Two candy bars are battling it out for the spot as Gen Z and Millennials’ favorite, with each generation naming a different treat…
Yes, the biggest candy holiday of the year is approaching—but Gen Z and Millennials aren’t just eating candy occasionally. Our food and diet survey asks young consumers what they eat as a snack in a typical weekday, and 46% say they indulge in candy/sweets on a regular basis—beating out Potato chips, Crackers, Cheese, Nuts, and Cereal. That number is even higher among teens (with their higher metabolisms to help them): 58% of 13-17-year-olds say they eat candy/sweets in a typical weekday.
So, of course we keep tabs on what their favorite sweet treat is at any given moment. Our recent seasonal survey asked 13-37-year-olds to tell us their favorite candy, and we’ve ranked the top 17 responses here. (And sorry Halloween lovers, candy corn isn’t in the ranking…)
Their Favorite Candy
- Kit Kat
- Sour Patch
- Gummies / Trollis
- Swedish Fish
- Nestle Crunch
- Milky Way
- Jolly Ranchers
Young consumers love Reese’s. The brand has a history of being at the top of young consumers’ favorite ranking—and they’re not unaware of their preferred status. Last year, Reese’s #NotSorry campaign asked trick-or-treaters to upgrade their unwanted Halloween candy via vending machine. AListDaily reported that their “Candy Converter” doled out up to 10,000 Reese’s cups in exchange for lesser-loved sweets on the night of Halloween.
But this year, the ranking contains a bit of an upset. While Reese’s maintained their top spot overall, when we look at favorite candy by age group, another chocolate-laden bar is coming for their title and beating them out for top spot among Gen Z and young Millennials this year:
Kit Kat made the top of the ranking among 13-18-year-olds and 19-25-year-olds, and Reese’s didn’t make the top five among the youngest group. While we can’t say exactly why the candy bar is pulling ahead among these young consumers, it could have to do with the increase of new flavors they’re putting out both internationally and in the U.S. Pumpkin Pie seasonal Kit Kats were introduced here back in 2017, and this year the brand is adding their first permanent new flavor in a decade with a Mint + Dark Chocolate edition. Meanwhile, Kit Kat’s exotic international flavors—they have 300 in Japan—have become alluring treats here in the U.S., with young travelers bringing back the treats or enthusiastic fans buying them on Amazon.