LITTLE ROCK, Ark (kark) — It’s the season for Christmas greetings, cheers, and the iconic candy cane treat, but don’t let anyone tell you how to eat it. Actually, there may be more ways to do it than you thought.
The National Confectioners Association posed the question to US candy cane consumers to determine the most popular way people enjoy the confection.
the survey showed that 57% of the people surveyed eat the straight end of the cane first, the most popular strategy, while 27% start with the curved end and only 16% of the participants break the cane into pieces.
The original red and white striped peppermint “J” or hook-shaped candy has a long history, according to a recent study by the National Confectioners Association.
History of the candy cane
According to the association, the candy cane has been around for more than three and a half centuries. In 1670, the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out the original mint sticks to the young singers to keep them quiet during long ceremonies.
In 1847, German candies crossed the pond with a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard, who decorated his Christmas tree with the candies hooked in Ohio.
A man named Bob McCormack began creating handmade treats in the 1920s in Georgia. According to the National Confectioners Association, the process was painstaking, so McCormack’s brother-in-law created the first automatic candy-making machine, beginning the legacy of the national McCormack candy company.
Fast facts on candy canes from the National Confectioners Association:
- The notable red stripe was not added until around the 20th century.
- National Candy Cane Day in the United States is celebrated on December 26.
- Candy canes are the top-selling non-chocolate candy for the month of December.
- Considered a seasonal item, 90% of candy canes are sold at the height of the US holiday season, from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
- The biggest week for candy cane sales is the second week of December.