Candy corn is a confection in the United States and Canada, popular primarily in autumn around Halloween. Candy corn was created in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company; the three colors of the candy mimic the appearance of kernels of corn. Each piece is approximately 3 times the size of a whole kernel from a ripe or dried ear. Candy corn is made primarily from sugar, corn syrup, artificial coloring and binders. A serving size of 22 pieces contains 140 calories and no fat. Candy corn pieces are traditionally cast in three colors: a broad yellow end, a tapered orange center, and a pointed white tip. A popular variation called "Indian corn" features a chocolate brown wide end, orange center and pointed white tip. In recent years confectioners have introduced additional color variations suited to other holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The Christmas variant is marketed as "reindeer corn", reflecting the myth about Santa's reindeer getting their flying ability from magic corn.
The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds (over 9,000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. The top branded retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end.
Though most candy corn is purchased at Halloween, the confection is available year-round.
Originally the candy was made by hand. Manufacturers first combined sugar, corn syrup, and water and cooked them to form a slurry. Fondant was added for texture and marshmallows were added to provide a soft bite. The final mixture was then heated and poured into shaped molds. Three passes, one for each colored section, were required during the pouring process.
The recipe remains basically the same today. The production method, called "corn starch modeling," likewise remains the same, though tasks initially performed by hand were soon taken over by machines invented for the purpose.
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