Candy Makers Expect a Shortage of Candy this Upcoming Halloween
As a nation, we can shoulder a lot of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the global shipping market, but recent news is hitting a bit too close for comfort. That’s right – this Halloween may be a bit less sweet than usual as candy companies are struggling with their supply chains.
The demand for candy around Halloween has remained surprisingly steady over the last several years. Obviously, population changes influence the overall demand, but it has remained predictable for candy companies for quite some time. The added benefit of the major holiday is that candy producers are able to forecast the need to increase production with plenty of lead time. However, industry-wide bottlenecks regarding international trade and logistics have businesses worried that a full three months probably won’t be enough to prepare for the sugary holiday.
The Hershey Company CEO Michelle Buck had stated in a recent interview that the company is being forced to choose between allocating product for the holiday while suffering its normal retail stock until then, or focusing on maintaining a consistent output while guaranteeing a shortage by the time Halloween comes around.
The candy industry is huge in America. An estimated $10.1 billion dollars was spent on Halloween-related products specifically in 2021, which was up from the prior year due to a short stint in celebratory public holidays due to the pandemic. Of that $10.1 billion, nearly $3 billion of that was spent on candy.
Hershey and other companies are struggling currently as a result of several factors. Global supply chains are suffering from product sourcing challenges, unavailability of ingredients, labor shortages, and even international political issues such as those occurring between Russia and Ukraine. It’s bad enough when congestion hits local ports, but when labor shortages and low inventory strike overseas producers, farmers, truckers, and nearly everyone in the supply chain both domestically and abroad, things get bad quickly.
Unfortunately, these factors are leading candy companies to raise their prices. Low inventory, staffing shortages, and rising inflation are a recipe for disaster, and in order to protect themselves, they’re required to bring their inventory pricing up to something sustainable. How far that will go is currently unknown, but U.S. consumers should be prepared for a potentially low-stock of candy this upcoming Halloween.
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