538’s Ultimate Halloween Candy Power Ranking

fivethirtyeight.com is known for geeking out on stats for sports, politics, and even burritos – this is their take on the most popular Halloween candy, and what/why

I first fell in love with FiveThirtyEight back in 2014 over the course of their months-long quest to find the best burrito in America. Now that, I thought, was an application of advanced statistics I could sink my teeth into. Groan... Seriously, though, if you love yourself a good burrito then it’s well worth the time it takes to read the entire series of articles. (Spoiler alert: Chipotle did not make the cut.)

Now, no one I have ever heard of hands out burritos to trick-or-treaters, so it’s back to the real reason you clicked through to read this story, the Halloween Candy Power Ranking:

“8,371 different IP addresses voted on about 269,000 randomly generated matchups. So, not a scientific survey or anything, but a good sample of what candy people like.”

As with all FiveThirtyEight stories like this, the raw data has been uploaded to Github (the link is in the article) so if you want to perform your own analyses, you can. If you do, please share them with us.

It’s the what and the why that really interested me, and the number one factor influencing which candies are preferred by trick-or-treaters? 

Why chocolate, of course. 

Scroll down towards the bottom of the story to find out which nine other factors round out the top 10. (Note: “Treats” like NECCO wafers and candy corn are among the least-liked candies to find in a treat bag after a long night treating – and among the most difficult to trade away to siblings and friends.)

And in true FiveThirtyEight fashion, they ask a fun question based on their analysis of the data:

“Which brings up an obvious question: Can we build the perfect Frankencandy based on this information?”

Their thoughts?

“[...] in the end, the best Frankencandy has the chocolate of a Hershey bar, the nougat of a Baby Ruth, the caramel of a Milky Way, the peanut butter of a Reese’s Cup, and the wafer of a Twix, and it’s assembled in a castle looming over an Eastern European village. Or if you’re trying to make this at home: Maybe take a Twix bar and smush it on a PayDay, or roll a Snickers around in rice crispies.”

What do you think? What's your ultimate Frankencandy consist of? Please share in a comment below.

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