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Unpopular Opinion: Why do candy canes still exist? Seriously!

Are candy canes truly a desired Christmas treat? Case in point — Each year at KIRO Radio, employees are treated to a few holiday surprises. This year, folks got a mug with festive candy in them — including candy canes — which KIRO Nights Gee Scott tried to get rid of immediately.

“I went to two different desks and said ‘Hey, want my candy?’ No,” Gee said.  “Candy canes look great on Christmas trees, great to look at, makes things look festive — Eating them, nah.”

Candy canes are the candy corn of Christmas — they provoke heated debates over whether they are good or bad, and can add a little ire to Christmas cheer. They’re nearly impossible to get out of their wrappers without breaking. They’re sticky, and they generally make a mess.

“I think they were invented by somebody who had a differently shaped mouth than the rest of the world,” Producer Drew Barth said. “They’re nice looking, but eating one is less-than-fun.”

Candy canes are controversial, but popular in Washington

It’s true that many consider this candy a sweet Christmas crime. This includes certain MyNorthwest writers such as Dyer Oxley who previously argued:

Candy canes are an honorable mention when it comes to sweets in general, let alone holiday candy. They only get invited to the Christmas party because they dressed the part. They’re left over from a time long ago when a tacky stick that left a sugary mess was a delight when compared to the other most popular treat of the day — a regular stick.

Yet, the confection has strong support in Washington state. Indeed, candy canes are the most popular Christmas treat in Washington, according to the online Candy Store. Mini Reese’s Cups come in second favorite, and Skittles are third. In North America, 1.76 billion candy canes are produced each year for the holiday season — just in time of National Candy Cane day on December 26 (yeah, that’s actually a thing).

To be fair, Washington may just have poor taste. The Candy Store also notes that salt water taffy is the state’s top Halloween candy. So go figure. Perhaps what is most sad is that the state already offers a selection of local treats far better than candy canes, such as a range of chocolates, Aplets & Cotlets, or Almond Roca. Even Jones Soda is a worthy alternative.

Dangerous candy

But more to the point, as if candy canes weren’t bad enough, they can be dangerous.

“It’s probably the most festive shiv you can make during the holiday season,” Drew said.

“TSA should probably think about banning candy canes,” Gee said. “They can become weapons.”

“That’s why they don’t serve candy canes in the Monroe Prison or any other correctional facility,” News Anchor Frank Schiers noted.

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