Sweet success: Pennsylvania ranks 4th nationwide in candy industry

Hershey chocolate (shutterstock)

By Ashley Adams

October 24, 2023

Pennsylvania has the fourth largest candy industry in the country, and five of the top 10 metro areas with the best candy economies in the nation.

Halloween is just around the corner and there’s bound to be plenty of Pennsylvania-made goodies filling up trick-or-treat bags.

Pennsylvania has the fourth largest candy economy in the nation, according to US Census Bureau data compiled by the website Upgraded Points. Vermont has the largest, followed by Illinois and New Hampshire.

The concentration of those working in the candy industry in the commonwealth is 2.4 times higher than the national average. Their pay is 2.7 times higher than the national average, and the concentration of candy businesses is 16 times higher in Pennsylvania than in other states.

When it came to metros specifically, five of the top 10 metro areas nationally with the best candy economies are in Pennsylvania. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area ranked fourth in the country. Altoona, Lancaster, Reading, and Harrisburg-Carlisle ranked sixth, seventh, ninth, and 10th, respectively, too.

There are three major companies that are headquartered and produce candy in Pennsylvania. Just Born makes beloved confections in Bethlehem in the eastern part of the state. Boyer Candy creates delicious treats in Altoona and the candy giant Hershey is still based in the central Pennsylvania town that shares its name, and has a few plants located within the state.

The complete state-made candy selection is too extensive to list in one article, with each region having several local companies that produce their own chocolates, taffy, and other goodies.

However, Pennsylvania does have a nice and varied selection of state-made, mass-produced candies packaged perfectly for trick-or-treaters. Here are a few of them:

  • Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (made by Just Born)
  • Hot Tamales (made by Just Born)
  • Peeps (made by Just Born)
  • Mike and Ike (made by Just Born)
  • Clark Bars and Clark Cups (made by Boyer Candy)
  • Mallow Cup (made by Boyer Candy)
  • Boyer Peanut Butter Cups (made by Boyer Candy)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces (made by Hershey)
  • Hershey chocolate bars (made by Hershey)
  • York Peppermint Patties (made by Hershey)
  • Rolo (made by Hershey)
  • Twizzlers (made by Hershey)
  • Kit Kat (made by Hershey)
  • Whatchamacallit (made by Hershey)
  • Carmello (made by Hershey)


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.


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