"The Democrats' tax-and-spend policies have made every holiday more expensive for working families," said House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, citing the cost of candy.
The CPI for candy had the highest year-over-year increase ever recorded at 13.1 percent in September, while costs soared 16.1 percent for other sweets and 16 percent for cakes, cupcakes and cookies. The supply chain problems and higher producer costs are also driving the price increases for specific candy products, which have varied widely.
According to reports from retail analytics firm Datasembly, the candy bar Twix is up a whopping 53 percent, Skittles up 41 percent and Reese's up 35 percent compared to prices last year. Other names such as Nestle Crunch and Butterfinger are up a more modest four to five percent.
Datasembly Chief Executive Officer Ben Reich said: "Factors driving the surge in prices include logistics issues, energy costs, and short supplies of some ingredients." He noted that gouging might also be at play.
All in all, consumer prices of all CPI products combined increased 8.2 percent for urban consumers in September on an unadjusted year-over-year basis.
In a separate report from S&P Global Market Intelligence, candy prices are estimated to be 14 percent higher compared to last year, which is the highest increase since the firm started tracking in 1999.
Akshat Goel, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, told CNN: "A 14 percent increase in candy prices is the largest on record by a significant margin." He also noted that this year's projected bump is twice the seven percent jump recorded during the 2008 financial crisis, which was the next-highest increase tracked by the firm.
The price increases also coincided with difficult economic periods, and Goel noted that "the high inflation era of the 1970s and 1980s could easily have seen larger price increases." However, he noted that this cannot be confirmed as the firm does not have candy price data that tracks such a period.
Still, the higher prices come as no surprise. Inflation has remained stubbornly high with its unadjusted annual rate of 8.2 percent, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics back in September. Food prices jumped even higher at 11.2 percent, while grocery prices were seen spiking to 13 percent.
People still seem to be willing to give out candy for Halloween as household spending on candy in the U.S. is expected to hit $3.2 billion this year – a one percent increase from last year, according to S&P Global.
Moreover, the National Retail Federation (NRF), which partners with Prosper Insights & Analytics on the annual Halloween Consumer Survey, found that 67 percent of respondents are still planning to hand out candy, up from 66 percent in 2021.
Overall, the NRF expects U.S. consumers to spend a record $10.6 billion on Halloween celebrations in 2022, up from $10.1 billion last year.
Candy shoppers, however, may not find what they're looking for, as Hershey said that high interest in its regular candy offering meant it wouldn't be able to meet the demand for Halloween items. (Related: After firing unvaccinated workers, Hershey's says it can't make enough candy for Halloween – blames Putin.)
The company uses the same manufacturing lines for its regular and seasonal products. As a result, it is unable to increase production of its regular sweets and holiday items simultaneously.
CEO Michele Buck said Hershey has a strategy of prioritizing everyday on-shelf availability and that it was a choice they needed to make.
This likely means that they will be ceding ground for the season to competitors such as Mars Wrigley, which makes M&Ms and Snickers, as well as Mondelez, which makes Sour Patch Kids.
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