With Halloween right around the corner, we’re beginning to see more and more of those little triangle-shaped, yellow, orange and white candies known as candy corn. My question is: Why is candy corn so popular around Halloween? It definitely can’t be for its taste. All it contains is corn syrup, sugar, and marshmallow. One kernel of candy corn from the makers of Jelly Belly is just over 4 calories, with a one-ounce serving having 110 calories.
Maybe candy corn is popular because of its long history. Candy corn has been around for more than a hundred years. According to the Jelly Belly Candy Company, candy corn was invented in the 1880’s by Philadelphia confectioner George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company. It was very popular among farmers and its look was revolutionary for the candy industry. The Goelitz Confectionary Company started making candy corn in 1898. Although the name has changed to the Jelly Belly Candy Company, they still use the same recipe for making candy corn as they did in the early days.
Candy corn has to be popular for only one reason. It has to be because of its festive color. When I eat it, all I taste is sugar. Just because the recipe has survived two world wars and the Great Depression, doesn’t mean they can’t change the taste. Candy corn has to have more flavor. It’s just too bland. Perhaps that’s why some people mix candy corn with peanuts.
I can’t even fathom how 15 billion kernels of candy corn are sold each year. If people use it mainly for decorations, then it shouldn’t even be edible. During my trick-or-treating days there was always that one person who would throw a handful of loose candy corn into my bag, and I hated it.
I guess I’ll never quite understand why candy corn is so popular. Maybe it’s popular because of the color, maybe it’s popular because of tradition, or maybe it’s popular because it is the success story of one man’s invention. But it can’t be popular because of it’s taste.