Best American sweets to bring home from your holiday!
Why Bring American Sweets Home?
American candy is some of the best in the world. Unfortunately, it’s not readily available in the United Kingdom. We’ve created a list of the best American candy to take home with you.
Whether you’re visiting for the holiday season or returning home after a holiday - this list is perfect for you.
Don't forget, there's no need to go all the way to American for American fix. We have a specialist range of American Sweets right here at the Sweet Hamper Company.
How to Bring American Candy Home
You’ll want to stock up on your favourites to avoid the ridiculous prices in the United Kingdom. UK Customs does not consider American candies to be a prohibited or restricted item.
So fear not, you can basically bring an unlimited amount home. The hardest part is deciding what your favourite sweets are to take home. Or maybe you should just bring them all?
American candy has been a hallmark of American culture for centuries!
History of American Candy
Americans have been feasting on chocolate since it was a colony import first introduced in Boston in 1682!
Around this time, Americans also treated themselves to apricots, gooseberries, and apples that were flattened into sheets - just like the Fruit Roll-Up we ate as children.
Sweet treats started to gain widespread popularity in America in the mid-late 1890s. As soon as Americans started to get a taste for caramels and boiled sweets with fruit, hundreds of candy factories started to pop up.
The sweet industry boomed alongside the industrial revolution. Technology allowed candies to be made in all sorts of shapes, colours, and flavours. Candy was mass-produced and distributed to people all over the USA.
Good & Plenty is the oldest candy brand in the USA. It was first made in 1893 in Philadelphia. The distinctive pink and white liquorice can still be found in some American retailers! During the Great Depression confectionery was marketed as healthy and nutritious. This is because it was far more adorable than fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat.
Candies were branded as “Chicken Dinner” and “Denver Sandwich'', prompting the customer to believe it was as nutritious and satisfying as a full meal. That’s a fun, if not a little depressing, fact!
Contemporary American Candy
Nowadays, Americans still love their candy, maybe a little too much. Remember to always enjoy candy in moderation. It should be a treat, not a staple part of your diet, it’s not the 1920s anymore!
Most Popular Candy
The most popular candy in America is M&M’s! M&M’s are small, colourful chocolate treats. We haven’t included M&M’s in our list because they are available everywhere.
You can get M&M’s virtually all over the world. They are a massive American export. Americans love them and so does everyone else!
The second most popular American candy is Reece’s Pieces, closely followed by Jolly Ranchers. These two are absolutely fantastic and have definitely made the list.
There’s also some more unexpected surprises we’ve included to keep things interesting. We’re looking for the best American candy to bring home from the holiday, not just the most popular!
Best American Sweets to Bring Home
The following list is the best American sweets to bring home with you! We’ve ranked them from favourite to least favourite. However, to be honest, they are all equally as tasty. Ultimately, what you think are the best sweets will depend on your personal preference.
Do you like salty, savoury candy like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Or, do you prefer fruit-flavour treats? Are you more of a chocolate bar person? Or maybe you like a mix of everything?
Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Have a look at our best American sweets to bring home and start deciding what you think should make the cut! If you can’t decide what your favourite is, just buy a new suitcase, and stuff it full of American snacks.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were first made in 1928 by H.B Reese. Originally, they were made with rolled peanut butter dipped in chocolate. They are still very much the same.
These delicious Reese's bars are milk chocolate cups filled with salty, delicious peanut butter. The Hershey’s Company - the parent company of Reese’s - generates more than $2 billion in sales annually. Reese’s are the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. This unique deliciousness makes them a hugely popular American candy.
It’s for this reason they are at the top of our list of the favourite American sweets to bring home and why we've got our very own Reese's chocolate hamper.
Sour Patch Kids
Sour Patch Kids are soft, chewy candy. They are coated with sour sugar on the outside. Sour Patch Kids come in a variety of flavours like lime, lemon, orange, and sour cherry.
Fresh fruity flavours combined with strong tartness make Sour Patch Kids completely irresistible. We absolutely recommend grabbing a bunch of packets from the gas station next time you’re in the USA.
Swedish Fish are fish-shaped, chewy candy. Swedish Fish, unsurprisingly, comes from Sweden. They were introduced to the American market in the 1950s and have stayed ever since.
Swedish Fish are made without gelatine, they are 100% vegan. They are the perfect candy to bring home to share with all your vegetarian and vegan pals.
Yes, you can get milk chocolate everywhere in the world. But, there are so many different milk chocolate options in America, it would be rude not to bring some of them home.
Hershey’s is the most famous milk chocolate in America. It definitely deserves the hype. Hershey’s is an institution in the candy world. It was founded in the late 1800s in Pennsylvania. Milton S. Hershey was impressed by the chocolate in Switzerland whilst travelling. He wanted to replicate the silky smooth texture and rich chocolaty taste back home. It goes without saying he succeeded tremendously.
Buyer beware, some people don’t enjoy American chocolate because it contains butyric acid. This ingredient causes milk chocolate to taste a little tangy - which some overseas consumers find unpleasant.
White chocolate is made by combining sugar, cocoa butter, milk, and vanilla flavouring. White chocolate doesn’t actually contain actual cocoa or chocolate solids.
Technically, it’s not really chocolate at all! But, that doesn’t stop it from being a delicious treat! The best white chocolate to bring home from America is from Hershey’s. Alternatively, you can get white chocolate versions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat.
Our favourite white chocolate is the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream bar. Bits of cookie chunks are combined with Hershey’s white chocolate. It’s a winner!
Mike and Ike
Mike and Ike are oblong fruit-flavoured, chewy sweets. Mike and Ike come in flavours cherry, strawberry, orange, lemon, and lime. You can purchase Mike and Ike in different flavour combinations like “Tropical Typhoon”, “Berry Blast”, and “Jolly Joes”.
Mike and Ike first appeared in 1940. They were created by Sam Born, a Russian “candy connoisseur”. Born started selling Mike and Ike in a candy shop called Just Born. Just Born became such a booming success and eventually developed into the brand behind Mike and Ike. Just Born remains the figurehead behind popular snacks like Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, and Teenee Beanee Jelly Beans.
In other news, Mike and Ike have recently “separated” in a clever marketing campaign that seeks to appeal to a younger audience. The separation of Mike and Ike plays on a failing same-sex relationship between the two characters named on the candy. You can purchase a packet siding with Mike, or Ike, depending on who you’re supporting in the diverse.
Chewy candy comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, flavours, and colours. Chewy candy is a subcategory of candy that describes its texture. When you eat a chewy candy it will be hard, stick to your teeth and require lots of chewing to digest. This is because chewy candy is made from corn syrup, sucrose, gelatin, starch, and water.
If you love chewy candy, we recommend purchasing something like Sour Patch Kid, Swedish Fish, or Mike and Ike. We also love Skittles, Almond Joy, Candy Corn, and Tootsie Rolls.
Milk Duds are small, chocolate-coated balls of caramel. They are absolutely delightful. A fun fact is that Milk Duds couldn’t be called “Milk Balls” because the manufacturer could never make them perfectly rounded. They are always a little misshapen and imperfect, it’s very endearing!
Milk Duds are a great American candy to share with your friends and family at home. Shake them out of the cardboard container and pass them around your circle!
Fruity candy is any candy that has been inspired by fruit flavours. There are so many fruity candy flavours to choose from. You can get strawberry, cherry, lemon, watermelon, blue raspberry, orange, apple, watermelon, and so many more. The most popular fruity candy in America is Skittles. Skittles are one of the most popular non-chocolate candies in America!
However, they can be purchased worldwide. Your friends and family may be a little disappointed if you bring them home with you as a special treat. If you’re looking for a fruity candy that is a bit more unique, shop for Swedish Fish or Sour Patch Kids. This will definitely impress everyone from England!
Butterfingers have a crunchy peanut butter core covered in milk chocolate. They are a delicious combination of savoury and sweet. If your friends and family back home love peanut butter, they will adore Butterfingers!
We think Milk Duds are the best gooey caramel candy to bring home with you! We also recommend Goetze's Original Caramel Creams. Goetze’s are delicious caramel treats with a gooey centre!
Almond Joy is a Hershey’s manufactured chocolate bar. Almond Joy has a shredded coconut base covered in milk chocolate and then topped with slivered almonds.
Almond Joy reminds us of a bit of a Bounty from the UK. To be honest, Almond Joy is our favourite of the two. It’s not too sweet, has great texture, and the coconut flavouring is fantastic! Almond Joy can’t be purchased outside of the United States. You should absolutely bring some Almond Joy home with you from your holiday!
Peppermint candy comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can purchase hard mints, soft mints, or chewy mints. The peppermint infusion makes candy refreshing and sweet.
We recommend bringing home some Columbia Jumbo Mint Balls for any peppermint enthusiast you know. Alternatively, you can wait for the festive season and stock up on American candy canes!
Jelly Belly is the most renowned brand of American jelly beans. You can purchase them all over the world. However, you can bring the special “American Classics” version home with you for a yummy taste of the USA.
Tootsie Rolls are chocolate flavoured taffy. Tootsie Roll’s are described as a caramel, chocolate, taffy hybrid. They’re sticky, chewy, and super sweet! Tootsie Rolls were named after the founder, Leo Hirshfield’s daughter Clara. The Austrian immigrant affectionately called his daughter “Tootsie”.
Tootsie Rolls have been popular in America since the 1800s. They are an amazing family-owned American institution to share with your friends and family at home!
We have of course included this American classic in our range of American Sweet Hampers
3 Musketeers Bar
The 3 Musketeers chocolate bar is the American Milky Way. 3 Musketeers candy dates back to 1932.
Originally, 3 Musketeers consisted of three pieces of candy, flavoured vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. This first iteration inspired the name of the candy! It’s a reference to the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers.
Now, inside a 3 Musketeers is fluffy, whipped chocolate, covered in a milk chocolate bar. The only difference between 3 Musketeers and the English Milky Way, is that 3 Musketeers has added gooey caramel in it.
Some people think it’s better than the tried and true Milky Way. You’ll have to give it a go and decide for yourself. 3 Musketeers is a really special, fun candy to bring home with you. Entertain your family and friends with the fun facts you’ve learnt about 3 Musketeers.
The Milky Way is the American equivalent of the Mars bar. It’s getting a little confusing with all these name changes.
The Milky Way is owned by Mars Inc. It’s the same company and the same great taste as the beloved Mars!
The Milky Way is made with chocolate, nougat, and caramel. Surprise your English friends with a novelty Milky Way from America! Even better, bring them a 3 Musketeers and a Milky Way.
Hot Tamales are the most popular cinnamon snack in the United States!
Hot Tamales are a super strong, almost spicy, oblong-shaped candy. Hot Tamales are a bit divisive because there’s a “burst of heat in every bite”. There’s no guarantee your friends and family will necessarily enjoy the candy. But, it is guaranteed they will have a very unique experience feasting on them!
It goes without saying that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the best peanut butter American candy. If you’re still not satisfied, we also love to bring home some peanut butter M&M’s and some Nutter Butter Bites.
Twinkies are a notorious gas station treat. They are cheap, cheerful, and quintessentially American.
Twinkies are basically a “golden sponge cake with a creamy filling.'' They were invented in 1932 by a bakery manager by the name of Jimmy Dewer. The famous “Twinkie” name was invented after Jimmy saw a billboard advertising “Twinkie Toe Shoes”.
Sneak a couple of Twinkie’s in your suitcase as a fun American souvenir for your friends and family.
Jolly Ranchers are hard, boiled candy. They can’t really be eaten, rather, you need to suck the candy until it has dissolved.
Jolly Ranchers were invented in 1942 by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen. The name was inspired by the cowboys and ranchers in their hometown in Colorado.
Jolly Ranchers can also be purchased in 14 different flavours and varieties. There is something for everyone!
Sour candy is a love it or hate it kinda thing!
If you love sour candy, we recommend bringing home some Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, or sour Jolly Ranchers! All of these will leave your lips pursed and gasping for water.
If you’re not a fan, you can get all of these candies in non-sour versions!
Candy Corn is a tiny orange and yellow pyramid-shaped candy. They are slightly chewy and waxy in texture. Candy Corn tastes a bit like a combination of honey, butter, and vanilla. The flavours are inspired by a warm fire after a chill Autumn day!
Americans love to eat Candy Corn around Halloween time. As soon as the leaves start to fall off the trees, Candy Corn comes out to celebrate the holidays.
Our favourite salty-sweet candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They are the perfect balance of savoury and sweet!
If you want to be a little bit more adventurous, we also recommend bringing some Salt Water Taffy home with you. Taffy is fluffy, chewy, semi-hard candy. It’s made by pulling boiled sugar until it has hardened and set.
Salt Water Taffy doesn’t actually contain seawater. It’s just made with an added pinch of salt. You’ll need to take a little detour to the boardwalks of Atlantic City, New Jersey to pick up some Salt Water Taffy. However, it’ll all be worth it for the mouth-watering salty, sweet goodness.
Halloween is one of the most extravagant American holidays.
Halloween is held on October 31st. Americans dress in costumes, decorate their houses, watch horror movies, and carve pumpkins, to mark the occasion.
Halloween originates from the Celtic Samhain festival. Celtic people would scare ghosts away by dressing up and lighting bonfires. Gradually Halloween evolved from an ancient ritual into a big street party!
If you’re lucky enough to be in America for Halloween, make sure you are successfully subscribed to Halloween updates. Email notifications are the best way to keep updated on all the action. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the local Halloween celebrations. If you want to test all the Halloween candy, try to join in on the neighbourhood trick or treat.
There’s always an amazing selection floating around the kid’s baskets. You’ll be able to try all the weird and wonderful Halloween candy.
Save your favourite candy and bring them back home for next year's Halloween party.
American Food or American Candy?
American food is truly amazing! There is so much diversity and so many different things to try. It’s the home of burgers, milkshakes, ribs, mac n’ cheese… the list goes on.
We think that candy is the best, most delicious American food. In fact, we think there’s not really any competition at all. Candy is fun, delicious, and satisfying!
And, don’t forget, candy is far more portable than American food. You can’t exactly transport a hamburger and fries across the Atlantic Ocean.
Our Favourite American Candy Bar to Take Home
There you have it! Those are the best American sweets to collect on your travels! They are all delicious and unique.
Candy is the perfect edible souvenir to enjoy after your holiday ends, or to share with your family back home in mainland UK.
Keep this list handy the next time you’re travelling through the United States!