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The Most Popular Candies in 20 Countries

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No matter where you are in the world, a good candy bar usually isn’t hard to find. The treats you’d come across abroad may not resemble what’s in your local corner store, but that doesn’t make them any less delectable. Here are the most popular candies people choose to indulge their sweet tooth with in 20 countries around the globe.

1. THAILAND // KIT KAT

Compared to the rest of the world, Thailand’s chocolate consumption is relatively low. When they do indulge, however, they choose to break into a Kit Kat. The chocolate bar is the best-selling candy product in the nation (unless you count cough drops, in which case it would be Halls).

2. UK // CADBURY DAIRY MILK

Cadbury

In 2014, Cadbury sold nearly $527 million worth of its beloved Dairy Milk bars. Cadbury Dairy Milk is distinct from other candy that’s popular on the continent in that its flavor profile is “milkier” than how most Europeans prefer their milk chocolate [PDF].

3. TURKEY // ÜLKER

Ülker

Ülker, which is owned by the same company as Godiva, brands themselves as “the most popular chocolate in Turkey.” The candy brand earns approximately half of the country’s total chocolate and biscuit sales each year. Ülker sells many different chocolate varieties, including bars filled with wafers, caramel, and pistachios.

4. CHINA // DOVE

Dove

In China, this American-headquartered candy brand reigns supreme. Dove makes up an impressive 34 percent of the nation’s total chocolate consumption. To put that into perspective, China was projected to consume a whopping 220,700 tons of chocolate last year alone.

5. GERMANY // MILKA

Milka

Milka chocolate bars originated in Berlin in 1901 [PDF], but they didn’t become Germany’s most popular candy until the 1960s. Today they gross more than $730 million a year, beating out the country’s runner-up Lindt by more than $230 million. The candy can be recognized by its mauve wrapper depicting a cow against snow-covered mountains, the same image that’s been used since the brand was first trademarked.

6. BRAZIL // LACTA

Lacta

This chocolate line has been a leader in the Brazilian candy market for the past 100 years. A few Lacta brand offerings include their aerated “Bubbly” bar and a white chocolate treat with Oreo pieces. 

7. POLAND // PTASIE MLECZKO

Cadbury

The best-selling candy product in Poland is this fluffy treat from Cadbury [PDF]. Ptasie Mleczko consists of a light, meringue center with a chocolate glaze coating the outside. The name translates to “Bird's Milk,” a regional phrase derived from a Slavic fairytale. In the story, a princess tests her suitors by asking them to fetch her bird’s milk, something she believes will be impossible to find. It’s for that reason that the idiom is now used to describe something that’s considered precious and rare. In the case of the candy, it has the secondary significance of referring to two of the primary ingredients: eggs and milk.

8. SOUTH KOREA // GHANA CHOCOLATES 

Lotte

Ghana brand chocolates are named for the West African country their cacao beans are sourced from. The treat’s creamy texture has made it a sweet favorite in parts of Asia—especially in South Korea, where the chocolate company leads the country’s candy market.

9. INDIA // CADBURY DAIRY MILK 

While Cadbury is normally associated with its origins in the UK, the candy company’s India branch has been up and running since 1948. From 2010 to 2015, India was the world’s fastest growing chocolate market in value sales. The Cadbury Dairy Milk brand alone accounts for nearly 41 percent of the marketshare of India’s chocolate category.

10. DENMARK // HARIBO

Haribo

Denmark is one of the few countries that prefers gummies over chocolate. The Haribo candy company is most famous for their gummy bears, but they also produce licorice, gummy worms, and a range of other sugary treats. Danes are some of the most voracious candy consumers on earth, with each citizen eating an average of 18 pounds of candy per year (that’s twice as much as the average European). One University of Southern Denmark anthropologist attributes this behavior to the local tradition of hygge (translated to “coziness”) that’s practiced during the long, cold winter months. In Denmark, this often includes indulging in snacks and candy with loved ones.

11. JAPAN // KIT KAT

Nestle

While Meiji is the best-selling chocolate brand in the country, Kit Kat bars earn the distinction of being Japan’s most popular single chocolate treat. Most Americans are familiar with the snappy confection, but their Japanese counterparts are something else all together. A few of the more than 80 Kit Kat flavors sold in Japan include strawberry cheesecake, purple sweet potato, and wasabi.

12. ISRAEL // ELITE

Strauss Group

Elite brand chocolate dominates the Israeli candy market. The company was founded in the region by a Jewish-Russian immigrant in 1934, and the candy has been a childhood staple there ever since. One of the brand’s most popular product is Pesek-zman, which is like a Kit Kat bar with hazelnut cream inside. The candy bar is so popular that it even has its own ice cream spin-off.

13. SOUTH AFRICA // CADBURY DAIRY MILK

Cadbury

In this former British colony, Cadbury Dairy Milk also nabs the title of most popular chocolate. South Africans' favorite variety is the Cadbury Lunch Bar, approximately 300,000 of which are sold per day. Other popular choices amongst locals include Dairy Milk Wholenut and Dairy Milk Top Deck.

14. ICELAND // PRINCE POLO

Olza

One of Poland’s most popular exports, this chocolate-covered wafer bar is the most beloved candy amongst Icelanders. When heavy import restrictions were in effect in Iceland a few decades ago, Prince Polo was the only foreign candy available in the country. During his visit to Poland in 1999, former Iceland Prime Minister Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said an entire generation of Icelanders were raised on the candy bar. Today it’s estimated that over a pound of the confection is consumed per Iceland resident each year.

15. SAUDI ARABIA // GALAXY

Galaxy

In Saudi Arabia, Dove Chocolate is branded as the exceedingly popular Galaxy candy bars (this is also the name they’re given in the UK). The two products are practically identical, right down to their design style. The brand expanded its presence in Saudi Arabia in 2014 when they opened a $60 million chocolate factory there. In addition to the traditional chocolate bars, Galaxy plans to introduce new flavors to the region like “Cookie Crumble.”

16. RUSSIA // ALPEN GOLD

Alpen Gold

The favorite candy brand amongst Russians is this popular line of chocolate bars. They come available in milk, dark, and white chocolate varieties and can include hazelnuts, coffee beans, liqueur, and other decadent additions

17. CHILE // AMBROSOLI 

Ambrosoli

Though the company was founded in Italy, Ambrosoli candies have found remarkable popularity in Chile. Today the brand manufactures a diverse variety of chocolates, caramels, and fruit candies in the South American country.

18. BELGIUM // CÔTE D’OR

CÔTE D’OR

Chocolate is popular around the world, and of course Belgium is no exception. As of 2012, Côte d’Or was selling more than 600 million chocolates to Belgians per year [PDF]. The chocolate bar comes in several varieties, some of which include marzipan, praline, or cranberry fillings.

19. CANADA // KIT KAT

Nestle

In addition to being beloved both at home and overseas, Kit Kat bars are also a favorite of our neighbors to the north. Canada is one of over 100 countries where Kit Kats are sold. According to Nestlé, they’re so popular that 700 Kit Kat fingers are reportedly consumed every second.

20. U.S. // M&Ms 

The U.S. is the largest chocolate market in the world, and a big portion of the chocolate we buy comes in a colored candy coating. M&Ms are the best-selling candy in America, boasting annual sales of $673.2 million. And if you were rooting for Reese’s to take the top spot, don’t be discouraged—Hershey’s peanut butter cups come in at a close second.

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Food
The Gooey History of the Fluffernutter Sandwich

Open any pantry in New England and chances are you’ll find at least one jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Not just any old marshmallow crème, but Fluff; the one manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and the preferred brand of the northeast. With its familiar red lid and classic blue label, it's long been a favorite guilty pleasure and a kitchen staple beloved throughout the region.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond. And in the beyond lies perhaps the most treasured concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, you guessed it, Fluff. No jelly required. Or wanted.

There are several claims to the origin of the sandwich. The first begins with Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere—or, not Paul exactly, but his great-great-great-grandchildren Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts. Both siblings were highly intelligent and forward-thinkers, and Amory was even accepted into MIT. But when the family couldn’t afford to send him, he founded a Boston-based company in the 1890s that specialized in soda fountain equipment.

He sold the business in 1901 and used the proceeds to buy the entire east side of Crystal Street in Melrose. Soon after he built a house and, in his basement, he created a marshmallow spread known as Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (later called SMAC), which actually predated Fluff. By the early 1910s, the Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established and Snowflake became the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow crème.

Although other companies were manufacturing similar products, it was Emma who set the Curtis brand apart from the rest. She had a knack for marketing and thought up many different ways to popularize their marshmallow crème, including the creation of one-of-a-kind recipes, like sandwiches that featured nuts and marshmallow crème. She shared her culinary gems in a weekly newspaper column and radio show. By 1915, Snowflake was selling nationwide.

During World War I, when Americans were urged to sacrifice meat one day a week, Emma published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich. She named her creation the "Liberty Sandwich," as a person could still obtain his or her daily nutrients while simultaneously supporting the wartime cause. Some have pointed to Emma’s 1918 published recipe as the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter, but the earliest recipe mental_floss can find comes from three years prior. In 1915, the confectioners trade journal Candy and Ice Cream published a list of lunch offerings that candy shops could advertise beyond hot soup. One of them was the "Mallonut Sandwich," which involved peanut butter and "marshmallow whip or mallo topping," spread on lightly toasted whole wheat bread.

Another origin story comes from Somerville, Massachusetts, home to entrepreneur Archibald Query. Query began making his own version of marshmallow crème and selling it door-to-door in 1917. Due to sugar shortages during World War I, his business began to fail. Query quickly sold the rights to his recipe to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower in 1920. The cost? A modest $500 for what would go on to become the Marshmallow Fluff empire.

Although the business partners promoted the sandwich treat early in the company’s history, the delicious snack wasn’t officially called the Fluffernutter until the 1960s, when Durkee-Mower hired a PR firm to help them market the sandwich, which resulted in a particularly catchy jingle explaining the recipe.

So who owns the bragging rights? While some anonymous candy shop owner was likely the first to actually put the two together, Emma Curtis created the early precursors and brought the concept to a national audience, and Durkee-Mower added the now-ubiquitous crème and catchy name. And the Fluffernutter has never lost its popularity.

In 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature spent a full week deliberating over whether or not the Fluffernutter should be named the official state sandwich. On one side, some argued that marshmallow crème and peanut butter added to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The history-bound fanatics that stood against them contended that the Fluffernutter was a proud culinary legacy. One state representative even proclaimed, "I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff." True dedication, but the bill has been stalled for more than a decade despite several revivals and subsequent petitions from loyal fans.

But Fluff lovers needn’t despair. There’s a National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) for hardcore fans, and the town of Somerville, Massachusetts still celebrates its Fluff pride with an annual What the Fluff? festival.

"Everyone feels like Fluff is part of their childhood," said self-proclaimed Fluff expert and the festival's executive director, Mimi Graney, in an interview with Boston Magazine. "Whether born in the 1940s or '50s, or '60s, or later—everyone feels nostalgic for Fluff. I think New Englanders in general have a particular fondness for it."

Today, the Fluffernutter sandwich is as much of a part of New England cuisine as baked beans or blueberry pie. While some people live and die by the traditional combination, the sandwich now comes in all shapes and sizes, with the addition of salty and savory toppings as a favorite twist. Wheat bread is as popular as white, and many like to grill their sandwiches for a touch of bistro flair. But don't ask a New Englander to swap out their favorite brand of marshmallow crème. That’s just asking too Fluffing much.

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Food
A Famed French Chef Is Begging Michelin to Take Away His 3 Stars
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REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images

A Michelin star, which rewards excellence in cooking, is a huge deal in the restaurant world. Aside from the prestige the ratings convey, they drive significant business: In 2010, Eater reported that a Michelin star could result in up to a 25 percent increase in sales for a restaurant. But the honor isn’t always welcome.

In a rare move, a French restaurateur is asking to be stripped of his three Michelin stars. Chef Sébastien Bras, whose family restaurant in Laguiole, France, has appeared as a three-star eatery in the Guide Michelin France since 1999, has asked to be removed from future editions of the influential guide, The Guardian reports.

A Michelin star—or three, the guide's highest designation—can create a lot of anxiety for a restaurant. That increase in business isn’t always a good thing. In February 2017, a tiny, casual French restaurant that employed only four waiters was listed in the Guide Michelin France by mistake (another restaurant with the same name should have been included). It was unprepared for the sudden influx of customers who showed up expecting an award-winning meal.

In a Facebook video, Bras announced his decision to ask for his restaurant to be removed from the guide. He said that while the award had given him great satisfaction over the years, it also created a huge amount of pressure, since the restaurant could be inspected at any time without warning. Bras plans to continue cooking, just without the prestigious designation.

However, a representative from Michelin told AFP that the removal process isn’t automatic, and the decision would have to be considered by the executive committee that awards the stars.

He’s not the only one who has chafed at the honor of a Michelin star. In 2014, a Spanish chef returned the star awarded to his family restaurant outside of Valencia, saying being in a Michelin guide gave patrons specific expectations of what his food would be like, stifling his creativity. Other chefs have also chafed at the expectations a Michelin star creates around their food, including the owner of a French restaurant that wanted to transform into a more casual eatery and a Belgian chef who said that after his restaurant appeared in the restaurant guide, customers were no longer interested in the simple food he wanted to serve.

[h/t The Guardian]

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