Last Updated on June 20, 2022 by Jim Edwards
Candy is one of the most widely consumed, sellable products in consumer markets, with millions of people blessing their taste buds with the taste of these sweet and sugary delights each day. Naturally, with such a high demand, countless companies have jumped into the business.
However, not all candy brands are equal. The taste and quality offered by the top most candy brands remain unmatched and simply cannot be paralleled by the other substandard candy manufacturers in the market. This article will take you through some of the best candy brands in the world that have captured the hearts and tongues of millions of candy enthusiasts in the world.
The 8 Most Popular Candy Brands in the World
Mars is one of the largest candy manufacturers in the world. The Mars family still owns the company, which was founded by American Franklin Mars in 1911 in Tacoma, WA. As a result, it is now the sixth largest privately held firm in the United States.
Today, Mars is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. With a net revenue of over $38 billion, Mars is much more than just a candy corporation. Pet food products now account for over half of company revenue, most notably through its ‘Pedigree’ brand.
However, Mars, regardless of having a wide variety of business streams, is first and foremost a confectionery company. The confectionary business accounts for more than half of the net revenue that the company generates.
In 2021, the company was projected to hit $20 billion globally in revenue from its candy business. The company has roughly 130,000 employees. The most popular offerings of the company include:
- Snickers (See our complete guide to Snickers)
- Milky Way
Pietro Ferrero, an Italian, founded the Ferrero in 1946 in the small Piedmont town of Alba, not far from Turin, the fourth-largest city in Italy. The company’s inception began with Supercrema. It was a hazelnut chocolate cream that now goes by the name of Nutella and is loved and consumed all over the world.
The Ferrero family still owns and operates the company, which is still situated in Alba. However, the company has grown into a global confectionery behemoth. Some of the most popular and loved offerings from the company include:
- Mon Cheri
- Ferrero Kusschen
- Ferrero Rocher
- Ferrero Rocher Candy Bar
Ferrero also offers popular candies for the young including Kinder Surprise, Kinder Joy, and Kinder Bueno under the Kinder brand. Ferrero also makes and sells the world-famous Tic Tacs, a mint-based candy that grants the taster fresh and minty breath.
3. Mondelez International
Mondelez International is one of the most globally recognized and appreciated candy companies and is ranked third among the world’s largest candy makers.
Mondelez International came into existence when, in 2012, the American food business mogul ‘Kraft Foods’ chose to divide into two publicly-traded independent companies that would come to be known as Kraft Foods, for grocery items, and Mondelez International, for snack and candy products. Mondelez acquired all of Kraft’s former candy brands, quickly establishing itself as one of the world’s leading confectionery manufacturers.
The Deerfield, Illinois-based corporation is known for acquiring popular confectionery brands from around the world and incorporating them into its corporate portfolio.
To get an idea as to how big the company is, some of the confectionary brands acquired by the company include the German Milka, the British Cadbury, and Polish Prince Polo brands. But it doesn’t stop there, Mondelez also owns American brands like Oreo. Some popular offerings of the company include:
- Cadbury Dairy Milk
- Cadbury 5Star
- Cadbury BournVita
- Trident (chewing gum)
Founded in 2009 after the highly anticipated merger of Meiji Saika and Meiji Dairies, Meiji, a Japan-based company was introduced to the world.
The united Meiji, based in Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is one of the most popular confectionery manufacturers in the world today. The company is also by far Asia’s largest candy manufacturer.
Meiji products are more popular and loved in the Asian markets, particularly in Japan compared to the western markets. Nevertheless, Meiji has still managed to rack up enough sales and fan following to be placed among the world’s leading confectionery companies.
Some of the most famous Meiji candies include:
- Chocolate Kouka
- Meiji Milk Chocolate
- Almond Chocolate
- Lucky Stick
5. The Hershey Company
Hershey is one of the oldest operational confectionery companies in the world and is also the fifth largest globally. Milton Hershey founded the company back in 1894 and the company sold its first candy bar by 1900. Hershey founded not only the giant candy behemoth that we love and consume today, but he also bought a town in Pennsylvania, known as Hershey, where the Hershey Company is still situated today.
While Hershey’s offerings aren’t as popular in places foreign to North America, it is nevertheless, the country’s largest and most popular candy manufacturer which is enough to make it one of the largest candy manufacturers in the world.
Some of the most popular Hershey’s confectioneries include:
- Almond Joy
- bark Thins
- Breath Savers
- Ice Breakers
- Jolly Rancher
- Kit Kat (Only in the US)
- Hershey’s Kisses
Nestlé, based in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland, is a global food and beverage conglomerate. Since 2014, it has become the world’s largest public food company in terms of revenue and other criteria. When it comes to confectioneries, the company is up there among the world leading candy brands with it being the 6th largest candy manufacturer worldwide. It was placed No. 64 on the Fortune Global 500 in 2017 and No. 33 on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public corporations in 2016.
The “Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé,” established by Henri Nestlé in 1867, and “Anglo-Swiss Milk Company,” founded in 1866 by the brothers Charles and George Page, merged to form Nestlé in 1905.
The company underwent substantial growth, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and newborn formula products during the First World War and again during the Second World War.
Over time, the company made several acquisitions which include Findus in 1963, Crosse & Blackwell in 1950, Libby’s in 1971, Klim in 1998, Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988, and Gerber in 2007. Some of the most popular confections offered by the company are:
- Baby Ruth
- 100 Grand
- Bottle Caps
- Everlasting Gobstopper
- Fun Dip
- Laffy Taffy
7. Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG, or simply Lindt, is a Swiss confectionery and chocolatier company that was founded in 1845 and is famous for its chocolate bars and chocolate truffles among other things.
It is headquartered in Kilchberg, which also houses its primary manufacturing facility and museum. Lindt & Sprüngli bought Hofbauer sterreich, an Austrian chocolatier, in 1994 and integrated it into the company, along with its Küfferle trademark.
Later on, the company bought the Italian chocolatier Caffarel and the American chocolatier Ghirardelli in 1997 and 1998, respectively, and merged both into the corporation as wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Lindt & Sprüngli has since expanded its once local reach to the global market. However, Lindt had to pack-up 50 of its 80 retail stores in the United States on March 17, 2009, due to lower demand in the aftermath of the recession that hit the United States in the late-2000s. Some of the most popular offerings from the company include:
- Lindt HELLO
- Lindt LINDOR
- Lindt EXCELLENCE
Haribo, a German confectionery firm, was founded by Hans Riegel Sr founded. The company was conceived in the German town Bonn, Kessenich. The name Haribo was inspired from Hans Riegel Bonn and is a syllabic abbreviation of the name. In 1922, Haribo invented the first gummy candy, Gummibärchen, which are small gummy bears.
The company is currently headquartered in Grafschaft, Germany. Hans Riegel discovered the Goldbear’s precursor two years after the company was founded, which was still known as Tanzbär (Dancing Bear) at the time.
It was, however, not only larger than today’s gummy bears, but much softer, thanks to the gum Arabic featured in the ingredients instead of the more usual gelatin. Since then, Haribo has grown substantially by acquiring several local candy makers in nations all over the world.
In the 1960s, it began expanding internationally, and in the 1980s, it penetrated American markets. The company was producing over 100 million gummy bears per day by 2013 and had a total of 16 operational factories. In 1986, the Bonn-based confectionery business Haribo purchased the Maoam candy’s production and rights. The most popular candies from Haribo include:
- Happy Cherries
- Happy Cola
TOP 10 CHOCOLATE BRANDS IN THE WORLD | Amazing Ten TV
If you love sweets, you will love this video — watch our top 10 chocolate brands in the world!
While there are countless candy brands churning out new flavors and varieties of sweet and delightful treats each day, the names mentioned above dominate the candy world with their unmatched line of products.
From fruity, flavored chewables to rich and sweet chocolate bars, the candy brands mentioned above have an option to appease all your sugary desires. Be sure to check out the offerings of each of the giants outlined above and reward your tastebuds with a blissful experience.
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“Halloween Candy” by Rochelle Hartman is marked with CC BY 2.0.
I’m Jim Edwards and I started this website to share my love of Junk Food. We cover new junk food, desserts, snack foods, fast food secret menus, candy (of course!) and other related news. We love trying “secret menus” at restaurants. And we love trying new products too. So, we are trying to have some fun with our hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send us your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have products you would like us to try, let us know…!