halloween candy trick or treat

Treats Playing Tricks Again: Inflation Pushes Candy Prices Higher for Halloween 2023

Oct. 30, 2023
A perfect storm of negative inputs has driven up the price of candy and gum sharply for the second Halloween season in a row.

Halloween 2023 treat distribution will be more costly for households hoping to fend off tricksters for the second year in a row, according to a Yahoo News report. Once again, double-digit inflation has hit the candy aisle, with candy and gum prices up an average of 13% compared to last October — more than twice as big a rise as the 6% increase across all grocery — says Datasembly data cited in the article. Candy and gum prices spiked 14% last October.

In response, some consumers have purchased less candy to hand out, and market-research firm Numerator says about one-third of them will trade down to value or store brands for trick-or-treaters tomorrow.

Cocoa prices are trading at a 44-year high, the report said, due to limited production in West Africa brought on by heavy rains during the production season. El Nino conditions are now contributing to drier, drought weather expected to linger into spring. Experts say price relief may not come until after the first half of 2024, if then.

Compounding the issue are global sugar prices, which have reached 12-year highs. India’s harvest was hurt by monsoon rains, and Thailand’s output is also down this year. Finally, increased cost of labor, packaging and other ingredients have completed the perfect storm forcing prices up so sharply.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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