What’s the most popular Halloween candy in Utah? It’s either hard and fruity or a chocolate/peanut butter confection, depending on which survey you read.

Two recent surveys of Americans’ candy preferences, state by state, produced quite different answers.

The website CandyStore.com, which sells bulk candy online, reported that Utah’s favorite Halloween candy is Jolly Ranchers, the hard fruit-flavored bites.

On the other hand, the industrial supply clearinghouse Bid-On-Equipment.com said that the most popular Halloween candy in Utah is peanut butter M&Ms.

The discrepancy is a case study in survey methodology, and how the answer to a question can depend on which data is used.

The CandyStore.com survey processed 12 years of sales data, from 2007 to 2018, particularly in the months leading up to Halloween. That data showed that Utahns bought 412,745 pounds of Jolly Ranchers. Tootsie Pops came in second, with 267,545 pounds, and the traditional trick-or-treat bag filler candy corn was in third place, with 221,894 pounds sold.

Nationwide in CandyStore.com’s survey, candy corn came in sixth, Tootsie Pops were eighth and Jolly Ranchers didn’t even crack the top 10. The top three nationally were, in order, Skittles, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s.

The Bid-on-Equipment.com survey was based on Google search volume, per capita, for more than 100 types of candy, measured during September and October of 2018. The company ran the numbers for all 50 states and 20 major cities.

Utah was the only state in this survey where peanut butter M&Ms was the top candy brand. In contrast, in this survey, Jolly Rancher candies were most popular in Illinois, Denver and Los Angeles.