Experts Predict This Will Be The Most Popular Valentine's Day Candy For 2022

Whether you're a Hershey's Kiss enthusiast or a gourmet chocolate truffle lover, one thing we can all agree on is that there's no better way to celebrate cupid's favorite holiday than with something sweet. 

After Valentine's Day spending hit a record high of $27.4 billion in 2020, that number dropped to $21.8 billion in 2021, likely due to pandemic-related restrictions (via Statista).  Now, as we approach the lover's holiday later this month, the National Retail Foundation is predicting a resurgence, estimating Americans will spend nearly $24 billion, making it the second-highest V-Day spending year in history. The foundation's data indicates that of those planning on doing some form of Valentine's spending, 56% expressed plans to purchase candy, making it the holiday's number one gift item over cards and flowers.

According to Candy Store, which predicts the most popular candies in the country each year, one classic Valentine's confection will be making a big comeback this year, re-taking its spot at the top of the candy aisle throne, and that honor belongs to heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. As the outlet explained, the festive sweets will be taking back the top spot from  longtime favorite conversation hearts. While conversation hearts topped the list every year up until recently, the seasonal candy experienced a major slump in sales as a result of the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts brand's original producer, New England Confectionery Company, shutting down in 2018 (via CNBC).

These are the top candies predicted for Valentine's Day 2022

Although the heart-shaped candy brand was acquired by Spangler Candy (most famous for their Dum Dums lollipops), the company failed to produce any boxes of Sweethearts in 2019 and only produced a limited supply in 2020. In an average year, it takes the company 11 months to produce enough of the boxed candies (around 8 billion hearts in total) to keep up with demand during their 6-week peak selling period beginning in January (via Yahoo).

During the Sweethearts market slump, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates (which had long been the second-most popular candy in years past) briefly took the top spot in 2019 and 2020 before conversation hearts took back the title in 2021. However, Candy Store's 2022 data on the favorite Valentine's candies state-by-state indicates that boxes of chocolates have retaken the sugar throne. While boxes of chocolates are the #1 candy in 17 states, candy conversation hearts are the favored Valentine's confection in just 12 states.

Other popular pink and red-colored candies include M&Ms (the favorite of nine states) and Hershey's Kisses (beloved in five states), as well as Cupid Corn, candy necklaces, chocolate hearts, and chocolate roses.

While there's no saying whether conversation hearts will make a comeback to rule the cupid-approved candy market once again, or if heart-shaped boxes of chocolates will continue to reign supreme, it appears that the popularity of both of these classic holiday candies is here to stay.