With candy corn commonly referenced as “Halloween’s most contentious sweet,” there is much to say about the history of its development. Containing the common candy flavors of honey, sugar, butter, and vanilla, there is much to be said for the role that candy corn plays in your candy dishes during the Halloween season. It’s a fall classic and fulfills many people’s sweet tooth during the season.
Based on the colors of the fall harvest, the yellow, orange, and white of candy corn represent actual corn. While people tend to either love or hate this candy, it’s still a staple of the season, and there is much to be said for the history of its development.
Candy Corn was originally developed in the 1880s with the name “Chicken Feed” by the Wunderle Candy Company, now Jelly Belly. Initial production began in 1888, with regular manufacturing starting in 1898.
After the regular production of this confection started, the continued seasonal popularity led to its continuous retail value today. Given the challenges of production at the time, it was only produced seasonally from late August through the fall. With it becoming a favorite candy during the Halloween season, the increased value of Candy Corn developed quickly from the beginning of its regular production.
Over the years, other candy companies started making candy corn as well. Jelly Belly is still one of these companies, but two other regulars include Brach’s and Ferrara Candy Company. Brach’s makes about 85% of the total amount of candy corn produced during the Halloween season.
Another interesting fact about the launch of the candy corn market was that its original goal market was that of the rural society due to its agricultural nature. Because the tri-color of candy corn made it stand out from other agricultural candies made to look like chestnuts, turnips, and clover leaves that were already popular at the time.
As time went on and the manufacturing processes in America became more automated, candy corn was produced year-round by candy companies. It is a very popular bulk confectionery or penny candy, but it is still most popular in the fall and part of the Halloween celebration. Even today, the National Confectioners Association has determined October 30 (or Halloween Eve) to be National Candy Corn Day.