Americans shopping for Halloween candy ahead of this year’s festivities are in for quite a scare.
Though price levels rose 8.2% between September 2021 and September 2022, the cost of candy products has increased 13.1% over the same period, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news comes as candy producers, like many other American industries, grapple with supply chain issues, labor shortages, and other phenomena worsening higher price levels. Halloween enthusiasts are nevertheless prepared to buy 5% more candy and chocolate than last year, according to a report from the National Confectioners Association.
“The past few years have proven that the confectionery industry is resilient, and Americans remain enthusiastic about enjoying their favorite treats during seasonal celebrations like Halloween with friends and family,” National Confectioners Association CEO John Downs remarked. “Chocolate and candy play a special role during the Halloween season in communities across the country — and this Halloween promises to be especially impressive as chocolate and candy companies bring consumers classic, innovative and great-tasting products that enhance the season.”
Executives at Hershey have said that the company would fail to meet demand for Halloween, which accounts for one-tenth of its revenue, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and related shortages of cocoa, edible oil, and other ingredients. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has repeatedly increased prices in response to inflation.
Despite the price pressures, overall Halloween spending will increase from $10.1 billion last year to $10.6 billion, according to a report from the National Retail Federation, marking a recovery from the lockdown-induced recession. Consumers plan to spend an average of $100 on candy, decorations, and costumes.
“Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year,” National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay said. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one.”
In response to the most recent inflation data, President Joe Biden acknowledged the cost pressures while arguing that his legislative agenda has helped to alleviate related fallout.
“Today’s report shows some progress in the fight against higher prices, even as we have more work to do,” he said in a statement. “But even with this progress, prices are still too high. Fighting the global inflation that is affecting countries around the world and working families here at home is my top priority. Because of my economic plan, the United States is in a stronger position than any major economy to take on this challenge.”
Biden has repeatedly deflected on his administration’s impact upon rising price levels through the passage of multiple spending packages. The economy and inflation are key issues among voters preparing to cast ballots in the upcoming midterm elections, with 84% considering the former to be a top factor on their minds. The Republicans lead the Democrats by a 16% margin and a 19% margin with respect to trust in handling the economy and inflation, respectively, according to a poll from ABC News and The Washington Post.