Although it is currently most popular in the fall, the tri-color treat, the candy corn was not always associated with the fall and Halloween season. For the first half of the 20th century, candy corn was a well known “penny candy” or bulk confectionary, and it was advertised as an affordable and popular treat that could be eaten year round.
Candy corn developed into a fall and Halloween staple around the 1950s when people began to hand out individually wrapped candy to trick-or-treaters. The harvest-themed colors and increased advertising in the month of October also helped candy corn become the fall staple that it is today.
Chicken Feed” was the original name of the candy with production starting in the late 1880s. It was first invented in the 1880s by a Wunderle Candy Company employee, George Renninger. Wunderle Candy Company was the first to produce the candy in 1888. Following the Wunderle Candy Company, the Goelitz Confectionery Company (now called Jelly Belly) began manufacturing the product in 1898. While Jelly Belly still makes candy corn, the largest manufacturer of candy corn is Brach’s Confections owned by the Ferrara Candy Company. Brach’s makes approximately 7 billion pieces of candy corn per year and possesses 85 percent of the total share of the candy corn industry during the Halloween season.