• Reuters

  • iStock

  • iStock

  • Reuters

  • iStock

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

It should come as no surprise that Americans have a sweet tooth. According to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago market research firm, people in the United States spent more than $7 billion for individual-sized chocolate candy bars, bags, and boxes in just one year.

But where is the bulk of that money going? Here, we take a look at those best-selling individual-sized chocolate candies, in sizes under 3.5 ounces, that are satisfying America’s sugar fix. What you’ll find is that oldies are still goodies — many of the top selects have been around since before World War II.

And while we’re looking at individual-sized chocolate candies, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention other sales-toppers. Russell Stover is number one when it comes to gift chocolate boxes, Tic Tac is the best-selling non-chocolate candy, and Wrigley’s is tops when it comes to regular gum sales. Here are the top-selling chocolate candies, per annum.

  • 1. M&Ms

    Reuters

    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

  • 2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

    iStock

    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: The HersheyCompany.com/ SymphonyIRI Group

  • 3. Snickers

    iStock

    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

  • 4. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar

    Reuters

    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

  • 5. Kit Kat

    iStock

    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

    See more of the country's best selling chocolate products.

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