For something that’s basically chewy sugar, candy corn has a surprising number of haters. But even those who can’t stomach the cloying treat have to respect its resilience. Candy corn has been a prominent symbol of Halloween for decades—and we know which states are to blame.
California purchases more Brach’s candy corn—both Classic Candy Corn and the Autumn Mix, which includes regular candy corn, pumpkin-shaped pieces, and the cocoa-flavored Harvest Corn—than any other state, followed by Texas, Florida, and New York. As Food & Wine shrewdly notes, these are also the four most populous states in the country, so they essentially just have more consumers in general.
That said, the list of 20 most populous states doesn’t sync up perfectly with Brach’s list of the biggest candy corn buyers. Michigan, only the 10th most populous state, came in fifth on Brach’s list; and Indiana, the 17th most populous state, took Brach’s 10th spot. Iowa and Kansas, which both rank in the thirties by population, are 11th and 12th when it comes to candy corn consumption.
But before you conclude that the entire Midwest is gobbling up more than its proportional share of corn-shaped corn syrup, Ohio would like a word: Though it’s the seventh most populous state, it didn’t even make Brach’s top 20 list. Alabama, meanwhile, purchases less candy corn than any other state, despite cracking the top 25 population-wise.
If the founder of candy corn, a 19th-century Philadelphia confectioner named George Renninger, were still around today, he’d probably at least be happy that Pennsylvania came in seventh place on Brach’s list. You can learn more about candy corn’s origin story here.
[h/t Food & Wine]