Easter is a confectionery cotillion, a time for every candy company to put its best, brightest, and boldest ideas on display. Yet despite the fun array of Easter candy that hits shelves every spring, it turns out that Americans are largely creatures of habit. We like what we like—and what we like is a well-balanced combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I’m talking, of course, about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg.
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Instacart has released a report detailing Americans’ shopping habits for Easter 2022—an interesting set of data, since it corresponds to actual purchases via orders placed in the app. Here are the top 10 most popular Easter candies bought through Instacart last year:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg
- Kinder Chocolate Candy Egg
- Starburst Jellybeans
- Lindt Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
- Cadbury Creme Egg
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Peeps Yellow Marshmallow Chicks
- M&M’s Easter Candies
- Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs
Darn straight. Everyone loves the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg; it’s the perfect ratio of chocolate and peanut butter. If anything is surprising on this list, though, it’s that the classic yellow Peeps chicks ranked so low on the list of Easter staples. Peeps are a springtime institution, and though I’m not a huge fan myself, I feel indignant on their behalf.
The list also speaks to our nation’s disappointingly unadventurous approach to Easter candy. I mean, c’mon, Hershey’s Kisses wrapped in lilac foil and pastel M&M’s? Hardly big seasonal swings for the world’s largest chocolate producers.
In addition to the top 10 Easter candies overall, Instacart has shared data on America’s most popular Easter candies by state. To assemble this map, Instacart “determined the top selling Easter candy by looking at the top selling candy in each state from a list of candies that grew by at least 50% on a platform level in the two weeks ending on Easter (4/4/22 – 4/17/22) compared to the previous two weeks (3/21/22 – 4/3/22).” Here’s the breakdown:
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Behold that gloriously goldenrod map! A mighty fine showing by our precious Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. (I am relieved that no state opted for the inferior Reese’s Creme Eggs.)
Yet my own home state of Illinois has disappointed me, as has its Midwest brethren: Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan all purchased more Starburst Jellybeans than Reese’s Eggs in 2022, and Wisconsin joined fellow outliers Hawaii and Kentucky in opting for Kinder Eggs. Iowa made only slightly better choices here, opting for Reese’s cups over eggs; points go to the Hawkeyes for at least prioritizing the peanut butter and chocolate combo. Still, the prevalence of jelly beans has left me shaken. What’s with this region of the country? Do I have to move now or what?
When it comes to Easter confections, opting for fruity candy over chocolate borders on sacrilegious. My hope is that the Midwest comes to its senses in 2023. Then again, maybe these states have had more sense all along—perhaps the skewed results simply indicate that fewer Midwesterners turn Instacart for the truly important stuff.