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History of Candy Corn

Candy corn is a sweet and colorful treat that has become synonymous with Halloween. Its unique shape and tri-colored appearance make it a fun and festive addition to any candy dish. But where did candy corn come from? The history of this beloved candy dates back over 100 years.

According to some accounts, candy corn was invented in the late 1800s by George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia. Renninger was inspired by the shape and colors of corn kernels, and he created a candy that resembled them. The original candy corn was made by hand, using a process that involved pouring hot sugar syrup into molds and then layering different colors on top of each other.

Over time, candy corn became a popular treat for Halloween, and it remains one of the most iconic candies associated with the holiday. Today, candy corn is produced in large quantities by a number of different candy companies, and it is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the enduring popularity of candy corn.

Origins of Candy Corn

Candy corn is a popular confectionery in the United States, especially during Halloween. This sugary treat has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800s. In this section, we will explore the origins of candy corn and how it became a staple during Halloween.

Invention and Inventor

The invention of candy corn is attributed to George Renninger, an employee of the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia. According to oral tradition, Renninger created the tricolor candy in the 1880s. Candy corn’s original name was “Chicken Feed” because of its resemblance to the food given to chickens.

The Goelitz Confectionery Company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Company, was the first to mass-produce candy corn. The company started producing candy corn at the turn of the 20th century, and it quickly became a popular treat across the United States.

Early Production Methods

In the early days of candy corn production, the candy was made by hand. The process involved mixing sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients in large kettles. The mixture was then poured into molds, with each mold producing a single kernel of candy corn. The candy corn was then left to cool and harden before being packaged and sold.

As demand for candy corn increased, candy manufacturers began to develop new production methods. By the 1950s, candy corn was being mass-produced using machines that could produce thousands of kernels per minute. These machines allowed candy manufacturers to keep up with the growing demand for candy corn during Halloween and other holidays.

In conclusion, candy corn’s origins can be traced back to the late 1800s when George Renninger invented the tricolor candy. The candy quickly became a Halloween staple in the United States, and candy manufacturers developed new production methods to keep up with the growing demand for candy corn.

Candy Corn Composition


Candy corn is a tricolored candy that is made primarily from sugar, corn syrup, and confectioner’s wax. The candy is created by combining these ingredients into a slurry which is then heated and poured into molds to create the iconic triangular shape. Fondant is added to the mixture to give it texture, and marshmallows are also included to provide a soft bite. The final product is a candy that is both sweet and slightly chewy.

Nutritional Information

Candy corn is a high-calorie candy that is not particularly nutritious. A single serving of candy corn, which is typically around 22 pieces, contains approximately 140 calories. The candy is also high in sugar, with each serving containing around 28 grams of sugar. While candy corn does not provide any significant nutritional value, it is a popular treat during the Halloween season and is enjoyed by many people around the world.

Evolution Over Time

Changes in Recipe

Candy corn has been around for over a century, and the recipe has undergone several changes over time. The original recipe consisted of sugar, corn syrup, and water. However, over the years, the recipe has been modified to include additional ingredients such as gelatin, honey, and salt. These changes have been made to improve the taste and texture of the candy.

Manufacturing Advancements

The manufacturing process for candy corn has also evolved over time. In the early days, candy corn was made by hand, with each colored layer poured separately into a kernel-shaped mold. This was a laborious process that required a lot of time and effort. However, with the advent of new technologies, candy corn can now be produced on a large scale using automated machines.

Today, candy corn is made using a process called “corn starch molding.” This involves mixing the ingredients together and then pouring the mixture into molds that are shaped like kernels of corn. The mixture is then allowed to cool and harden, after which the candy corn is removed from the molds and packaged for sale.

Overall, candy corn has come a long way since its early days. The changes in recipe and manufacturing advancements have made it a popular Halloween candy that is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Cultural Impact

Halloween Association

Candy corn has become synonymous with Halloween, and it is often used as a decorative element in Halloween displays. The National Confectioners Association estimates that around 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year, with much of it being sold during the Halloween season. The candy’s association with Halloween dates back to the early 1900s, when it was marketed as a treat for children who were trick-or-treating.

Popularity and Controversy

Despite its popularity, candy corn has been the subject of controversy over the years. Some people love it, while others find it sickly sweet and unappetizing. In recent years, some candy makers have tried to capitalize on the candy’s popularity by producing variations on the original, such as chocolate-covered candy corn and candy corn-flavored M&Ms.

Despite its detractors, candy corn remains a beloved Halloween treat for many people. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its place in American cultural history, and it is likely to remain a fixture of Halloween celebrations for years to come.

Marketing and Branding

Packaging Evolution

Candy corn has undergone several packaging changes throughout its history. The original packaging was a simple wax paper bag, which was later replaced by a clear cellophane bag with a yellow and orange label. In the 1950s, the packaging evolved to include a clear plastic bag with a colorful cardboard header. Today, candy corn is sold in various sizes and packaging options, including individual snack packs and large bags.

Advertising Campaigns

Candy corn’s popularity is largely due to its successful marketing campaigns. The candy’s original name, “Chicken Feed,” was changed to “candy corn” in the late 1800s to better reflect its appearance. In the 1950s, the Goelitz Candy Company (now known as Jelly Belly Candy Company) began advertising candy corn as a Halloween treat, which helped to solidify its association with the holiday.

In recent years, candy corn has been marketed through various advertising campaigns, including social media and influencer partnerships. In 2019, Brach’s released a turkey-dinner-flavored version of candy corn, which generated over 6 billion impressions online. The candy’s recognizable colors and consistency have also contributed to its successful branding over the years.

Variations and Spin-offs

Flavor Variants

Candy corn has been around for over a century, and it has gone through many changes over the years. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of flavor variants. Today, candy corn comes in many different flavors, including chocolate, caramel, apple, and even pumpkin spice. These flavors have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they offer a unique twist on the classic candy.

Themed Candy Corn

In addition to flavor variants, candy corn has also been transformed into themed candy. For example, during the Christmas season, candy corn can be found in red and green colors, and during Easter, it can be found in pastel colors. There are also candy corn variations for other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.

Another popular themed candy corn is the “Indian corn” variation, which features brown, orange, and white colors to represent the colors of corn in the fall. These variations offer a fun and festive way to enjoy candy corn throughout the year.

Overall, the variations and spin-offs of candy corn have allowed it to remain a popular treat for over a century. Whether you prefer the classic flavor or one of the many variations, candy corn is a staple candy for Halloween and beyond.

Production and Distribution

Major Manufacturers

Candy corn is a popular Halloween candy, and it is produced by several major manufacturers. The largest manufacturer of candy corn is the Jelly Belly Candy Company, which has been making candy corn since the turn of the 20th century. Other major manufacturers of candy corn include Brach’s, which is owned by Ferrara Candy Company, and the Zachary Confections Company. These companies produce candy corn in large quantities and distribute it to retailers across the United States.

Global Reach

While candy corn is most popular in the United States, it is also sold in other countries around the world. The candy is exported to Canada, Mexico, and other countries in North and South America. It is also sold in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Candy corn is a popular Halloween candy in many countries, and it is often sold in bulk packages for parties and other events.

Overall, candy corn production and distribution is a major industry, with several large manufacturers producing the candy in large quantities. The candy is sold in many countries around the world, and it is a popular Halloween treat for people of all ages.

Candy Corn in the Arts and Media

Candy corn has become an iconic symbol of Halloween and the fall season in North America. It has also made its way into popular culture, appearing in various forms of media and art.

In the 1960s, candy corn was featured in the Peanuts comic strip and later in the television special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The candy’s popularity continued to grow, and it has since been referenced in various films, TV shows, and songs.

In the 2007 film “Dan in Real Life,” Steve Carell’s character is seen eating candy corn while on a family vacation. The candy is also mentioned in the 2011 film “Tower Heist” and the TV show “The Office.”

Candy corn has also been the subject of various art installations. In 2011, artist Brock Davis created a sculpture of a skull made entirely out of candy corn. The sculpture was featured in an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Overall, candy corn has become a beloved symbol of the fall season and a staple of Halloween celebrations. Its appearance in popular culture only solidifies its place in American tradition.