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Alabama's favorite Valentine's Day candy for 2021 is a candy necklace, according to CandyStore.com. The National Retail Federation expects candy sales to take up a larger portion of all holiday spending this month as people search for ways to celebrate their loved ones during the pandemic.

While going out for a night on the town this Valentine's Day may not be in the cards, spending money on candy is expected to be even more popular given the pandemic.

The National Retail Federation has predicted candy purchases to be an even bigger part of holiday spending for Valentine's Day 2021, even as overall spending is projected to be down more than 20% compared to last year's all-time high of $27.8 billion.

“People are struggling, and there's a once-in-a-lifetime worldwide pandemic,” Ben George of CandyStore.com said. “It's understandable.”

The site also compiled sales data to determine the most popular candy for 2021. Among the key takeaways was a rise in the popularity of conversation hearts. Spangler, who took over manufacturing Sweethearts, is expected to release new sayings on the classic candy.

M&M's also rose in popularity, even landing the top spot for favorite candy in Oregon and North Dakota. CandyStore.com pointed out that Cupid's Message M&Ms and the reintroduction of white cheesecake M&M's helped boost sales, too.

In Alabama, candy necklaces held the top spot, with conversation hearts coming in second and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate coming in third.

Candy quick facts

Here's a few Valentine's Day candy quick facts, courtesy of CandyStore.com:

• 47% of people said they will buy themselves a box of chocolates this year;

• 58 million pounds of chocolate are bought during Valentine's Day week;

• The peak selling period for conversation hearts is only six weeks long;

• It takes manufacturers 11 months to produce enough for those six weeks;

• Vodka infused with candy remained popular last year; and

• Children receive 39% of all Valentine's Day candy and gifts.

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