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JULY 8, 2010 11:38AM

25 Top Selling Candies: Is your favorite on the list?

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Top-Selling Sweets
We are undeniably candy traditionalists. While new confections are introduced at a rate of around 2,000 each year, the average age of the top 25 candies sold in this country is 50 years.
And who knew we chewed so much gum?

#25 Ice Breakers have been a consistent top seller since first making a splash with their distinctive two-door hockey puck packaging.

The Orbit brand made its first appearance as a replacement during WWII when Wrigley shipped all its Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, and Doublemint gum to the troops. Discontinued after the war, it was brought back in 2001. #24 Orbit White, the tooth-whitening version, was an instant hit.

# 23 Dentyne began life as a cavity-promoting, sugared chewing gum that was inexplicably named for a conjunction of dental and hygiene. The gum has been  around since 1899, but the sugar was only recently removed.

# 22 Tic Tacs: what rattled around in our pockets before 1969, when we were introduced to this Italian import and its distinctive plastic box?

80 million a day roll off the assembly lines, where machines have thankfully replaced the hand-wrapping of #21 Hershey’s Kisses.

Chew 8 pieces a day for 4 weeks and #20 Trident White promises whiter teeth. Ever so slightly whiter. And that’s a lot of gum.

It’s sort of chocolate that coats flaky, orange sort of peanut brittle, and it’s #19 Butterfinger.

Here in the U.S., #18 Milky Way is filled with chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel. Everywhere else in the world it’s known as a 3 Musketeers bar. Take away the caramel and you have the American version of 3 Musketeers, which is known the world over as a Milky Way. Got it?

When it comes to #17 Starburst, we all love to hate the lime. We wished so hard for a whole pack of strawberry-flavored cuboid taffy that a one-flavor version is now available.
Why 3 Musketeers? #16 started out as a trio of nougats in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

The true Dove Bar (#15) is the chocolate-dipped ice cream. The candy is the after-thought.

Like M&Ms without the chocolate, right down to the ‘S’ stamp on each one, #14 Skittles contain pig-based gelatin, making them unfit for vegans and vegetarians, Jews and Muslims.

Sorry, but #13 Twizzlers are not licorice. The only thing they have in common with the real deal is the extrusion process used in the manufacture of both candies.

In 2000, #12 Twix was reformulated to have a crunchier, less dense texture, and the new Twix has become the world-wide standard. Take that, New Coke.

#11 Eclipse is the first—and so far only—gum to contain magnolia bark extract, which has been scientifically proven to kill bad-breath germs.

You can find #10 Extra in flavors like cranberry-lime, peach-mint, and honeysuckle flower, but the original mixed berry-bubblegum was discontinued years ago.

Many in the U.S. have been captivated by the Japanese Kit Kat phenomenon.  On these shores, we are lucky to find a peanut butter version of our #9 confection, while dozens of exotic flavors are created just for the Japanese market. There you’ll find Kit Kat flavors like cheesecake, soy sauce, vinegar, and cantaloupe.

Stride, #8, has managed to crack the top 10 in just four short years since its introduction. More of a branding success than confectionary, Stride hit the mark with its youthful customers through irreverent advertising, a viral YouTube video, and affiliations with video games and amusement parks.

A mere three-year old, 5 (#7) is marketed as a premium gum designed to stimulate the five senses. 5 comes in a sleek, premium package and carries a premium price tag.

Before the advent of artificial sweeteners, sugared #6 Trident claimed to promote dental health through the addition of three dental enzymes (Trident—get it?). When those “4 out of 5 dentists” were busy recommending” sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum,” Trident contained saccharine. Today it uses xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Remember Orbit (#5)? Wrigley’s temporary WWII substitute came roaring back in 2001 to take the top chewing gum spot.

World-wide, $2 billion worth of #4 Snickers are sold each year, many as a deep-fried treat at state fairs across the U.S.

There is an unpleasant tang to a Hershey Bar, #3. A well-guarded trade secret allows the Hershey Company to cut milk costs through some kind of freshness stabilization. We’re used to the taste here in the U.S., but there are fewer fans in the rest of the world.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, #2. Genius.

#1 M&Ms started life as a practical solution to a problem: how to get chocolate treats in the hands of soldiers in the field without melting. The patented process, creating a hard-candy shell around tempered milk chocolate, became a world-wide phenomenon with countless spin-offs and brand extensions that can be found in more than 100 countries. This summer saw the addition of  a new, salted pretzel-filled variety.

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None of my faves were on the list, I suspect because I was born in Canada and candy is about re-living childhood things. Thankfully I can get a few here in the City of Wind.

Let me know if you've tried any of these: Smarties, Eat-More, Crunchie, Aero (mint - LOVE the mint), um... Oh Henry... I'm sure there are more. I'm willing to drive across town to get these, and this is a big town!
Aunt Messy..
Nothing like Smarties and Aero bars.
but I do love 3 musketeers
rated with hugs
Aunt Messy/Linda,
I'm not a Smarties fan but I do love an Aero (agree about the mint). It somehow feels more virtuous because it is so light.
As a kid, with Michigan relatives, I used to make the reverse trip to buy Cadbury and other candies in Canada. I am also a fan of the Australian Tim Tams- like Twix only way better.
Fifth Avenue - even after they took the almonds out. Still the best.
Got me salivating for a Snickers.
I'm a bit surprised by all the chewing gums on the list. I hate chewing gum!
I think the 5th Avenue should bump Butterfingers off the list. They do about the same thing but 5thAve. is definitely the superior bar. Even sans almonds.
Mmmm...Reeses, Hershey bars, Snickers....YUM! But no Heath bar is heinous!
Peanut butter cups, oh, how i lovve thee, peanut butter cups!
Well, perhaps the regular M & M's can account for the peanut M & M's not being on the list. And I'm surprised by all that gum! Another big favorite for me: Red Atomic Fireballs. I've burnt my tongue too many times to mention and am embarrassed to confess that I broke a tooth on a fireball one time. I guess they're a "hurt so good" kind of candy.

Thanks for an entertaining post!
Heath bar- maybe.
Necco Wafers- dream on. Except for the black ones.
This list makes me recall childhood trips to the candy store. What a thrill! My all time fave is Snickers, but I also loved ChocoLite and Whatchamacallit bars. In Minnesota, where my hubs' family is from, they have a wonderful thing called a Nut Goody. Ever had one?
Anything maple- mmmm.
It's funny. In France, "candy" and chocolate are sold in separate sections (if not stores). I'm not much of a sweet eater but am surprised by how much gum showed up on the list. The nostalgic part of me misses Goobers and Raisinets.