My personal holiday favorite for the Christmas season is the candy cane. Have you ever got to thinking about how did the candy cane came to represent Christmas?

Candy Cane
Candy Cane

According to, “The first recorded ‘candy stick’ comes from 1837 at an exhibition in Massachusetts in the USA. They started as straight white sugar sticks and a few years later the red stripes were added. The first time they are documented as being called ‘candy canes’ comes in 1866; and their first connection to Christmas comes from 1874. Early recipes had them as simply ‘sugar’ flavored. But we’re now used to them being flavored with peppermint or wintergreen.

Around 1920, Bob McCormack, from Georgia, USA, started making canes for his friends and family. They became more and more popular and he started his own business called Bob’s Candies. Bob McCormack’s brother-in-law, Gregory Harding Keller, who was a Catholic priest, invented the ‘Keller Machine’ that made turning straight candy sticks into curved candy canes automatically! In 2005, Bob’s Candies was bought by Farley and Sathers but they still make candy canes.”

According to the National Confectionery Association, a U.S.-based group that advocates for the confectionery industry, candy canes are the No. 1 selling non-chocolate candy in the month of December — 90 per cent are sold between U.S. Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What’s the Correct Way to Enjoy a Candy Cane?

Fun Facts About Candy Canes:

  • For 200 years, the candy cane came only in one color: white. The red stripes we know today did not appear until the turn of the 20th century.
  • National Candy Cane Day is celebrated on December 26 in the United States.
  • Candy canes are the best-selling non-chocolate candy in the month of December.
  • The biggest single week for candy cane sales is the second week in December. This is likely because most people decorate their Christmas trees that week.

What’s your favorite candy for the Christmas season?

A Holiday Favorite: The Candy Cane