Conversation Hearts Are the Most Popular Valentine’s Day Candy in the U.S.

After a bit of a slump, conversation hearts are back on top of the list of most-purchased Valentine’s Day candies, according to new data.

Christine_Kohler / Getty Images
Christine_Kohler / Getty Images

For the second year in a row after a bit of a slump (more on that later), conversation hearts have taken the top spot on the list of most popular Valentine’s Day candy: Sweets retailer has released its annual research on candy sales in the U.S., and these old-timey, chatty, little chunks of love top the charts in 17 states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, both Carolinas, and more.

According to the data, 11.4% of total Valentine’s Day sales in 2022 were conversation hearts, making these sweets the most-purchased candy for the fifth time since 2016. The second-place candy, heart-shape boxes of chocolate, were 9.6% of candy sales: After two years of chocolatey dominance in 2019 and 2020, popular opinion has shifted back to those nostalgia-inducing hearts.

You may have noticed these Valentine’s Day favorites were harder to find in 2019 and 2020 after a change in ownership of Sweethearts, one of the top producers of candy hearts, led to conversation heart production challenges. Unfortunately, it took a while for shortages and some problems with printing those sweet nothings on the beloved pastel-colored hearts to be resolved. But, after a slow start in 2021, conversation hearts made their full comeback in 2022 and are more popular than ever.

The National Retail Federation reports that people will spend around $26 billion celebrating love on Valentine’s Day, and it’s estimated that 57% of people plan to purchase delectable treats.


So how long does it take to sell 8 billion (yes, 8 billion!) candy hearts? While production for Valentine’s Day takes 11 months, it takes only six short weeks to sell the majority of candy hearts each year. That’s a massive amount of “be mine” and “love me” sentiments shared!

Of course, conversation hearts aren’t the only confections gifted to spouses, partners, parents, children, classmates, friends, and co-workers during Valentine’s Day. According to the survey, in an unexpected chocolate-flavored upset, Hershey’s kisses replaced M&M’s in Oregon and Pennsylvania for the number one spot, bumping the colorful candy-coated treats out of second place nationally. There are 58 million pounds of chocolate purchased (and likely consumed!) during the week of Valentine’s day, and it’s a good bet that chocoholics in every state will be happy to receive either of these delicious treats

Other favorite candies across the country include a heart-shape box of chocolates, candy necklaces, cupid corn (candy corn in Valentine’s Day pink and red), and chocolate roses. While you’re shopping for your candy of choice, don’t forget a card for your sweetheart—one billion of them are exchanged on Valentine’s Day.

Among those buying candy, not everyone is planning to give it away. In fact,’s survey found that 47% of people plan to buy themselves a box of candy to enjoy. Why not treat yourself?