Candy corn has become inextricably linked to Halloween. As the holiday approaches, you will be tempted by bags upon bags of candy corn available at all different kinds of retailers. Candy corn has been a part of the Halloween “brand” since 1880, originally developed to resemble a corn kernel to appeal to America’s farmers and their families. What is it about this little kernel of sugar that has made such a lasting impact on America’s celebration of Halloween?

Candy corn has been a consistent staple of Halloween for over 130 years and can teach us a thing or two about good branding:


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The almost unchanged presentation and list of ingredients are factors that help keep candy corn associated with Halloween generation after generation. Adult customers who purchase candy corn every year expect to experience the same product they enjoyed in their childhood. Similarly, when it comes to your brand, there should be a consistent brand promise that will reassure your customers of the level of satisfaction they will experience each time they interact with your brand. 


The candy corn we know and love has used the same three color bands throughout its 130 year history. The yellow bottom, tapered orange center, and pointy white tip remain consistent and give the candy its unique brand styling. This palette has also helped candy corn remain relevant to Halloween celebrants for generations. The fall/harvest coloring that make it “eye candy” as an appetizing snack also fit Halloween’s quintessential autumnal color palette. Using a memorable color or series of colors can help your customers easily identify and remember your brand. For example, think Coca Cola (red) or Breast Cancer Awareness (pink).


Proving once and for all that candy corn is not just for goblins and ghosts, now you can find candy corn tailored for a variety of other holidays:

  • Freedom Corn (red, white and blue) for the fourth of July
  • Reindeer Corn (white green and red) for Christmas
  • Cupid Corn (white, pink and red) for Valentine’s Day

Candy corn’s popularity has broadened its reach into other holidays using the same principles it used to make it a staple of Halloween. The confectioners kept a few keys aspect of the candy’s original form intact (the shape and flavor) and tinkered with the colors to appeal to additional holiday seasons.

Humble candy corn has taught us a number of important lessons about branding. Its multi-generational appeal is testament to its simplicity and consistency, which have created a special place for the treat in trick-or-treaters’ bags every Halloween.