It's no secret people spend big on Valentine's Day. Flowers, jewelry, romantic weekends away. Candy is no exception, as it's expected that $1.7 Billion will be spent on candy for the sweetest holiday. Here are the top Valentine's Day candies by state. Also, there's a new king in town, and it doesn't come in a heart-shaped box.

Every year the National Retail Federation estimates spending for holidays like Valentine’s Day. They divide it up into categories like jewelry, clothing, gift certificates, you name it. This year for Valentine’s Day they are estimating a slight drop off in spending in all categories. Except one: Candy.

"It’s too popular on Valentine’s Day to ignore," said Clair Robins, Director of Outreach of Candy Store. "That got us thinking. What’s the most popular Valentine’s Day candy? We thought it might be obvious, but we went ahead with some research anyway. We’re glad we did."

"It took some digging through sales data," she added. "We went through over 10 years of it. Candy Store is a leading online bulk candy store, so we have access to a lot of it." According to Robins, they found out that from January 1st through February 14th sales data from their records and industry partners, reveal a few interesting things. "First, we looked at the top Valentine’s candy overall. An interesting trend revealed itself in the numbers. Those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that have reigned supreme in our minds as the quintessential Valentine’s Day candy? They are not number one anymore. They’re been usurped," she said.

Valentine's Day Candy Data from

The infographic shows that conversation hearts have been gaining ground on the heart-shaped boxes and finally overtook them last year. "It’s the same trend we observed over the full ten years. Conversation hearts just keep getting more popular," Clair said. "Though we won’t have all the figures in until after February 14th, 2018 it's expected to be the same with conversation hearts increasing their lead slightly."

This is a significant deviation from what was expected. The classic heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are so ingrained in our minds as synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Obviously, conversation hearts are popular too, but no one expected them to be more popular. There are dozens of types of Valentine’s Day candy, so the company decided to dig deeper into the data to find out which candy was selling to what states.

The interactive map below illustrates that indeed there are differences from state-to-state. Some of them are pretty surprising.



  •  State By State Preferences:
  1. ​Alabama: Alabamians prefer candy necklaces for Valentine’s Day.
  2. Alaska: Alaska’s favorite Valentine’s day candy is the ubiquitous heart-shaped box of chocolates.
  3. Arizona: The Petrified Forest in northwest Arizona is a unique and beautiful sight top behold. If you are petrified of telling your Valentine how you feel. Try some of Arizona’s favorite Valentine’s Day candy, conversation hearts, to get your message across.
  4. Arkansas: A crystal bowl full of Hershey Kisses sounds like a nice gift for V Day! Kisses are the top Valentine’s themed candy here. Arkansans put away over 75,000 pounds of the stuff.
  5. California: Conversation hearts are the number one Valentine’s Day candy in California.
  6. Colorado: Conversation heart, the number one candy in this state. Over 1986 pounds are purchased for V Day. Box of chocolates was #2, #3 was cupid corn which is the Valentine’s Day version of candy corn.
  7. Connecticut: A box of chocolates were the #1 candy in CT, followed by conversation hearts and Wild Berry Skittles.
  8. Delaware: Over 7100 pounds of Hershey Kisses are bought in DE leading up to Valentine’s Day. 
  9. Florida: Here Over 222,000 pounds of conversation hearts candy was purchased. Heart-shaped chocolate boxes and chocolate flowers were runners up.
  10. Georgia: The official state fish of Georgia is the largemouth bass. We wonder if it could fit a whole box of chocolates in there? Georgia certainly has enough of them to spare. They purchase over 75,000 pounds of them on average leading up to Valentine’s Day. It would take an awful lot of largemouth bass to eat all that!
  11. Hawaii: Here 38,000+ pounds of conversation hearts wer purchased in Hawaii in Valentine’s season.
  12. Idaho: M&Ms were the most popular candy in Idaho. Followed by conversation hearts and Hershey Kisses.
  13. Illinois: This state has a lot of candy and confection history. Chocolate roses are the most popular candy, with people purchasing nearly 53,000 pounds. Conversation hearts came in 2nd, followed by M&Ms.
  14. Indiana: There’s nothing more iconic on Valentine’s Day than a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates. So, it’s no shock that it is Indiana’s most popular V Day candy at over 31,000 pounds.
  15. Iowa: This is the only state whose east and west borders are are 100% formed by water barriers – rivers, in this case. The Missouri River and the Mississippi. M&M. Obviously this is the reason why M&M’s are the state’s most popular Valentine’s Day candy. Conversation hearts came in second, followed by Ghirardelli chocolate.
  16. Kansas: There is a ball of twine in Cawker City that weighs over 20,000 pounds and would measure over 1800 miles unwound. The amount of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates purchased in Kansas is almost 4-times that weight. At over 78,000 pounds, they are the winner for Kansas. Followed by M&Ms.
  17. Kentucky: About 22,000 pounds of chocolate roses are purchased for Valentine’s Day.
  18. Louisiana: The most popular candy in LA for VDay is conversation hearts. 
  19. Maine: At just over 20,000 pounds, chocolate hearts sales in Maine did not quite reach the same volume as lobsters. Forty million pounds (!) of lobster are caught off the shores or Maine. That’s over 90% of the supply for the entire US. 
  20. Maryland: Marylanders will purchase nearly 14000 pounds of M&M’s for the Valentine’s Day holiday.
  21. Massachusetts: Heart-shaped candy boxes is the number one candy in Mass. Chocolate hearts and conversation hearts are runners up.
  22. Michigan: Conversation hearts for the win! Candy corn and it’s variants have taken the top spot for the last 2 holidays. 
  23. Minnesota: For any MNers who aren’t playing golf on Valentine’s Day, conversation hearts is the candy of choice. They are the number one Valentine’s Day candy in this state. Cupid corn was number 2 followed by heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.
  24. Mississippi: The world’s largest shrimp can be found in Pascagoula at the Old Spanish Fort Museum. If you’re planning on making the trip over there for a Valentine’s Day date, make sure to bring the conversation hearts with you. They are the number one Valentine’s Day candy in Mississippi.
  25. Missouri: Conversation hearts are the number one Valentine’s candy in Missouri. Followed by the good old heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.
  26. Montana: Their favorite Valentine’s candy is conversation hearts. Nearly 9,000 pounds around V Day. 
  27. Nebraska: Corn did pop up in this state’s Valentine’s Day favorites as well. Cupid corn, the Valentine’s Day version of candy corn, was the #3 candy. Chocolate hearts took home the gold and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates came in second.
  28. Nevada: Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the US. And #2 in the world, only behind South Africa. That’s not even counting al the gold coming out of Vegas slot machines! But there’s nothing more golden on Valentine’s Day in Nevada than a good ol box of chocolates. Conversation hearts are #2 with chocolate roses coming in #3.
  29. New Hampshire: Conversation hearts were the winners in New Hampshire. Followed by heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and heart-shaped chocolates themselves. They’re all heart up there.
  30. New Jersey: Conversation hearts are the number one V Day candy in Jersey.
  31. New Mexico: Santa Fe has the highest elevation of any US capital. 7000ft. At that height, the amount of chocolate roses New Mexicans purchase during Valentine’s Day would go from sea level to 3 times as high as Santa Fe!
  32. New York: Heart-shaped box of chocolates is the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in New York. Over 72,000 pounds are sold there.
  33. North Carolina: Heart-shaped boxes win in North Carolina. Followed by cupid corn and conversation hearts.
  34. North Dakota: Conversation hearts are the top candy in ND. And did you know that in 1987, North Dakota passed a law making English the official language of the state. What the heck they were speaking all that time before then?! And what did they have on their conversation hearts? Native American sayings?
  35. Ohio: They do love those heart-shaped boxes. Over 53,000 will be purchased there this season.
  36. Oklahoma: Conversation hearts are the winners here. Heart-shaped box of chocolates and chocolate roses are runners up.
  37. Oregon: Chocolate roses is the biggest Valentine’s Day candy in Oregon. Over 32,000 pounds will be purchased this year.
  38. Pennsylvania: M&M’s continues it’s hold over Hershey in it’s own backyard.  M&Ms were also the number one Halloween candy in PA. 
  39. Rhode Island: Rhode islanders love chocolate hearts, buying nearly 5700 pounds around Valentine’s Day.
  40. South Carolina: South Carolina knows all about being sweet. They are the leading peach producer east to the Mississippi. Conversation hearts are number one at over 41,000 pounds.
  41. South Dakota: They love their Hershey Kisses in South Dakota too. Kisses were number one followed by conversation hearts and chocolate hearts.
  42. Tennessee: The winning candy in Tennessee: conversation hearts!
  43. Texas: Stick to heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in Texas. It’s the top candy sold there for the holiday (nearly 700,000 pounds).
  44. Utah: Hershey’s Kisses are the number one candy in Utah with nearly 167,000 pounds sold. M&M’s and conversation hearts are runners up.
  45. Vermont: Vermont’s top Valentine’s Day candy is conversation hearts, followed by candy necklaces.
  46. Virginia: Here they prefer heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates. So surrender your credit card and pick one up for your date.
  47. Washington: The world’s largest building is in Everett, Washington. It’s the final assembly plant for Boeing. Would 80,000 pounds of boxes of chocolates do the trick? (That’s how much the state of Washington buys).
  48. Washington, D.C.: If your cruising around DC on Valentine’s Day make sure to get your special Han or Leia a heart-shaped box of chocolate. Even an area as small as DC still orders over 8900 pounds for the holiday.
  49. West Virginia: Conversation hearts are the top Valentine’s candy here. Over 15,000 pounds sold.
  50. Wisconsin: Bring some Hershey’s Kisses for the skiiers though, it’s the top Valentine’s Day candy in Wisconsin. Over 39,000 pounds.
  51. Wyoming: Wyoming is gorgeous. It also has the lowest population of all US states. The fact that they still order over 10,00 pounds of chocolate roses is pretty astounding!
  • Valentine’s Day Candy Quick Facts
  1.   More than 40 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
  2.   Caramel-flavored chocolates are the most popular in those boxes.
  3.   Chocolate-covered nuts were a close second, according to the NCA.
  4.   Approximately 8.2 billion conversation hearts will be produced this year.
  5.   Conversation heart candy vodka infusions became trendy last year.
  6.   69% of people prefer chocolate over flowers as a Valentine’s Day gift.