How many candy canes are made each year

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.

While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.

It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.

Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.

Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.

Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.

According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?

Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.

December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.

Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

How many candy canes are produced world wide each year?

Already have this answer on our Candy Cane Facts page, but since someone asked here is what I found out.

The number I have is there are over 1.76 billion candy canes made each year.

Now I could be wrong about the number that are actually made since obviously I am not a major world producer of candy canes, but several other websites also confirm that number.

  • National Confectioners Association (NCA)
  • TLC

How many candy canes are made each year

Candy makers produce about 1.76 billion candy canes per year. 90% of all candy cane sales occur between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons.

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Candy canes are one of the most recognizable symbols (and foods) of the entire holiday season. While most people wouldn’t consider a Christmas complete with the red and white striped sticks, few people know much about their long history. Whether you use one to stir your hot chocolate or just hang them on your tree, here are 10 fun facts about this iconic candy.

1. They are very old

The first reference to candy canes in America dates back to 1847 when a German immigrant from Wooster, Ohio decorated his Christmas tree with the festive candy. Candy canes weren’t commonly hung on trees until 1882, but the first candy canes predate these events by a few hundred years…

2. origins

Folklore says that in Cologne, Germany in 1670, a choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral, wishing to keep the local children quiet during the Living Creche tradition of Christmas Eve, asked a candy maker to form some type of “sugar stick” for them…

3. Religious representation

To justify the expense and practice of creating this candy, the choirmaster asked the candy maker to make them white in color and shape them like a “J.” It is believed that the “J” shape of the candy cane, as well as the original pure white color, were meant to represent Jesus.

4. Different design

That means that the original candy canes were straight sticks and lacked the iconic curve and stripes of today. These first sweet treats were an all white hard candy.

5. Seeing stripes

Red and white stripes weren’t added to candy canes until around 1900.

6. Innovation

Candy canes were then made for centuries by hand, until 1921, when Brasher O. Westerfield invented a machine that could churn out the candy canes automatically. Thirteen years later, another inventor, Robert I. Strongin of Chicago, Illinois, claimed his machine was more economical and also claimed a patent for a machine that could make candy canes. His patent describes the device as a “machine which will receive the heated and elongated sticks of candy material from which the canes are produced and which will first cut the same and uniform lengths and then produce the desired bend.”

7. they’re incredibly popular

Today, nearly 2 billion candy canes are produced each year, and almost all of them are sold within the four weeks leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah.

8. Fun flavors

Traditional candy canes are flavored with peppermint, but modern times have seen every flavor from green apple to pickles.

9. sweet stats

The average candy cane is 5 inches and weigh about a half an ounce. They also don’t have any fat or cholesterol and the standard size has only about 50 calories each.

10. size matters

The world’s largest candy cane was built in Geneva, Illinois by chef Alain Roby in 2012. The candy cane was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar and now holds the Guinness World Record.  

11. Peppermint Pick-me-up

Peppermint candy canes are touted for some substantial health benefits including aiding in gastrointestinal discomfort, curbing cravings, easing headaches, relieving stuffy noses, and of course, freshening breath.

12. Iconic Candy

National Candy Cane Day is celebrated every December 26 in the United States. With the holiday over, take those decorative canes from around the house and use them in all kinds of recipes. Crush them on top of cookies, brownies, cheesecake, puppy chow and more.

Also see, the most popular Christmas candy in each state. 

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How many candy canes are sold each year us?

There are nearly two billion candy canes made each year, and nearly all of them are sold within the month leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas.

How many candy canes are made each year worldwide?

Over 1.7 billion candy canes are made each year around the world. The traditional flavor for candy canes are peppermint, however, it is also made in a variety of other flavors and colors.

Where are most candy canes made?

Family-owned Bobs Candies Inc., which makes candy canes, moved half of its manufacturing to Mexico.

Who makes the most candy canes?

Spangler gives Bryan its identity as the "Dum Dum Capitol of the World". The company produces approximately 45% of the candy canes sold in the United States and produces over 12 million Dum Dums per day.