The online bulk retailer compiled the map based on 12 years of its own sales data, as well as data from industry partners.
CandyStore.com noted conversation hearts had steadily gained a larger percentage of Valentine’s Day candy sales between 2015 and 2018, edging out heart-shaped chocolate boxes for the first time in 2017. In 2018, conversation hearts had 10.5 percent of the sales, while heart-shaped boxes had 9.7 percent.
That changed in 2019 with the absence of Sweethearts Conversation Hearts. Though other brands such as Brach’s helped fulfill demand, conversation hearts occupied 8 percent of sales in 2019, while heart-shaped chocolate boxes received 10.7 percent of the sales.
This year, conversation hearts finished in the Top 3 for all but four states — Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oregon — and earned the top spot in 14 states. Heart-shaped chocolate boxes ranked in the Top 3 for 40 states, earning the top spot in 19 states.
M&M’S continue to gain traction as a Valentine’s Day option, earning the No. 1 spot in three more states this year than last year — Arizona, Kansas and New Jersey. M&M’S varieties special for Valentine’s Day have boosted sales, CandyStore.com noted.
In California and New York, the No. 1 Valentine’s Day candy is heart-shaped chocolate boxes, while Texans prefer Hershey’s Kisses. In Illinois, where Candy Industry is based, conversation hearts took the top spot.
To learn more about favorite Valentine’s Day candies across the United States, visit CandyStore.com.