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The American Sweet Tooth

To get you in the right frame of mind for next week's candy gorge-a-thon, otherwise known as Halloween (or maybe to snap you out of it), here are a few quick graphs of candy production and consumption trends in the U.S.—data courtesy of the Census Bureau, and graph technology via Swivel.

First up: per capita consumption of confectionery products (chocolate and non-chocolate) from 2001 to 2006. There aren't any truly dramatic changes happening here, but still—despite Atkins, Sugar Busters, and every other voice telling us to cut back on sugar consumption, our consumption of candy was up 2 pounds per person in 2006, compared with 2001.

Per capita consumption (lbs and $) of confectionery products, 2001-2006

Next up: Value of U.S. shipments of chocolate candy in 2006. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), solid chocolate candies fall mid-way down this list, at less than half the value of "enrobed or molded" candies. And it's not just a function of higher value per item—unit shipments follow a similar pattern. I imagined that the classic chocolate bar (and solid chocolate pieces) would dominate here, but that is clearly not the case.

U.S. shipments of chocolate candy, 2006

So pass me another bite-site Snickers...

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