With Halloween on the way, "career expert" Zippia recently set out to find each state's favorite Halloween candy. I put the words career expert in quotes because, historically, I've never really trusted their data analysis results, as we'll see yet again.

Using Google trends (hardly reliable evidence for claiming a state's favorite Halloween candy, I think), Zippia examined 50 different popular and unpopular candies giving them "a range of candies that puts any grocery store shelf to shame." They do note that they left gum out as gum "isn't a candy," as well as "raisins, fruit snacks, and other things people try and pass off as candy to unfortunate trick-or-treaters." The results?

The leading "favorite" candy across the country was Starbursts in six states. The 50 states were also split down the middle 25/25 between chocolate candies and non-chocolate. While plenty of popular candies made the list, some not-so-popular ones did, too, including Circus Peanuts (New Hampshire's favorite...reportedly), Liquorice (Maine), Junior Mints (Massachusetts) and Airheads (Florida). As far as Minnesota's neighbors, the favorite Halloween candies according to Zippia are:

North Dakota -- Starburst
South Dakota -- Milky Way
Iowa -- Starburst
Wisconsin -- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Minnesota's favorite Halloween candy -- according to the "career experts" at Zippia -- is the chocolatey, nougaty and caramely Snickers bar. Not a bad candy by any means, though I still have my doubts.

Zippia.com

"Why all the skepticism?" you may be wondering. Fair question. Well, it's simply that I don't put a lot of stock in "Google trends" as reliable evidence, especially when you're touting definitive research results on topics such as the "Favorite Halloween Candy in Each State."

By way of argument, I Googled the same topic to see what other results came up. Mental Floss put out their own list using data directly from Candystore.com. According to the online candy store (which sells candy in bulk across the country), the most popular Halloween candy is Skittles (Starbursts ranked No. 3 on their list). They also claim -- according to sales -- that chocolate was the most popular candy in only 18 states (not 25). I'm not saying results will differ one study to another, but if we're comparing credible factors, I'd definitely favor the study that looks at actual candy sales and not just Google results (I mean, haven't you ever Google Circus Peanuts just to see what they're actually made of?).

I think Zippia did get one thing right, though, when they said "At the end of the day candy is candy. Especially when it’s free." As to what Minnesota's favorite Halloween candy really is -- I'll let you decide that for yourself!

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