America’s 10 Favorite Chocolate Candies

Do Americans eat more Kit Kats or Twix?
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America’s 10 Favorite Chocolate Candies

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From Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to Baby Ruth, there’s no shortage of tasty candy bars. But which ones are America’s favorites?

#10 Almond Joy

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Revenue Generated: $60.8 million 
Unit Sales: 62.2 million 

Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing, which was established in 1919, didn’t invent the Almond Joy bar until 1946. Designed as the nuttier sibling to Mounds, it’s made of sweetened coconut, topped with two almonds, and covered in dark chocolate. Cadbury purchased Peter Paul in 1978 and Hershey bought the company’s U.S. operations in 1988.

Source: The Hershey Company, SymphonyIRI Group

#9 Milky Way

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Revenue Generated: $70.2 million 
Unit Sales: 84 million 

Created in 1923, this chocolate bar was named after a popular malted milkshake, not the Milky Way galaxy. It was designed to capture the taste of the malted drink and is made of chocolate malt-flavored nougat and caramel-covered milk chocolate. Milky Way also has the distinction of being Mars, Incorporated’s first candy bar, created in Frank Mars’ kitchen. At the time, it sold for just a nickel. 

Source: Mars Chocolate North America, SymphonyIRI Group

#8 Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme

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Revenue Generated: $80.4 million 
Unit Sales: 80.1 million 

This is the newest candy on our list. Hershey’s Cookies ’n’ Creme first hit the candy stands in 1994, and was billed as a unique twist on the classic Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar. It’s made of white chocolate and promises cookies in every bite. 

Source: The Hershey Company, SymphonyIRI Group

#7 3 Musketeers

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Revenue Generated: $100.7 million 
Unit Sales: 102.5 million 

When it was first introduced in 1932, 3 Musketeers was made up of three pieces and three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The candy bar is now a single piece of fluffy chocolate-flavored nougat covered with milk chocolate. The 3 Musketeers family recently expanded to include Mint and Truffle Crisp bars.

Source: Mars Chocolate North America, SymphonyIRI Group

#6 Twix

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Revenue Generated: $169.9 million 
Unit Sales: 153.4 million 

Bringing in just under $170 million in sales, Mars' Twix sits right in the middle of our top 10 list. The crunchy cookie, caramel, and chocolate bar is a relative newcomer to the American marketplace compared other top sellers (it was initially produced in the United Kingdom in 1967). It was introduced in the United States in 1979. 

Source: Mars Chocolate North America, SymphonyIRI Group

#5 Kit Kat

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Revenue Generated: $201.8 million 
Unit Sales: 202.5 million 

This British creation was launched in 1935 by Rowntree Limited of York and was originally called Chocolate Crisp. It was later renamed Kit Kat, allegedly after the Kit Kat club, an eighteenth-century Whig literacy club in England. Nestlé acquired Rowntree in 1988 and now produces Kit Kat for over 70 countries. In the United States, however, you’ll see a different name on the label. Hershey has been the licensed U.S. manufacturer of the chocolate bar since 1969. 

Source: KitKat.com, TheHersheyCompany.com, SymphonyIRI Group

#4 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar

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Revenue Generated: $249 million 
Unit Sales: 264.6 million 

The oldest candy bar on our list, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar was developed in 1900 by Milton S. Hershey. Hershey wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the great taste of milk chocolate, which was a privilege only the wealthy enjoyed at the time. So he started his chocolate operation right in the heart of Pennsylvania dairy country and charged just a nickel for his candy bar. From 1941 to 1945, the Hershey Company produced more than a billion rations bars for troops serving in World War II. These days, Hershey makes more than 373 million of its signature candy bar every year. 

Source: The Hershey Company/ SymphonyIRI Group

#3 Snickers

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Revenue Generated: $386.2 million 
Unit Sales: 405.3 million 

Mars calls Snickers the world’s most popular chocolate bar, although it is third on our list of U.S. chocolate candy sales. Introduced in 1930, the bar was named after one of the Mars family’s favorite horses. More than 99 tons of peanuts go into making over 15 million Snickers bars each day, and each bar contains around 16 peanuts.

Source: Mars Chocolate North America, SymphonyIRI Group

#2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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Revenue Generated: $398.9 million 
Unit Sales: 366.2 million 

The inventor of these tasty treats, Harry Burnett Reese, was a former dairy employee of Milton S. Hershey who decided to strike out on his own and make a living in the candy business. Reese began selling his peanut butter cups in five-pound boxes for candy assortments in the 1920s, and the candy soon surged in popularity. In 1963, things came full circle when Hershey bought the company for $23.5 million. Several decades later, the candy is still a hit. The company claims if you were to line up the Reese’s sold annually, they would wrap around the earth several times. 

Source: TheHersheyCompany.com/ SymphonyIRI Group

#1 M&Ms

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Revenue Generated: $406.7 million 
Unit Sales: 417.7 million 

The best-selling chocolate treat on our list has been around since 1941. It was designed with the intention of bringing consumers a chocolate that wouldn’t melt in their hands. M&Ms, which were named after their inventors Forrest Mars and R. Bruce Murrie, were given to GIs serving in World War II, and the chocolates even went on a space mission in 1982. M&Ms are red, yellow, blue, orange, and green, but it's red that gets top billing — the red M&M has been the official "spokescandy" since 1952. There are now eleven permanent varieties of M&Ms candies, as well as seasonal offerings.

Source: Mars Chocolate North America, SymphonyIRI Group