America’s Favorite Halloween Candy

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5. Kit Kat
> Sales: $306.51 million
> Unit sales: 275.88 million
> Average price per unit: $1.11
> Introduced: 1935
> Company: Hershey Co.

Sales of few chocolate bars grew faster than Kit Kats over the past year. In that time, the number of Kit Kat bars sold rose 17.8%, while dollar sales rose by more than 22%. Recently, Kit Kat launched a co-promotion with Google, which code-named the most recent version of its Android operating system “KitKat.” The Kit Kat brand, owned by Nestle, is popular worldwide. The Hershey Company, however, licenses and manufactures the chocolate in the United States.

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4. Hershey’s
> Sales: $324.63 million
> Unit sales: 308.42 million
> Average price per unit: $1.05
> Introduced: 1900
> Company: Hershey Co.

Hershey has been making many of its most famous brands for decades, and it has made Hershey’s branded milk chocolate bars since 1900. Although most of the company’s brands have been around for quite a while, Hershey is planning to introduce its first new U.S. brand in decades in 2014. Sales of the company’s long-standing brands have risen recently, mostly because of advertising pushes. According to IRI, sales of standard-size Hershey’s-branded chocolate bars rose by nearly 8% in dollar terms and 7% in unit terms. The brand’s dollar sales for snack sizes, popular around Halloween, have also increased by nearly 12%.

3. Snickers
> Sales: $456.91 million
> Unit sales: 412.81 million
> Average price per unit: $1.11
> Introduced: 1930
> Company: Mars Inc.

Snickers bar sales fell by more than 7% to just under 413 million units in the most recent 52 weeks available. This mirrored the decline in the under 3.5 oz category Mars faced across all of its brands, for which unit sales fell by 7.7%. Snickers has been around since 1930, and in recent years has made a major advertising push with its celebrity-filled, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” campaign. The first commercial in the campaign, which aired during the 2010 Super Bowl, featured actress Betty White getting tackled in a backyard football game. It was an instant sensation.

2. M&M’s
> Sales: $500.82 million
> Unit sales: 435.18 million
> Average price per unit: $1.15
> Introduced: 1941
> Company: Mars Inc.

Sales of M&M’s only trail sales of top chocolate brand Reese’s by a small amount. But the brand lost its position as the best-selling chocolate after sales fell by more than 3% during the 52 weeks ending in early September. In terms of total units sold, M&M’s did even worse, with unit sales down 7.5% from the same period the year before. M&M’s also may not see the same sales boost other candy makers see during the Halloween season. Although it is the second highest selling regular size candy, it ranks only eighth among brands in snack-sized sales.

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1. Reese’s
> Sales: $509.85 million
> Unit sales: 407.44 million
> Average price per unit: $1.25
> Introduced: 1928
> Company: Hershey Co.

Reese’s regular size (less than 3.5 oz) peanut butter cups jumped by 7.7% to just under $510 million in the past year, outstripping M&M’s from its top spot as the best-selling chocolate. As a result, the brand overtook M&M’s as the nation’s best-selling chocolate candy. Overall, with Reese’s and several other major brands sales growing over the past 12 months, the Hershey Company dominated the market for standard-size chocolate candy, accounting for roughly 49% of customer spending. Halloween marks a major sales opportunity for Reese’s as well. The brand leads in sales of snack-sized packages, which are often given out to trick-or-treaters.

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