We talk a lot about power...the power of money, the power of the weather, even the power of a kind word or sincere compliment. But have you ever considered the power of candy?
Seriously...We mean the decadent display of influence that small sweet treats wield is astounding when you stop to think about it. Candy creates smiles, builds relationships, and creates memories. Loved by children and adults of all ages, candy’s capacity to influence culture is incomparable.
For instance, consider Halloween. If you have siblings or went trick-or-treating with your friends, you probably remember the rush back to home base when you proudly dumped your entire sugary load on the floor? The goal was to examine every piece and sort them into categories: the kinds you like, the ones you didn’t. And the chocolate, the Holy Grail of Halloween candy, went in a specific spot close to your side to keep someone from swiping a piece when you weren’t looking. Suckers went together as did hard candy in wrappers. Gum was grouped in its own pile and any homemade treats (popcorn balls especially) were handled with care. And any neighbors that handed out things like pencils, toothbrushes, apples, or raisins were discussed in detail - those addresses were earmarked so that they could be dutifully avoided the next year.
Then...the bartering began. The post-trick-or-treating negotiation game is the one place where we learn about sugar’s true power. With the skill and strategy of a high-level attorney negotiating a billion-dollar deal, you stated your first offer. Looking carefully around the floor, your opponents sitting cross-legged and hopeful...you strategically offer a small packet of candy corn in exchange for two pieces of gum. They accept...and so it begins. It isn’t long before someone ups the ante and puts a Hershey’s chocolate mini bar on the center of the floor. Eyes grow wide and mouths water, as that’s when stuff got real.
Needless to say, candy wedges its way into the hearts of children around the world, despite your dentist’s best efforts to the contrary. As adults, the addiction only grows as parents everywhere, free to indulge whenever they want, perfect the art of hiding secret stashes from their kids. Others keep candy jars, baskets, and bowls next to office desks for easy access during the workday. Our biggest celebrations are observed with candy. Everything from birthday pinatas to Christmas stockings and Easter baskets all holds special places in our hearts and our stomachs because of candy.
So, to celebrate Halloween...which is fundamentally nothing more than an excuse to walk around in disguises carrying an empty pillowcase for the purpose of coaxing candy out of your friends and neighbors...we celebrate sugar. It’s one day when we know our sweet tooth will be sated, and we all have our favorites!
Just for fun, we surveyed the Winter-Dent team to find out which confections they craved and which they scorned. 26 respondents were asked to weigh in on a total of 35 different candy selections. Here’s how things shook out:
Chocolate cleaned house carrying a victory seat all 5 of the top choices for most favorite Halloween confection:
#1 - Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with 46% of the vote for the top slot.
#2 - Snickers (runners up for 2nd place was a tie between Hershey Mini Bars and M & Ms)
#3 - Butterfinger - gotta love ‘em - even if they are impossible to pick out of your teeth.
#4 - Skittles/Snickers/Twix/Butterfinger/Milky Way - a 5-way tie with Skittles edging its way in to represent the fruit-flavored candies.
#5 - M & M/Starburst/Reece’s Pieces - Not to be outdone, Starburst laid down the gauntlet and elbowed its chewy fruity goodness into position #5 in a 3-way tie with M & Ms and Reeces’s Pieces (let’s hear it for the irresistible peanut butter/chocolate combo!)
A few people selected their top favorite write-ins. Among that list was:
At the end of the pack came a diverse list of polarizing picks that you either love or you hate.
Coming in first in the list of the last was Swedish Fish, but it wasn’t alone. A 3-way tie for runner-up in our list of candy flunkees were Twizzlers, AirHeads, and sadly, Candy Corn.
#1 - Swedish Fish - runners up included a 3-way tie between Twizzlers, AirHeads, and Candy Corn
#2 - Almond Joy - What is it about Almond Joy that puts it in the end of the pack despite it having the advantage of chocolate? Is it the almond? The coconut?
#3 - Sour Patch Kids - You must have to be a kid to like these guys. Winter-Dent opted to send them to their room without dinner.
#4 - Lemonheads - These tart bombs of citrusy tang are no favorite...at least not for Halloween.
#5 - Runts/Nerds - Kids love them...adults, not so much.
There were write-ins for least favorite as well. A few that made that list included:
Whatever your favorite, or your least favorite, we’re reminded that life is short and time is precious. So go get your favorite candy...but buy two. Share one and eat the other. No regrets!
Happy Halloween, from our team, to yours!