Home Consumer What Are Americans’ Preferred Sweets And Treats For The Holidays?

What Are Americans’ Preferred Sweets And Treats For The Holidays?


By Marie Haaland // SWNS

Half of Americans have attended a holiday party specifically for the treats and desserts, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 general population Americans revealed that, while 48% have attended a party solely for the sweets they expected to be there, 43% have also stayed at a gathering for the treats — then left.

The data explored Americans’ love for all things sweet, and results found indulging their sweet tooth is the activity most likely to bring back the childlike wonder of the holidays (56%).

Eating sweets and desserts beat out opening presents (52%) and playing in the snow (49%) as the top activity to make respondents feel like a child again.

And eight in 10 respondents said indulging in sweets and other desserts brings back the best memories of holidays and spending time with family growing up.

Commissioned by Sanders® Candy and conducted by OnePoll ahead of National Sea Salt Caramel Day on Nov. 13, the survey revealed respondents are most likely to indulge in eating sweets during the holiday season (76%).

Results found 48% have hidden their favorite treats to avoid sharing with anyone else.

The most common hiding spots include behind other items in the kitchen cabinets (61%), in a kitchen cabinet that doesn’t usually have food in it (52%) or in the bathroom cabinet (49%).

And watch out — 46% admit to “always” or “often” eating sweets that belong to other family members.

Hidden or not, during the holiday season, respondents will eat an average of 26 cookies — whether store-bought or homemade — 25 pieces of candy or chocolate and 12 slices of pie.

They’ll also have 13 each of the following — slices of cake, cupcakes, brownies and caramels.

For a treat to be “quality,” respondents are paying close attention to the taste (46%), whether it’s homemade (44%) or if it’s made in small batches (41%).

That’s in addition to the origin of the recipe (33%) and if it uses real ingredients (31%).

“We’ve always felt that some of the best holiday memories are made while indulging in sweet treats — and we’re excited to make an official day to celebrate these treasured traditions on Nov. 13,” said Sean Kristl, Brand Manager at Sanders® Candy. “We’re hoping National Sea Salt Caramel Day will give people an opportunity to celebrate their favorite sweet treats while spending time with loved ones.”

Three-quarters (74%) said they’re more likely to give in to their cravings for sweets at the end of the year — an average of 43% more than during the rest of the year.

For two-thirds (64%), this is because they only purchase their favorite sweets at the end of the year — for others, it’s due to tradition, as they only make their favorite treat for the holidays at the end of the year (57%).

Respondents might also be more willing to indulge at the end of the year as winter was chosen as the season with the best flavors (46%).

Gingerbread was selected as the best flavor at the end of the year (54%), followed closely by salted caramel (47%).

Peppermint (43%), maple (40%) and pumpkin spice (30%) rounded out the top five best flavors during the holiday season.

“It’s no surprise to us that people love seasonal flavors — it’s why, in addition to our regular chocolate sea salt caramels, we love to mix in seasonal flavors like peppermint and maple to bring a burst of deliciousness to the holidays,” said Kristl. “We use real ingredients and a small batch, kettle-cooked process to provide delicious sweets for everyone to share, both year-round and on National Sea Salt Caramel Day.”


  • I only purchase my favorite sweets at the end of the year — 64%
  • It’s tradition to make my favorite treat for the holidays/at the end of the year — 57%
  • A family member or friend only makes my favorite treat for the holidays/at the end of the year — 53%
  • My favorite treat is only available to purchase at the end of the year — 49%
  • Spending time with family and friends makes me worry less about staying healthy — 26%


  • Gingerbread — 54%
  • Salted caramel — 47%
  • Peppermint — 43%
  • Maple — 40%
  • Pumpkin spice — 30%
  • Chai — 30%
  • Cinnamon — 25%
  • Bourbon — 10%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Sanders Candy between Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.