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With the Easter Bunny making his appearance in homes this weekend, candy is the most popular item in most baskets found on Easter morning.

But like any other holiday celebrated with sweets and treats, most everyone has their own favorites found during the Easter season.

According to candystore.com, Easter candy sales tie with the amount spent during the Halloween season - with both being marked as "huge candy holiday."

Statistics from their website list candy sales in the United States for Halloween and Easter at $2.63 billion in 2015. Christmas and winter holidays bring in around $.76 billion while Valentine's Day falls fourth with sales listed as $1.07 billion.

The website states that of those who celebrate Easter, 87 percent plan to buy Easter candy. Even for those who don't celebrate Easter, 33 percent still purchase the special seasonal treats. The average sales of Easter candy is estimated at $21 per person, with over $18 billion estimated to be spent this year.

Although not listed as the most favorite Easter candy, the website states that approximately 90 million chocolate bunnies are made each year. And 87 percent of parents reportedly prepare their own Easter basket for their children - with 81 percent of those expected too "steal" some candy from their children's' Easter baskets.

The website lists the following as the best Easter candy:

1. Cadbury Mini Eggs - although not chocolate, these mini eggs are making their way to the top spot of Easter candies.

2. Chocolate bunnies (hollow) - while the solid chocolate bunny sometimes contains as much as eight times of a regular Hershey bar, the hollow chocolate bunnies remain an extremely popular Easter candy.

3. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs - these egg shaped versions of the popular Reese's Cup are described as "pretty awesome."

4. Lindt Chocolate Carrots - foil wrapped chocolates that resemble a carrot shape, these have hints of hazelnut and feature a curved handle that resembles an umbrella with the foil tied at the top to create a flare similar to a folded umbrella.

5. Malted Robins Eggs - also called little Whoppers malt balls shaped like eggs, the treat is the crispy candy shell covered with speckles like robins' eggs. The inside chocolate filled center adds the special touch for this candy.

6. Kinder Joy Eggs - These candies have not been in the American market very long, but have made their impact on those who have tried them in Europe and other parts of the world. Kinder Joy Eggs feature a plastic egg with a crispy chocolate wafer on one side and a small toy in the other.

7. Jelly Beans - gourmet and naturally flavored - the smaller jelly beans advertised as natural flavor or gourmet version carry a much bigger flavor than other jelly beans and remain a favorite during the Easter season.

8. Foil Wrapped Chocolate Eggs - whether solid chocolate or crunchy, these small tidbits of the spring season are popular year round. Different varieties are available, ranging from crunchy versions to the newly popular Cookies and Cream line.

9. Skittles Filled Easter Eggs - a self-contained treat bag in its own right, Skittles Easter Eggs offer its own handy container of candy that is easily opened and reclosed to keep the treats inside.

10. Sour Patch Easter Bunnies - considered a variation of the traditional jelly bean, these sour treats have come and gone but continue to make their own resurgence in the candy world during the Easter season.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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