ByMolly Allen/Jan. 14, 2021 5:01 pm EDT
There's mixed feelings all around about Valentine's Day. For many, it's an occasion steeped in romance, offering the perfect chance to show your significant other just how much you care. For others, it's as cheesy as can be. But whether you feel like it's all about the gimmicks or truly a special occasion, there is one good thing that comes out of Valentine's Day: plenty of candy.
According to CandyStore.com, in2020, Valentine's Day candy sales were projected to hit $2.4 billion. That's certainly not a number to scoff at. It's clear that at least some romantics love their Valentine's Day candy, whether reaching for chocolates or a confection with more of a fruity flavor.
But is all Valentine's Day candy created equally? Sure, most options are decked out with a cute little heart-shaped theme or the color palettes feature a bright red, pink, and white that unmistakably mark them as Valentine's Day treats. But they sure don't all taste the same. The last thing you want to be caught doing is gifting your sweetheart Valentine's Day candy that's not-so-sweet. Luckily, we've got the answers for you. To avoid any special day mishaps, we've put together a list of Valentine's Day candy for you, ranked worst to best.
White Cheesecake M&M's
If you're a dessert lover, you can certainly respect a good cheesecake. With a graham cracker crust and a tangy cream cheese filling, a well-made, luxurious cheesecake is delicious! But cheesecake ? Far from it.
The green M&M stands proud on the packaging of these candies holding a romantic red rose and making eye contact with shoppers. Meanwhile, the outer candy shells are decked out in lovely pink, peach, and white colors so emblematic of the holiday. Who wouldn't want to dive in, right? Well, if you love the flavor of artificial everything, then go for it. Otherwise, just say no.
Upon opening the bag, you're met with an utterly confusing scent, almost like artificially flavored buttered popcorn. Then, taking that first bite, you're met with an awfully unsatisfying flavor. This disappointing addition to the M&M's lineup debuted in 2016, according to Delish.It probably should have just left us behind that year. But alas, it's still on shelves, luring you with that smirking green M&M character and her darling red rose.
Brach's Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
Whoever thought a cinnamon-flavored candy was necessary in this world was just plain wrong. And disguising that so-called-candy in a cute little heart shape certainly doesn't help its cause.
Brach's Cinnamon Imperial Hearts aren't seen on store shelves very often anymore, and that's for good reason. But, back in the '90s, it seemed like that was the only Valentine's Day candy on the market (except for those ultra-traditional conversation hearts, of course).
These candies are sold in bigger bags, but we're not sure who's chowing down on the pounds of cinnamon candy out there. They're terribly bold and spicy. The overpowering cinnamon flavor is deeply unappealing, while the texture is unsatisfying. With not much going for them, we're not sure why anyone would want a huge bag of these candies. Sure, they're cute to use for Valentine's Day crafts or as a garnish on top of a batch of festive cupcakes, but otherwise, these spicy candies are better left untouched.
Lindor Strawberries and Cream White Chocolate Truffles
Lindt certainly has had a good thing going for quite some time with its Lindor truffles. Those delicious, thick chocolate shells with their luscious filling debuted in 1949, according to Lindt, and has been going strong ever since. Over the years, there definitely has been plenty of new, delicious flavors developed by the company, including caramel and hazelnut. But strawberries and cream? That may be a bit too far of a stretch from the original recipe for many palates.
Straight out of the package, these little chocolate balls are truly darling. They certainly dressed up for the holiday with a pink wrapper and a creamy white shell dotted with pink strawberry specks. But what they make up for in appearance, they lack in flavor. If you're not a white chocolate fan, don't even try to take a bite into one of these truffles. The white chocolate is overpowering and intensely sweet, with very little strawberry flavor to actually make these worth enjoying any further than just one bite. If you're given these for Valentine's Day, kindly thank your suitor and then pretend to lose them.
Candy corn is definitely a love it or hate it kind of candy. But no matter your feelings on candy corn, most people would agree it can only pull off its appeal once a year, beginning in late September at the earliest and then fading from view immediately after Halloween.
Cupid corn is like a Halloween favorite dressed up rather unconvincingly for Valentine's Day. Honestly, this treat really is cute with its colors changed for the occasion. The traditional orange, yellow, and white are transformed into a charming red, pink, and white for Valentine's. However, honesty demands the realization that those colors certainly aren't tricking anybody with that get-up.This is still the same sickeningly sweet, waxy candy we all struggle with during the fall. Why should it be any different in February?
If cupid corn must be incorporated into something like, say, a Valentine's Day candy bark recipe or be put into jars as a festive decoration, so be it. But otherwise, for everyone's sanity and the safety of our tastebuds, it's best if it only enjoys that one time in the spotlight each year.
Generally speaking, cordial cherries make their debut during two holidays. They have their time to shine throughout the Christmas season, then they make another lap for Valentine's Day a couple of months later. But gosh, we sure wish they would stay home instead.
Multiple companies make cordial cherries, but Queen Anne is one of the most prominent in the United States. The company has been making them since 1948, soon after which Queen Annereports that their cordial cherry became a hit.
It's not clear why, however. The cordial cherry is a maraschino cherry encompassed by a smooth outer chocolate shell. While that all sounds delicious, the reality is far from tasty. Sure, the milk chocolate on the exterior is delectable enough, but we wish the candies would just leave it at that. Biting into one of these treats is sickeningly sweet, and there's no regard for the balance of flavors. And that creamy center surrounding the cherry they talk about with such enthusiasm? It's basically corn syrup disguised with vanilla flavoring. Overall, this is definitely a box to leave on the store shelves.
Sweethearts Conversation Hearts
These may just be one of the oldest, most quintessential Valentine's Day candies of all time. To be frank, we can't possibly understand how they're still holding on so strong after all these years. It just goes to show that there's real power in nostalgia.
Sweethearts Conversation Hearts debuted in 1902after Daniel Chase, founder of NECCO, figured out a way to stamp friendly sayings on pieces of candy (via Spangler Candy).They've been a longstanding tradition for classroom parties, quirky Valentine's Day exchanges, and so much more ever since. But does anyone really actually like Conversation Hearts?
We love the adorable pastel hues and the sweet and charming little notes each piece of candy displays. They certainly add a fun and festive touch. But the flavor? Awful. And the texture? Hard and chalky. This may just be one of those nostalgic little candies we can never let die. For our memory's sake, we'll give them their time in the spotlight each year. But it's certainly not something we're reaching for in the candy bowl very often.
Nope, you're not seeing double. These definitely are not the same as those classic, will-never-die conversation heart candies.Traditional SweeTARTS usually come to you like round, colorful candies, but, when Valentine's Day rolls around, they go through a dramatic change. They become, a little obviously, a classic Valentine's Day heart. After all, it's worth it to dress up a little bit for the holiday, right?
These well-balanced fruit candies are both, well, sweet and tart. They're a hard, powdery candy, but they pack such a flavorful punch that you can forgive any textural issues. Like classic conversation hearts, they also have cute little sayings punched into them, such as "kiss me," "love ya," and "be mine." Despite the similarities, these little candies are way better than the standard chalky message candies. The flavors are deliciously fruity, with options in the bag such as blue punch, cherry, grape, lemon, and green apple. They're a great little treat, but just be sure that you know what you're getting into. These definitely aren't for everyone if you're not interested in being smacked in the face with a tart punch of flavor.
Heart-shaped chocolate samplers
Aren't chocolate samplers really the most overdone of Valentine's Day candy options? It's nearly impossible to stroll through the seasonal aisle in the grocery store without being bombarded by the wild number of options available for heart-shaped boxes filled with a variety of chocolates. How to impress your sweetie? Do you grab the tiny box with a cute cartoon character? Do you go all out with a giant box that's bigger than your head?
Most of the time, the answer should be none of the above. These chocolate samplers rarely have anything anyone actually wants to eat. It's typically cheap, flavorless chocolate with strangely flavored fillings. You can't deny the fact that you've at least once taken a bite out of a piece of chocolate from one of these samplers and then put it straight back in the box. Or, if you're a bit more humane, you do the right thing and fling it into the trash.
On the other hand, sometimes you can end up with something delicious, like a little chocolate graced with a yummy caramel filling. But is the gamble worth it? Depending on the brand, we'll say it's worth the wager. Just remember that this may not be the occasion to pinch pennies, as you often get what you pay for.
Andes Mint to Be Together Box
First, let's get this out of the way. You either love Andes Chocolate Mints or you can't stand them. For many, chocolate and mint is the perfect combination of flavors. They go together so well! But these thin little rectangles of creme de menthe and chocolate may be a bit too ubiquitous. They're tossed into so many takeout bags at restaurants that it's possible they've lost much of their general appeal.
But if you are an Andes Chocolate Mints lover, this is definitely the box of Valentine's candy for you. This box pairs the traditional creme de menthe thins with a mint cookie crunch version to create the ideal combo that's truly 'mint to be.' The packaging is nothing short of adorable and there are 56 pieces in the box. That will provide plenty of sweetness to last you well past Valentine's Day. You couldn't possibly eat all 56 minty pieces in one sitting ... or can you?
Dove Milk Chocolate Hearts
Dove chocolate hearts are certainly nothing new on grocery store shelves. After all, they're just a heart-shaped version of the traditional chocolate squares produced by the company. But given just how delicious Dove Chocolate is, these little hearts certainly deserve a spot high on this Valentine's candy list.
Outside of Valentine's Day, Dove Chocolates feature inspirational little phrases inside the wrappers of their many flavors. So, it only makes logical sense to use that same concept for Valentine's Day notes. Really, it's the perfect set-up for Valentine's lovebirds.
The milk chocolate hearts are creamy and flavorful, just like their square counterparts. They literally melt in your mouth while you read that charming little saying on the inside of the foil. And with how good they are, it's easy to just sit and eat and read until you accidentally eat the entire bag. They're not the most thrilling or innovative of Valentine's Day candy, to be sure, but they're certainly a good standby for those just looking for a sweet chocolate bite.
Skittles Love Mix
This truly is the Skittles mix that dreams are made of. The only bad part about it is that this mixture is only available around Valentine's Day.
Skittles' Love Mix originally debuted in 2018, as per Delish, and it continues to live on in the Valentine's Day candy aisle to this day. It's essentially a big bag of regular Skittles, only with candy shells decked out in pink, red, and white to embody the holiday's traditional colors. With flavors of red and white-adjacent fruits like watermelon, white grape, yumberry, strawberry, and cherry, you really couldn't ask for much more. The white grape is absolutely delicious, while the watermelon is perfectly fruity. It's like Skittles decided to put truly all of the best flavors into one package.
We do think these little candies could be made a bit more exciting for the big day by adding little messages or heart drawings printed on the shells or even making them in darling heart shapes, but they're otherwise a solid choice for the fruity candy lover on this annual day of love.
M&M's Cupid's Mix
We know, M&M's certainly aren't anything new and exciting to phone home about, but hear us out. Perhaps the longevity of this little chocolate candy is what makes them one of the most perfect standbys for Valentine's Day.
The M&M's Cupid Mix features the same classic candy we all know and love with its dreamy chocolate filling and crunchy candy coating. But this package comes dressed up for the holiday.The red, white, and pink-hued M&M's are ideal for everything from decorating Valentine's Day sweets like cupcakes or candy to just eating them by the handful. Like so many other Valentine's candies, they also come with sweet little messages printed on them in classic M&M's style. Plus, with the adorable packaging, with Mr. Red M&M in a black bow tie holding out a red rose for the occasion, you really can't go wrong. We all know the red M&M is the most romantic of them all, right?
Hershey's Kisses are a total classic that almost everyone loves. These cute little chocolates have been around since 1907, according to Time, and for good reason. There's just something so much better about the texture and flavor of Hershey's Kisses in comparison to a regular Hershey's chocolate bar, and that certainly comes forward with this Valentine's candy.
This cute Valentine's Day version comes wrapped in colorful, festive foil with charming little messages. Sayings such as "be mine," "wanna kiss," and "gimme a kiss," decorate the bottoms to convey a message to a loved one. And the best part? You can buy them in a little heart-shaped box or a bag depending on how many Conversation Kisses you need.
Just like M&M's, you know that you're able to rely on this classic as something that's not only cute for the holiday but also a taste that so many people know and love.
There's a reason that Reese's makes a cute shaped candy for pretty well every season or holiday. From Christmas trees to pumpkins, we love them all. And if you're a peanut butter and chocolate lover, truly these little sweets are unmatched.
The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is one that so many people love. We can't get enough of the surprisingly sweet and salty combination, and for some, it may even make for the perfect metaphor for your own relationship.
There are quite a few versions of Reese's Hearts. Some come in a larger size, individually wrapped and simply jam-packed with dreamy peanut butter filling. The smaller version, typically sold in a larger bag, offers the same peanut butter packed candies in a slightly smaller form that's perfect for the office candy bowl or schoolroom Valentine card exchanges. No matter the size, you can't go wrong, because, really, what's better than saying 'I love you' than with a whole bunch of Reese's?