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Picture this: you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. (It’s October. Just go with it.) A swarm of zombies are right outside the storage closet of the convenience store you’re holed up in. You spot two candy bars on a shelf: a Snickers and a Reese’s. You only have time to eat one before the horde of zombies is at your throat. Which do you pick?

Reese’s, America’s Favorite Candy

Reese’s logo

If you chose to shove both candies in your mouth at the same time and die happy with a face full of chocolate, then I’m right there with you. But does that really settle the debate if Reese’s is better than Snickers? A recent poll by Monmouth University suggests that Americans believe Reese’s is the superior candy. Out of a random sample of 1,161 adults, 36% preferred Reese’s while Snickers took second place at 18%. M&M’s, which is also owned by Snicker’s parent company Mars Inc., came in at number three with 11%.

It’s hard to deny that peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best combinations known to mankind. But there’s also something irresistible about the delight peanuts, caramel, and nougat brings. While arguing which candy tastes better is subjective, we can still look at how much each company is making to decide a winner.

Halloween’s Best Selling Candy

Jack o lantern full of Halloween candy

With all the costumes, decorations, and candy sales, it should come as no surprise that Halloween is a $9B industry. For that day alone, consumers spend $2.6B purely on candy. According to The Street, the top 3 selling candies on Halloween are:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ($171.6M)
  • Snickers ($140.4M)
  • Kit Kats (114.8M)

Last year Hershey’s, the company that owns Reese’s, made $7.791B. Hershey’s also owns Kit Kat, the third selling candy on the list. With two of the best-selling Halloween candies under their belt, it seems like Hershey’s should be the clear winner.

Snickers are from Mars

Mars and Snickers bars in store

However, Mars Inc., the company who owns Snickers, makes $35B per year. That’s nearly five times what Hershey’s accumulates. M&M’s, America’s third favorite candy, was once owned by Hershey’s before it was bought by Mars in 1948. It’s also worth noting that not only does Mars own other popular candies like Twix, Milky Way, and Skittles, they also own pet brands like Pedigree and Whiskas. By branching out into other areas, Mars has become one the most successful family owned-corporations in the world.

Founded in 1911, the company has been a prominent force in the candy industry for over 100 years. In 2008, they even acquired Wrigley, one of the best selling gum brands. Mars chairman Stephen Badger states that staying private allows Mars flexibility in the direction of their company and they have no plans to change that soon. In the end, while Reese’s seemingly leads in popularity, it’s Mars Inc. that is dominating the industry.

So, if you had to pick between a soft, sweet, and salty peanut butter cup or crunchy, nougatty goodness, which would you choose? There are no zombies in this scenario. Just let us know your favorite down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.

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