Office coffee is a nice afternoon break for a pick-me-up, but what about office candy? Having a bowl of office candy at work can offer all the same benefits: an energy boost and a gathering place for coworkers. According to the National Confectioners Association, approximately one-third of Americans report having a communal candy bowl at work. So, if your office isn't part of that one-third, it might just be time to join in.

But, what candy to choose from? In this blog post, we break down all the factors you should consider before purchasing candy for your workplace.

Think About the Germs

A big bowl of M&Ms or Skittles is bound to please the masses. Delicious and colorful, right? Well, you should probably stop and consider the germs. What if Jake decides to stick his hands into the bowl right after being on the bus? Your innocent little bowl of candy might just be the thing to cause the office flu this year.

To avoid this issue, consider opting for individually wrapped candies like Jolly Ranchers or Hershey's Kisses.

assorted wrapped candy bars


For whatever reason, free food doesn't seem to bring out the best in people. You can expect that you'll have at least one person who takes handfuls of the candy and stores it at their desk for later. Why do they do this? Who knows. Maybe they don't want to be judged for the daily candy consumption. Or, perhaps they hate the small talk that happens around the candy bowl. Whatever the reason, we say look the other way.

If it gets really bad and the hoarder starts taking obscene amounts, you can put up a little sign with a poem or sonnet. It can essentially encourage people only to take a fair amount.

Neutral Candy

We suggest staying neutral in your candy choices. Don't make bold choices like black licorice or Mounds. Your suggestion box will soon be full of complaints from half the office about the candy bowl. Stick to safe bets instead like single-serving packets of M&Ms or snicker bars, Werther's Originals, or Hershey's Kisses.

Peppermint Candies: The Office Hero

The candy you probably see offered the most in retail spaces, spas, and offices are peppermint candies. Have you ever wondered why that's the case? Firstly, most people don't particularly love peppermint candies. This solves the issues of hoarding and overconsumption.

And secondly, peppermint candies refreshen breathe. So, if you have some smokers in the office, the peppermint candy will be doing everyone a favor.

Lastly, peppermint candies don't get stale quickly and taste fine even when they do go stale. Really, peppermint candies might be the office hero of the candy bowl.

Your Candy Bowl Might Offer Insight to Your Coworkers' Behaviors

If you have the time, you can go down a rabbit hole of Internet theories about how people behave around the candy bowl. For example, Ronald Reagan apparently once claimed that you could tell a lot about a person's character if they pick out one color of a Jelly Belly or grabbed a mismatched handful.

A Washington Post article discussed one woman's experience of watching people refuse to take the last piece of chocolate in a bowl. The reasons ranged from not wanting to be rude to cultural superstitions about it resulting in you being single forever!

Whatever happens, there's no doubt that the candy bowl will bring amusement and entertainment into the office. If you're smart, you might consider putting the bowl on your desk or in your eyesight. You'll love watching people battle themselves over if they should take some, how much they should take, and which ones they choose. You might be surprised to find that the office's shyest workers take the most or the most confident seem stumped over their candy choices.

So buy a bowl, fill out the bowl with a neutral choice, and watch the entertainment play out!