Candy Corn

Candy Corn (History, FAQ & Commercials)

There are few candies that are as contentious among candy lovers as candy corn. Some people adore these little corn-shaped treats, and others despise them and state that they taste like colored wax. This remains one of the most popular candies on the market during the Halloween season, but candy corn is sold off-season as well. 

It is unlikely that you have never tried candy corn if you live in the US, but if you live in other countries, you might have missed out on this divisive candy. Thankfully, you can order these little candy snacks online if you want to give them a try. Just be prepared to have a strong reaction to this candy and to be able to divide your friends and family into lovers and haters of candy corn!

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Candy Corn


The original candy that would become candy corn was called “chicken feed”. While most people don’t have their own chickens these days, at one time, this would have been a very familiar reference to make with regard to the shape and the styling of this candy. The original product was offered for sale in the 1880s, and advertisements leaned into the chicken feed association as the sole means of marketing the product.

Wunderle Candy Company was the inventor of the product after one of their employees came up with the idea. As with so many candy creation histories, George Renninger appears never to have made any money off his creation that is still popular to this day.’Wunderle Candy Company was the inventor of the product after one of their employees came up with the idea. As with so many candy creation histories, George Renninger appears never to have made any money off his creation that is still popular to this day.

The original candy ads showed a rooster crowing and then stated that the candy was, “something worth crowing for”. There were also claims that the candy was “butter sweet” which might not mean much today, but candy was still not a common part of the eating experiences that most people had enjoyed. Candies were linked mostly with the delivery of medicine during this time, and most candy products that are this old began their lives strictly for this need.

As candies began to be marketed for enjoyment, it was necessary to try and explain what these candies even were since many people would not have known what the experience of eating them would be like. This is hard to imagine today, but once upon a time, there were so few sweet things in people’s diets that explaining that Candy Corn was sweet would not have meant much. 

Butter, however, was sweet in nature compared to other parts of people’s diets, so this was a reasonable parallel to draw to try and explain what eating these candies would be like. Since butter was likely a luxury for most families during the late 1800s, it would have been very exciting to eat anything that was as good as butter and for less money and less effort. Since most butter was handmade during this period and most sweets were meant to mask the vile taste of medications, it is no wonder that Wunderle was reaching for ways to explain what their product was and what it could be like to consume. 

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The reason for the provincial, farm-based nature of the original candies had a lot to do with the way that most people were living their lives at the time that candy corn was first sold. Most people lived in rural areas in the late 1800s, particularly in America, and many people were farmers. There were various other sweets on the market that were catered toward familiar shapes as well, such as turnips, chestnuts, and even clover leaves. The candy corn product was unique for its bright coloring, but the rest of its design was completely in keeping with an affordable candy that could be sold in bulk to people all across the US.

Candy Corn continued to have an association with chickens into the 1920s, and marketing even during this period indicated that this product was the, “king of the Candy Corn Fields”. Post-depression era eating was still very limited, and people still did not have very much money. The roaring twenties were mostly all about enjoying gin and being allowed to dance and cut your hair short as a woman. There were few changes in people’s subsistence diets, and food stores were limited at this time for all but the very wealthy.

The original Candy Corn product was not associated with Halloween or with the fall season. It was sold year-round and was one of the many penny candies that were common in general stores during this period. If you had a penny, you could buy a set amount of candy corn and then take it with you to be eaten at home or to be saved for a special occasion. This is a candy that is still sold in small bulk quantities, and you will always end up with a bag of candy corn, or else you will need to buy it by the pound.

The first version of this candy was actually made by hand by combining sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, and water. This was cooked to form a slurry that was then poured into molds. There were three layers poured into the molds to create the striped appearance of the candy corn that is so familiar today. The modern version of this snack is made through corn starch modeling, but otherwise, most of the process has not changed much. A machine does the three unique striping pours, and then the candy is allowed to harden before it is popped out of its molds.

The Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly) bought the candy in 1898. Jelly Belly still makes the product, but the manufacturer is Brach’s Confections which is actually owned by the Ferrara Candy Company. Brach’s makes about 7 billion of these little treats each year during the Halloween season alone. 

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The candies have pretty much always looked the same, and the candy corn that you buy today will be much like Chicken Feed was when it was first sold. Candy corn is a small, triangular-shaped confectionery that is white at the tip, orange in the middle, and yellow at the ends. Meant to look like a variety of corn, it is also known in some areas by the names such as cupid corn, bunny corn, harvest corn, and reindeer corn.

The texture of this little candy is waxy, which is a big part of what many people do not like about it, but if you like chewy candy, you will probably enjoy the texture. There is nothing specific in the taste profile that is reminiscent of anything other than sugary sweetness. This is nothing like the complex treats that are made today, even in the fruity or chewy candy category, but there is something to be said for simple sweets that aren’t overly challenging to enjoy.

Variants of Candy Corn

As the popularity of this candy treat grew, so did the need to make spin-off products and other versions of the original candy corn snack. The traditional candy is offered for sale year-round, but sales are stepped up at the start of the fall season and during Halloween. There is also a blackberry cobbler version of the candy that is sold all year in Eastern Canada. This candy looks like the original, but the stripes are different colors.

Harvest Corn is also a popular variation that is offered in the fall by Brach’s, and this version is brown, orange, and white instead of the traditional colors. The flavor is the same, and this product is only ever sold for a limited period of time each season. 

In the US, there is also a Christmas version that is called Reindeer Corn, which is Christmas colored. The Valentine’s Day version of the candy is pink, white, and red and is sold during the month of February as Cupid Corn. During the US Independence Day holiday, Freedom corn is on shelves. This version of the candy is red, white, and blue. There is also an Easter version called Bunny Corn which is two pastel colors. 

Along the way, there have been years that caramel apple, pumpkin spice, and s’mores candies were sold. Fruit punch, vanilla ice cream, popcorn, hotdog, and hamburger flavors have also existed for brief periods. Brach’s has also partnered with Oreo, M7Ms, and Marshmallows to make Candy Corn flavored versions of these other kinds of snack foods.


Candy Corn Logo


From the Brach’s Site:

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Confectioner’s Glaze (Shellac)
  • Salt
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Gelatin
  • Dextrose
  • Honey
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Sesame Oil
  • Yellow 6
  • Yellow 5
  • Red 3
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Blue 1
  • Red 40
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The company states that these products are made in a factory that uses milk, eggs, almonds, coconut, and peanuts to make other products. You will need to be on alert for these potential allergen exposures even though the candies themselves do not contain these ingredients.


Serving Size:0.5 cup (100g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373
Calories from Fat 0.2
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 4mg0%
Total Carbohydrates 93g31%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Protein 0g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet.



A fairly recent ad for Candy corn:

An ad for “tailgate” flavored Brach’s on the news:

A how it’s made video:


What is Candy Corn made of?

Candy corn starts as a mixture of sugar, fondant, corn syrup, vanilla flavor, and marshmallow creme. The candy corn ingredients are melted into a liquid candy—called slurry—colored, and run through a cornstarch molding process to create each kernel.

The Halloween treat “Candy Corn” was originally sold under what name?

Candy Corn was originally named Chicken Feed.

What flavor is Candy Corn?

Brach’s candy corn is America’s number one tri-colored treat that has a sweet, real honey flavor.

When was Candy Corn invented?

Candy corn has existed for more than 100 years. According to legend, a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger invented the confection in the 1880s.

Why is Candy Corn called Candy Corn?

Candy Corn used to be made by hand in large kettles
In the early days of the 20th century, workers cooked sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow, and other ingredients into a slurry in large kettles and then poured the warm mixture by hand into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape.

Who Invented Candy Corn?

According to legend, a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger invented the confection in the 1880s.

What does Candy Corn taste like?

The actual flavor of most candy corn is a mix of vanilla and marshmallow with notes of honey

What does Candy Corn look like?

In its traditional form, candy corn is a small, triangular candy consisting of three colored sections (white, orange, and yellow)

What color is Candy Corn?

Candy Corn is white, orange, and yellow.

Why was Candy Corn originally called Chicken Feed?

Because corn was used to feed chickens, the product was dubbed “Chicken Feed,” and the box featured a colourful rooster.

Who invented Candy Corn?

George Renninger invented it in the 1880s, and Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly Co.) popularised it around the turn of the century. 

How many calories in Candy Corn?

There are 373 calories in every 100g of Candy Corn.

When is National Candy Corn day?

National Candy Corn Day is on 30th October in the United States.

How much Candy Corn is sold each year?

According to the National Confectioners Association, more than 35 million pounds (or 9 billion pieces) of candy corn are produced yearly.

What country did Candy Corn originate?

Candy Corn originated in the United States.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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