Press release

Penn, Schoen and Berland Determines Americans Are Ready for a Sugar Rush – As Long as It Involves Chocolate

Sponsored by Businesswire

As Halloween draws near, it’s no surprise that Americans have candy on the brain. But which ones? PSB Research, a full-service strategic consultancy, wanted to find out what candies Americans liked best, and how they pick their Halloween candy of choice.

So What Is America’s Favorite Candy?

PSB Research has found that chocolate is America’s favorite Halloween treat by a mile. Americans especially like candy that combines chocolate with layers of salty and sweet such as peanuts, caramel or wafers.

Americans’ Top 20 Candies





Peanut M & Ms





3 Musketeers


Kit Kat



Reese’s Pieces







Milky Way



100 Grand


Snickers Xtreme Bars



Baby Ruth







M & Ms



Rolo Candy Rolls


Snickers Pumpkins





Crunch Bar



Hershey’s Cookies & Cream

Fruit flavors and gummy candies, while popular, are less highly ranked. The highest ranked fruit-flavored candy was Starburst (29th), with Sour Patch Kids (32nd), and Skittles (33rd) following.

Halloween Insights that Count

“American consumers are excited to get into the spirit of the holiday, and that means putting their purchasing power behind their favorite candy,” said Anne Rivers, EVP of Strategy and New Business at PSB Research. “Their motivations for choice are based on personal preference, with 34 percent of respondents saying they buy the candy they like, 23 percent picking brands with good reputations, and just 22 percent picking what their families like. That opens the door to a new understanding of brand loyalty, and the ways in which taste preferences can cement consumer purchase.”

Americans are prepared to shop for candy…

  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans plan to buy candy this Halloween, to pass out or just eat for themselves.
  • Between planning for trick-or-treaters and stocking up their personal supply, respondents said they expect to spend about $30 just on Halloween candy.
  • Women are more likely to identify as value-focused: 30 percent of women say they shop for the candy that is cheapest or offers the best value in the store, compared to just 18 percent of men.

…but regardless of how they shop, Americans are certainly ready to eat candy.

  • A full third of American adults say they eat “a lot” of candy around Halloween, regardless of their parental status or plans to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters.
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents said they eat some of the candy they pass out and 36 percent said they buy candy just for themselves.
  • Men have the strongest sweet tooth: 40 percent of men vs. 26 percent of women say they typically eat “a lot” of Halloween candy.

About the Survey

PSB conducted an online survey of a representative sample of 609 adults nationwide from October 14-16, 2019. We used Bandit MaxDiff, a new capability for PSB that allows us to test preference for a great number of options, using machine learning and over- and under-sampling of the winners and losers to collect respondent preferences over time. We tested 66 common Halloween candy options.

About PSB

PSB is a full-service custom research and analytics consultancy. We offer custom research-based solutions including, fast-turn, quantitative and qualitative that are underpinned by innovation and our strong legacy of custom design and hard to reach audiences. We create insights that give global brands, local businesses, and world leaders the confidence to make informed decisions. We are collaborative and act as strategic partners to help clients tackle the most difficult brand, business and communications issues. We collect all of the useful nuggets from various sources to go deeper and address the most difficult challenges, and find the WHY behind the data to help leaders make informed decisions. We help keep data and insights at the heart of every decision. PSB is a member of the BCW Group, which is part of WPP, the world leader in communications services. We create the Insights That Count TM

PSB is a full-service strategic consultancy that offers custom research-based solutions to create Insights That Count™. Learn more about PSB at or contact Anne Rivers at