Consumers shopping for Halloween candy this year will find a jump in prices — from fun-size Snickers bars to family-size bags of M&Ms.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of generic candy in stores has increased 13.1%, compared to this time last year.
It also represents the highest-recorded year-over-year increase for candy, according to Breitbart News.
The breakdown of this pricing surge can be explained through five components:
The cost of sugar has risen 14.4%, milk's up 15.2%, and flour prices have made a monumental leap to 24.2%.
Also, according to Breitbart, a drought in sugar beet crops has impacted the production costs for candy manufacturers. Sugar beets require fertilizer, which Breitbart reports have also "been affected by supply chain issues and high inflation. American farmers have elected to plant fewer sugar beets to save on costs."
Factoring in the above breakdown, candy manufacturers and retail stores have subsequently raised the prices of candy products — virtually across the board — compared to last year.
Back in February, Hershey CEO Michele Buck told Forbes: "Pricing will be an important lever for us this year and is expected to drive most of our growth."
The price increases among candy manufacturers include:
- Earlier this year, Hersey raised prices 14%, which includes a 17% hike with the famous Hershey bars.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, Mars, Inc. — which manufactures M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, Milky Way, Mars bars, and Twix — has already acknowledged a Starburst price increase of 35%, and 42% for Skittles.
- Back in July, Nestle announced a pricing increase of 6.5% on its core products, citing the rising costs for raw materials, energy, packaging, and transportation.
Speaking of distribution, Breitbart reports that a bag of fun-sized Snickers bars can be purchased on Amazon for $12 — a $7 increase from last year.
Also, a "Big, Soft & Chewy" bag of Sour Patch Kids currently sells for $16.99, or nearly $5 more than this time last October.
"Shrinkflation" is another negative consequence of rising prices and higher inflation in America.
The Washington Post reports that a bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses is now 2 ounces smaller than previous versions. Also, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are one-tenth of 1 ounce smaller, and Cadbury Chocolate bars have shrunk by 10% in size.
One saving grace for consumers: Forbes speculates that nearly 47% of shoppers began purchasing their candy in September or earlier, in anticipation of price hikes around the Halloween holiday.
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