Conversation Hearts Are the Most Popular Valentine’s Day Candy in the U.S.
After a bit of a slump, conversation hearts are back on top of the list of most-purchased Valentine’s Day candies, according to new data.
For the second year in a row after a bit of a slump (more on that later), conversation hearts have taken the top spot on the list of most popular Valentine’s Day candy: Sweets retailer CandyStore.com has released its annual research on candy sales in the U.S., and these old-timey, chatty, little chunks of love top the charts in 17 states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, both Carolinas, and more.
According to the CandyStore.com data, 11.4% of total Valentine’s Day sales in 2022 were conversation hearts, making these sweets the most-purchased candy for the fifth time since 2016. The second-place candy, heart-shape boxes of chocolate, were 9.6% of candy sales: After two years of chocolatey dominance in 2019 and 2020, popular opinion has shifted back to those nostalgia-inducing hearts.
You may have noticed these Valentine’s Day favorites were harder to find in 2019 and 2020 after a change in ownership of Sweethearts, one of the top producers of candy hearts, led to conversation heart production challenges. Unfortunately, it took a while for shortages and some problems with printing those sweet nothings on the beloved pastel-colored hearts to be resolved. But, after a slow start in 2021, conversation hearts made their full comeback in 2022 and are more popular than ever.
The National Retail Federation reports that people will spend around $26 billion celebrating love on Valentine’s Day, and it’s estimated that 57% of people plan to purchase delectable treats.
So how long does it take to sell 8 billion (yes, 8 billion!) candy hearts? While production for Valentine’s Day takes 11 months, it takes only six short weeks to sell the majority of candy hearts each year. That’s a massive amount of “be mine” and “love me” sentiments shared!
Of course, conversation hearts aren’t the only confections gifted to spouses, partners, parents, children, classmates, friends, and co-workers during Valentine’s Day. According to the CandyStore.com survey, in an unexpected chocolate-flavored upset, Hershey’s kisses replaced M&M’s in Oregon and Pennsylvania for the number one spot, bumping the colorful candy-coated treats out of second place nationally. There are 58 million pounds of chocolate purchased (and likely consumed!) during the week of Valentine’s day, and it’s a good bet that chocoholics in every state will be happy to receive either of these delicious treats.
Other favorite candies across the country include a heart-shape box of chocolates, candy necklaces, cupid corn (candy corn in Valentine’s Day pink and red), and chocolate roses. While you’re shopping for your candy of choice, don’t forget a card for your sweetheart—one billion of them are exchanged on Valentine’s Day.
Among those buying candy, not everyone is planning to give it away. In fact, CandyStore.com’s survey found that 47% of people plan to buy themselves a box of candy to enjoy. Why not treat yourself?