There is no denying that candy and celebrations go hand-in-hand and Christmas is no exception. What is Christmas without candy canes? Candy plays an essential role in the festive weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year, making Christmas the third biggest holiday for candy sales.

Candy canes, chocolate Santas, Hershey Kisses and ribbon candy all signify winter celebrations and add a sweet touch to holiday parties. For just this one holiday, the United States produces 1.76 billion candy canes each year.11 Beyond simply eating and enjoying, candy is used in countless recipes and crafts during the Christmas season, whether it’s in a recipe for a cookie exchange or to keep the kids busy decorating a gingerbread house. Candy as a gift – either as a stocking stuffer or in a gift swap – is also extremely popular, especially with the prevalence of higher-end chocolates like Lindt and Ghirardelli.

christmas candy

Here’s a few impressive stats that illustrate the impact that candy has on Christmas and the winter holidays:

  • 51% of overall candy consumers purchase seasonal or holiday candy. (Supermarket News)
  • The United States produces 1.76 billion candy canes each year. (
  • The Natl. Confectioner’s Association polled 1,000 adults and 89% said candy played a role in their holiday by:
    • Placing candy in a bowl: 72%
    • Giving/receiving a box of chocolates: 70%
    • Giving/receiving a holiday stocking filled with goodies: 63%
    • Creating a gingerbread house: 19% (National Confectioners Association)
  • More than 150 million chocolate Santas will be made for the winter holiday season. (National Confectioners Association)
  • 28% of people buy candy for holiday entertaining. (Supermarket News)