Sweet tooth forever: Half of adults eat more candy as adults than they did as kids

NEW YORK — Things may change, but your sweet tooth seems to remain the same forever! A new poll of 2,000 Americans reveals that the average person first picked a “favorite candy” around the age of 11 and has stuck with it ever since. In fact, 52 percent eat more candy now as adults than they ever did as kids.

Four in 10 respondents gravitate towards snack or “fun”-sized candies, despite the traditional wisdom that bigger is better. Meanwhile, one in three (35%) prefer chewy candy the most, making it the most popular texture among respondents.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of HI-CHEW, the survey also explores how the typical person approaches a “candy haul” that’s gathered during a seasonal event like Easter or Halloween. When asked how much candy constitutes a “haul,” respondents settled on an average of 23 pieces or more. Over half the poll (57%) organize their haul before digging in, most commonly by flavor (34%). Almost a third (29%) save their favorites for the end.

On the other hand, what to do with the candy you’re less enthused about? For most, it’s not a snap decision. A third of adults will eat a few pieces first before deciding whether or not to share, typically with their children (41%) or partner (41%).

Candy swaps also proved popular, as two in five (41%) trade snacks with other family members to ensure they have more of their favorites. Regardless, survey-takers figure they could still eat an average four pieces of their least favorite candy in one sitting.

“It’s no surprise that children enjoy indulging in sweets during a holiday like Easter, and we know that their parents have a sweet tooth too,” says Teruhiro Kawabe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morinaga America, Inc., in a statement. “While some preferences may change, the joyful experiences of the past contribute to why the average American has had the same favorite candy since childhood.”

Childhood memories, preferences, and jealousy aside, two-thirds (67%) agree that candy hauls are not just for kids.

Is Easter just for kids?

Of the 2,000 survey respondents, slightly more than half celebrate Easter. Of that segment, 11 percent say they still get Easter baskets as adults. Another 38 percent admit they envy the baskets of the younger children they celebrate with. Even with all the trading and giving away, 38 percent of respondents have had to settle family arguments over who gets what goodies in their basket.

“Easter candy in America dates back hundreds of years, with sweets being a staple in baskets to bring smiles to children’s faces on Easter morning,” Kawabe says. “This springtime holiday tradition has helped create cherished memories and bonding time for kids, adults and everyone in between for many generations.”

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