New Jersey has the 12th-largest candy economy in the country
The candy-buying season is upon us, with all of us stocking up for Halloween. Recent research from the National Retail Federation found that handing out candy is the most common way consumers celebrate the holiday, with more than two-thirds of households planning to do so in 2023.
And despite a steep rise in candy prices over the past two years, the demand for Halloween candy in the U.S. shows no sign of waning. Americans are projected to spend a substantial $3.6 billion this year to stock up on their Halloween treats.
With such a major economic impact, Halloween stands as one of the primary drivers of candy sales in the U.S. However, the country's candy production industry plays a role that extends far beyond a single holiday, exerting a noteworthy influence on the economies of various states and localities.
In these designated “candy capitals,” confectionery production and retail account for a disproportionate number of local jobs and businesses.
Here’s the methodology:
To determine the candy capitals of the U.S., researchers at Upgraded Points created a composite score for each location based on the concentrations of employment, payroll, and establishments in the candy industry relative to the national averages.
Overall, New Jersey placed 12th for the candy economy; the biggest “candy capital” wasn’t Hackettstown (home of M&Ms, which I would have bet my house on, no, it’s that candy mecca of Ocean City. Apparently, people buy a lot of saltwater taffy. Ocean City has a whopping 10.2x of the average in the concentration of candy businesses.
I guess I’ve done my part; when I go to Ocean City, I buy saltwater taffy. I don’t eat it, but I buy it.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.
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