Even if you're not religious, you should be excited about Easter for one very sweet reason. Candy, duh! Next to Halloween, no other holiday is more associated with candy than Easter. Technically, it's an even bigger candy holiday than Halloween because of the amounts of cash people shell out each year for chocolate eggs and other Easter basket goodies.
Americans reportedly spent $18.4 billion on Easter last year (up 6 percent from 2016) and it's likely that 2018 will be on par if not greater when it comes to candy sales.
While each person has their own favorite when it comes to the best Easter candy, no basket would be complete without these top 10 Easter candy favorites.
Russell Stover Marshmallow Chocolate Eggs
Easter is marshmallow's time to shine more than any other holiday. There's of course, one marshmallow candy that unequivocally screams Easter, but we'll get to that later. Russell Stover has a lot of different egg flavors ranging from red velvet to coconut cream. For practical purposes though, I'll focus on the classic combination of chocolate and marshmallow. There's nothing particularly innovative about the candy, but it's that simplicity that makes it an Easter favorite year after year.
Cadbury's Mini Eggs
There are two ways to eat the deliciously addictive Cadbury Mini Egg, chomp down and risk cracking a molar, or suck on the sugary shell until chocolate hits your tongue. Either way, is perfectly fine. However you want to eat your Easter candy is your own business. These eggs look so strikingly similar to a real bird's eggs, I'd be willing to be that if you threw a couple in a nest, some poor Robin would be duped into sitting on them. That would just be a waste of good chocolate though, so just eat'em instead.
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
The California jelly bean company boasts that it has 100 different flavors, so you're bound to find one or several dozens that your taste buds will love. Jelly beans make a great addition to any Easter basket and provide a nice contrast to the chocolate-heavy candy theme that dominates the holiday. At just 4 calories a bean, you can pop quite a few without feeling as guilty as scarfing down chocolate eggs.
Snicker's Chocolate Egg
Snickers remain one of the most popular candy bars on the market, so it's really no surprise that the Easter version would be a hit. It's not really any different than a normal Snickers bar except that it's in egg form. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" was apparently the motto of the folks over at Mars and it worked for gloriously with this Easter treat.
Just like the Snickers egg, there's nothing unique about the Easter version of M&Ms other than the pastel pallet they went with for the candy shell. Nobody's complaining though because M&Ms are straight-up awesome and few people can resist popping a few when they see them sitting in a bowl. Just like jelly beans, you don't even need a full bag of these to elevate an Easter basket, just sprinkle a handful of them in that green cellophane grass and boom - Easter basket flare!
Hollow Chocolate Bunnies
The chocolate bunny is Easter candy. While these bunnies usually come in two forms, hollow and solid, hollow seems to be the more popular choice. I suspect this is for one very specific reason, it's just more satisfying to bite the ears off a hollow chocolate bunny than a solid one. Don't ask me why, it just is. While there are a number of different brands of chocolate bunnies out there, you really can't go wrong with the classic Lindt Gold Bunny.
Why it took Starburst — which has been around since 1960 — so long to make a jelly bean form of its candy is mind-boggling. Starburst Jellybeans haven't even been around barely two decades and they've already become one of the most popular Easter candies. Starbursts are delicious and putting them into jelly bean form and doing away with the obnoxious wrapper was a genius move by the candy company.
Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs
The people at Reese's know exactly what's up. People crave the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and they dominate the market. Sure, Butterfinger does okay — they actually have an Easter candy too — but it's Reese's who really hit the home run with the peanut butter egg. It's incredibly similar to the standard cup, but I feel like the chocolate shell on the egg is little thinner. They of course also have a pumpkin-shaped version of the candy around Halloween.
Some people can't stand Peeps. I get it, they're incredibly sugary so much so that their sweetness can be overpowering. For those of us who do love the sugar-coated marshmallow chicks and bunnies, it's easy to understand why they're easily one of the top three Easter candies. They're squishy, sweet, and there's really no other candy quite like them. Peeps recently have branched out from their original flavors into new territory like pumpkin, cotton candy, and fruit punch, but it's original marshmallow that seems to fly off the shelves the fastest.
Cadbury Creme Eggs
There are those who love the Cadbury Creme Egg and those who gag at the mere sight of one. To those who hate it — you're wrong. The incredibly rich in taste eggs were first introduced in 1971 and they're still going strong today, relatively unchanged except for getting a little smaller. While it's somewhat annoying that the eggs have shrunk in size, that foul isn't enough to swear off the treat alone and they'll likely remain an Easter favorite for as long as people keep eating candy.