs.
Besides these direct positions, the candy industry also creates nearly half a million indirect jobs. It seems that eating candy not only makes you feel good but it also supports the economy.
28. The American candy industry’s economic output is $49 billion.
Moreover, all those jobs result in about $10.5 billion paid in wages. We also must mention the $13.7 billion generated in federal, state, and local taxes.
According to the NCA, one US confectionery manufacturing job supports 11 other jobs in the economy. There are 1,613 candy manufacturing facilities countrywide.
Candy is magical in different ways. It makes people feel good, and consumers often associate it with positive words like happiness, good mood, and delight. Aside from being a delicious treat, candies are also a multibillion industry that drives the economy and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Naturally, overconsumption comes with consequences, and that’s why more and more parents are involved in how much sweets their children eat. Yet, when used in moderation, candy consumption creates a win-win situation for everyone involved, from manufacturers to end-users.
Candy is a weird thing. We humans are really strange about our food—we want it to be nutritious and delicious, but we also want it to be fun and exciting.
Candy has got all of that going on. It’s incredibly exciting—for kids, especially, candy is like a precious treasure. And for adults, candy is a way to indulge in something sweet without the guilt of consuming more calories than we should be.
We were pretty surprised to find out how much sugar people consume in a day, but maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised after all—the human body does love sugar!
As always, feel free to hit us up with more questions or comments—we’re always glad to hear from you!
That’s all for now, candy lovers.