Hershey's Kiss

America’s got nothing but kisses for their favorite chocolate brand.

For the past eight years, both Hershey’s Kisses and M&Ms Plain Chocolate Candy have competed to be America’s favorite chocolate brand, each receiving the top rank four times. This year marks the tie-breaker, and Hershey’s Kisses have emerged as number one.

As for M&Ms, the plan variety ranks in fourth place this year, while peanut M&Ms rank in third, according to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend brand equity study.

And, for the first time, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy moves up to the second spot on this list.

"For the last eight years, it has been a battle between Hershey's Kisses and M&M's Plain Chocolate Candy for the top spot as America's favorite," says Aron Galonsky, senior vice president of the brand and communications consulting group at Harris Interactive. "While Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy is usually in the top five, 2012 marks the first time that it is a contender for the top spot. It will be interesting to see if it continues this momentum."

Hershey's and Mars products dominate the top nine chocolate brands, which include Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars, Kit Kat Chocolate Bars, and Reese's Pieces.  As for Mars, Snickers and Twix also make the list of top brands.

In the premium chocolate category, Ghirardelli Chocolate ranks on top, followed by Godiva Chocolate and Dove Milk Chocolate Candy, respectively. This year marks the first year premium chocolates are ranked separately from other chocolate candies.

As for non-chocolates, Life Savers are America’s favorite this year, followed by Jolly Ranchers and Tootsie Pops. Skittles and Starburst, both Wrigley Jr. Co. products, take fourth and fifth place on the list, both consistently the highest ranked chewy candies in America.

In the gum category, Wrigley’s Extra gum comes out on top, followed by Cadbury-Schweppes’ Dentyne gum in second place. The first six spots are dominated by an equal number of both Wrigley and Cadbury gum brands; Wrigley’s 5 Gum comes in third, while Cadbury’s Trident gum is fourth.

The Harris Poll study, conducted regularly since 1898, analyzes more than 38,500 consumer responses on key measures of brand health, including how well the public knows the brand, and how positively they think of it.