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National Candy Day

National Candy Day is November 4th, just four days from Halloween, which means a lot of households will have plenty of leftover candy to enjoy on the 4th. But why National Candy Day?

If you try to research National Candy Day with an eye on learning how it started, who was behind it, and why, you are likely to be disappointed. At press time, there isn’t even a National Candy Day page on Wikipedia which should give you an idea as to how murky the origins of this informal holiday are.

National Candy Day will be celebrated on Monday, November 4, 2024.

National Candy Day

What’s Behind National Candy Day?

In the early 1900s, some in the American candy industry decided to try a new marketing concept. In 1916, Candy Day was created, intended to be observed on the second Saturday in October.

This marketing gimmick is one that has been used again and again, especially where food marketing boards are concerned. In 1921, Candy Day was rebranded as Sweetest Day, where it gained far more popularity as a faux Valentines’ Day type occasion.

It’s entirely likely that National Candy Day is a further attempt by a marketing board or PR agency to get more traction on sugary goodness as a retail staple above and beyond typical holiday season interest. Not to be confused with National Candy Month, which happens in June.

Celebrating National Candy Day

Lots of food-oriented blogs give us the obvious ways to celebrate National Candy Day–eat more candy! Whether your go-to is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, or Butterfinger, eating more candy is bad when you have too much at once, but that’s what fun-size candy bars are for–you can increase the variety without adding a massive amount of sugar into your day’s intake.

But what about the not-so-obvious ways you can celebrate National Candy Day? No, it’s not a bank holiday or a day where schools and post offices are closed. But you could plan a special field trip or take personal time off to visit one of the many candy factories in America that offer, or have offered, tours of their facility.

Consider the Hershey factory tour at locations including Hershey, Pennsylvania, Times Square in New York City, and Las Vegas. There are plenty of other companies that may also offer candy factory tours:

Candy Factory Tours

Not necessarily candy, but chocolate covered nuts kind of count, don’t they? The Mauna Loa facility in Hawaii is pretty awesome to visit

Making Your Own Candy For National Candy Day

Some food blogs urge people to experiment with making their own candy. It’s not quite the same as baking a cake, but the process can be a wee bit exacting depending on the type of candy you want to make.

For example, if you want to make gummy bears, you’ll rely on gelatin, flavorings, and sugar. But if you plan to store your gummies at room temperature, you’ll need to add some ascorbic acid or another preservative that can help prevent mold from spoiling your gummy bears.

But other recipes are simpler.

Making caramel at home is as simple as heating sugar, but you can also add milk and cream to make it smoother. But is this candy? Or a topping? Some feel the end result is candy no matter what the application.

Making candy with a similar recipe–butter and brown sugar–can result in making butterscotch, which can be soft or hard depending on the other ingredients. Cook butterscotch long enough and you get toffee.

If you plan to try a simple recipe like caramel or butterscotch, here are a few tips to keep in mind as a first-time candy maker:

  • Sugar burns easily, it’s not recommended to step away from the stovetop once you begin cooking.
  • Don’t try to taste the sugar as it converts to caramel, the heat is greater than you think it is.
  • Making caramel or any of the other candies mentioned above should always be done in a stainless steel pot or pan. Avoid non-stick pots and pans when making these recipes as the non-stick coatings may be compromised by the caramel making process.
  • Making these recipes can get messy–sugar may bubble a lot more than you expect, which is why many cooking blogs advise making caramel, butterscotch, and toffee in a larger pan than you need.
  • Resist the temptation to add other ingredients when the sugar is caramelizing. You should add the other ingredients after, not before or during according to multiple sources.
  • There is one exception to the “wait to add” advice above–if you want to prevent your caramel from crystallizing you may wish to try adding a tiny bit of lemon juice to the sugar while cooking.

Not up for trying to make candy yourself? You can always try a fun new recipe that uses your favorite candy as an ingredient. Check out the recipes below for inspiration!

See our big list of National Food Holidays!

National Candy Day Recipes

Celebrate National Candy Day on November 4th by making your own candy, or creating fun new recipes with your favorite commercial candy. From gummy bears to Snickers, these recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth on one of the most enjoyable unofficial holidays of the year.

Top Candy Sold by State

Here is Instacart’s list of top candy sold in each state:

M&M’s: Hawaii, New Hampshire

Peanut M&M’S: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming

Monique McArthur
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