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Numerology: The Business of Candy

Don't snicker at the confectionery business: Sales in the $32 billion — plus industry are expected to be up almost 4% this year. Until candy's Christmas arrives on October 31, sate yourselves with these informational bonbons, which, thankfully, can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Infographic: The Business of Candy Popup-Icon

The U.S. candy manufacturing industry includes about 1,600 companies, but just 2 (the Hersheys Co. and Mars Snackfoods U.S.) make 15 of the top-20 selling chocolate candy bars.

Only 26% of homes gives out full-sized candy bars. Fun-sized Snickers bars are the most popular Halloween candy.

Treat: Austin, Charlotte, and San Antonio lead U.S. Halloween spending on candy and decorations, with $53 per household.

Trick: Cincinnati spends the least, $35.

93% of kids go trick-or-treating.

There are 22 M&M colors.

Mar's M&Ms are the most popular chocolate candies in the United States, with annual sales of almost $425 million.

Halloween is responsible for three-fourths of candy corn's annual sales.

October 30th is national Candy Corn Day. Nearly 9 billion pieces of candy corn are produced annually.

Prohibition was a sweet age of revenge: Baby Ruths, Oh Henry!, Charleston Chew, Mounds, Milky Way, Reese's peanut butter cups, Bit-O-Honey, Mr Goodbar, Milk Duds, Butterfinger, and Snickers all debuted between 1920 and 1930.

America will spend $9 billion on Halloween. The average person will spend $20.39 of that on candy.

Every day, Tootsie Roll Industries produces 16 million Tootsie Pops. According to Purdue University study, it takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center.

Twizzlers, Good & Plenty, a Milky Way, and a Vosges Mo's Bar were consumed during the production of this story.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.