Click to view the below full-size; or download as a a high-quality digital poster (4MB) for detailed scrutiny; or proceed for the plain text, abstract and analysis…

Note that data for this 2017 survey, like all good science, is transparent, open, and available for further analysis. This includes access data from previous candy hierarchies (for, you know, longitudinal studies). Here’s the link, and we invite you to tag public remarks with #statscandy so we can find your awesome analyses.

The Candy Hierarchy (2017)

Any full-sized candy bar
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Kit Kat
Cash, or other forms of legal tender
Tolberone something or other
Lindt Truffle
Peanut M&M's
Nestle Crunch
Milky Way
Dove Bars
Regular M&Ms
Reese's Pieces
Hershey's Dark Chocolate
Three Musketeers
York Peppermint Patties
Heath Bar
100 Grand Bar
Junior Mints
Hershey's Milk Chocolate
Mr. Goodbar
Milk Duds
Hershey's Kisses
Whatchamacallit Bars
Mint Juleps
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Sweet Tarts
Jolly Ranchers (good flavor)
Gummy Bears straight up
Swedish Fish
Smarties (American)
Sourpatch Kids (i.e. abominations of nature)
Take 5
Mint Kisses
Glow sticks
Smarties (Commonwealth)
Minibags of chips
Licorice (not black)
Pixy Stix
Mike and Ike
Goo Goo Clusters
Coffee Crisp
Kinder Happy Hippo
Bottle Caps
Reggie Jackson Bar

Candy Corn

Fuzzy Peaches
Hard Candy
Good N' Plenty
Chick-o-Sticks (we don't know what that is)
Bonkers (the board game)
Licorice (yes black)
Bonkers (the candy)
Necco Wafers
Hugs (actual physical hugs)
Tic Tacs
Trail Mix
Sweetums (a friend to diabetes)
Healthy Fruit
Black Jacks
Senior Mints
JoyJoy (Mit Iodine!)
Anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers
Vials of pure high fructose corn syrup, for main-lining into your vein
Sandwich-sized bags filled with BooBerry Crunch
Jolly Rancher (bad flavor)
Spotted Dick
Generic Brand Acetaminophen
Those odd marshmallow circus peanut things
Creepy Religious comics/Chick Tracts
Whole Wheat anything
Candy that is clearly just the stuff given out for free at restaurants
Kale smoothie
Dental paraphenalia
Real Housewives of Orange County Season 9 Blue-Ray
White Bread
Gum from baseball cards
Broken glow stick



BC: Someone was going on about horehounds and salmiak, Dave.

DN: What?

BC: Horehounds and salmiak.

DN: No, I heard you, but I don’t know why I care.

BC: I guess they’re obscure and terrible candies, we didn’t have them in the survey. Like Andes Candies, we forgot to put them in. Again.

DN: Yeah, no, I know, I know, but we’re recording, couldn’t you have brought that up before?

BC: I know, but people were talking about this stuff in the comments.

DN: ffs Cohen, you’re reading the comment thread?

BC: I thought you wanted me to.

DN: How do you not know not to read comment threads.

BC: I know in general, I mean, I know that. But candy, Dave. By the way, I won’t let you ignore my passing reference to Andies Candies which are, Dave, a chocolate + mint combo.

DN: (pause) This again.

BC: And chocolate + mint remains at the apex of modern candy success.

DN: Except that it doesn’t Ben. It just doesn’t. This isn’t fake news, Ben. I mean, we don’t even know how to use Facebook. This is real science! Just look at the rankings – mint isn’t even in the top ten.


DN: Every year. Beschizza and I have a month’s long text chain about just this thing.



BC: So let’s talk candy data then.

DN: No shit, dude. That’s what it’s for. And science.

BC: Yeah, and science.

DN: We can finally make longitudinal comments.

BC: You keep saying that, by the way. You use that term way too easily.

DN: Longitudinal?

BC: Longitudinal. Explain yourself.

DN: Year over year. That’s all. We have year-over-year data. We can say something about patterns over time.

BC: Did our current moment, you know, with the debasement of western Democracy and all that, did that change anything since last year, is that what you mean?

DN: I’m Canadian.

BC: Meaning what? You haven’t heard what’s going on down here in the USA?

DN: Meaning I’ve long watched bemused at whatever’s going on down there.

BC: Well, so give me the rundown. Has “whatever’s going on down here” trickled into the hierarchy?

DN: I don’t think so, actually.

BC: You’re shitting me, then why all this “longitudinal” junk?

DN: I mean I think the data, at first glance, looks relatively consistent. At least the stuff at the top, and the stuff at the bottom.

BC: What’s that mean for hierarchies?

DN: It means that maybe our love/hate relationship for certain candies is just, you know, stable and universal. It means you’re going to have to give up your chocolate-mint thing.

BC: It means my commitment to the chocolate-mint combo is now stronger than ever because now it’s a memory.



DN: Are you happy with Peanut Butter Cups move to the second slot, after full-sized bars?

BC: Honestly? Couldn’t care less.

DN: Are you happy that Candy Corn’s approval has once again dropped, to below 20%?

BC: Is it mint-based?

DN: Nope.

BC: Then there’s your answer. No, I am not happy about that. I’m not even listening by now. I just got caught in a daydream about losing funding.

DN: For scientific research?

BC: Well yeah, in the larger sense, you know. But also for our own contrived “scientific” candy pretensions.

DN: You know I’m an actual scientist right?

BC: And we love you for it, Dave, really, we do. But I’m worried we’ll lose funding, or we’ll be banned from saying “science” or dredging up that whole David S. Pumpkins thing.

DN: I move we get on with it.

BC: Seconded.

DN: Late.


“The structural inequalities inherent in candy stratification would make Marx's cold, dead body shake with sweet undead diabetic joy. The fall of capitalism is ever closer and soon he will rise again. Oh yes. He will rise.”



1. As always (and now practically validated), in which NF= |JC– DC| denotes the difference between the empirical measurement of joy versus despair.Hence the term: Net Feelies.

2. Beschizza Bars, they call them (Beschizza, 2010)

3. Oh snap! Peanut Butter Cups beat out Kit Kats this year. This is epic. The Kit-Kat v. Peanut Butter Cup battle is the Yale v Harvard of candy.Or Kanye v. Taylor.

4. Three years in a row, we remembered to include Butterfinger (2015)

5. As always, these may be rolled to a friend.

6. Not to be confused with the planet.

7. Yes, God's Candy

8. Like Peeps (lower on the tier), CCE’s are this weird seasonal dissonance as an Easter not Halloween candy.Appropriate ranking may depend entirely on date of purchase versus date of opening.Experts in this field often refer to this dichotomy as "fresh CCE" versus "stale CCE," or FCCE versus SCCE (Beschizza, 2011).Note that its interior has also been described as "pustulent."(Petersen, 2010)

9. So, this is kind of interesting… Big differences between “good” (ranked 38th) and “bad” (ranked 86th) flavors for Jolly Ranchers (as in Inauguration crowd size differences). The discordance is well above the licorice thing. Worth following up on – maybe it’s a proxy for something important?

10. We now accept that these and chalk are one and the same (Gadgetgirl, 2010). Also known as Rockets in Canada and the UK.Though rockets are known as bookmarks in the US. And bookmarks are known as Drop Love licorice in The Netherlands, a popular sugar-free laxative.

11. In 2014, Joy and Despair mostly cancelled each other out.Hence the great “Licorice Root Beer Debate of 2014.”This year and the last two, however, we split it between black and non-black licorice.You all can fight this out, but for the third year running, there is a general distain for black licorice. Note the NSFE, or Not Suitable for Europeans label (jhbadger, popobawa4u, chgoliz, SpunkyTWS, Donald_Petersen, Ambiguity, bobsyeruncle666, SuprWittySmitty, SteampunkBanana, SARSaparilla, SmashMartian, daneel 2014)

12. This year, Vicodin drops several spots in the rankings. Maybe when we are so very numb to it all, a painkiller is moot?

13. This is from EU pressure, known in diplomatic circles as the “Hornby Concession" (see his many footnotes from the 2012 version).Also cf.Mister44, 2016 []. Also preliminary observations suggest that Hippo haters find joy in black licorice (Maegan, 2017).

14. Actually made the top 10 for survey takers 14 years or younger. If we had more funding, we would like to test the hypothesis that lollipop joy is marker for puberty.

15. FFS, again with this candy corn thing. Remember that one weird poll from Influenster that claimed candy corn was the top choice in all U.S. states.As dutiful readers know, Candy Corn remained unclassified in 2006, was tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian in 2007, fell away in 2008, regained its footing in 2009, found a spot somewhere in the middle in 2010, and has wavered just below the Petersen Influx ever since in the Marcellus Wallace Cusp. Thing is: it’s consistent folks – always a controversial one. Much love, much hate, BUT never ever ever at the top. We submit that the Influenster poll was clearly a Russian hack.

16. But not erasers (N.Johnson, 1977).

17. Also known as Mary Janes.

18. Placed solely to acknowledge, make fun of, and possibly undermine British opinions.Google it, but be careful (2012).

19. These things keep coming up. Stop it.

20. You’re welcome, America.

21. This actually ranked last place for the 14 and under set. This also did much worse than last year’s video selection (Person of Interest Season 3).

22. Whoppers still blow. QED.