(Edited from AP) In a block-long warehouse at the McKeesport Candy Co., wooden pallets are piled high with boxes of candy fangs, wax mustaches, peanut butter and chocolate pumpkins, even a bag of “blood” that resembles a hospital IV.

“The grosser the candy, the better it’s going to sell,” says owner Jon H. Prince.

(Edited from AP) In a block-long warehouse at the McKeesport Candy Co., wooden pallets are piled high with boxes of candy fangs, wax mustaches, peanut butter and chocolate pumpkins, even a bag of “blood” that resembles a hospital IV.

“The grosser the candy, the better it’s going to sell,” says owner Jon H. Prince.

First on the list? Chocolate.

“The truth is that there are many tried and true candy favorites, especially at Halloween,” says Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the National Confectioners Association. “Holidays represent tradition and small traditional favorites are the true kid pleasers on Halloween night.”

Sixty-eight percent of kids say they like to get treats made with chocolate, while 9 percent go for lollipops, 7 percent go for gummy candy and another 7 percent prefer gum, the association said.

And last year sales of gummy candies were on the rise. But it’s not just the little colorful bears you might be used to. Think gory gummy, eyeballs, tongues, fingers, brains, even rats are all popular for Halloween.

In all, Halloween candy accounts for about $2.2 billion in sales a year, the biggest holiday for confections after Easter.

According to Yahoo, the top searched Halloween candy online are Hershey’s chocolate and Kisses, followed by Snickers, gummy bears and gum. Candy corn, that icon of Halloween treats that dates back to the 1800s, is No. 10 on the list.

Halloween is the biggest and busiest time of year for The Hershey Co., which makes snack-sized Reese’s peanut butter cups, the Hershey’s chocolate bar, Twizzlers, KitKat bars and other candies. The company said its most popular brand at this time of year is the Reese’s cup, as well as its chocolate and peanut butter pumpkins.

“Reese’s is magic,” says Rick Rocchi, who oversees marketing of Hershey’s brands around seasonal events such as Halloween and Valentine’s Day. “Everyone remembers receiving beloved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups during their Halloween adventures.”

The miniature chocolate bars known as “fun size” are also a big Halloween seller, including M&M’s Peanut Harvest Bags, Filled Bar Autumn Miniatures, and Dove Milk, Dark and Peanut Butter Harvest Promises.

And just a few miles away, workers at the McKeeport Candy Co., which operates online as Candyfavorites.com, will be fielding calls and taking orders right up to the day before Halloween if necessary, said third-generation owner Prince. He tours the warehouse, stopping to show off the big sellers this time of year, which include the “blood” bags and even edible insects.

Prince said it’s easy to see why kids and adults get so excited about candy. It’s about selling a piece of the past and bridging generations, he said, before pointing out a box of those iconic wax lips.

“These are classic,” he said with an excited smile. “The lips have been around since time eternal.”

 

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