Double-Digit Candy Inflation Persists For Second Consecutive Halloween

For the second consecutive year, American consumers are facing a Halloween candy price increase in the double digits, as this October’s prices have surged by an average of 13% compared to the same month last year.

Datasembly, a retail price tracking company, unveiled their latest findings through the Grocery Price Index. The data, gathered from over 150,000 stores representing 200+ retail brands nationwide, was published on October 11.

According to the index, the inflation in Halloween candies surpasses the entire grocery category, registering at 6.7% for the same time frame.

As per the tracker’s data, significant inflation led to a nationwide surge of 19.9% in the “Candy and Gum” category last year. With an additional 12.8% increase from October 2022 through October 7, 2023, the situation becomes more of a disappointment than a delight for consumers.

Adding to this, candy and gum prices had already risen by 13.1% in October 2022 compared to the previous year. This marked the highest increase ever documented.

Jessica Weathers, an Illinois small business owner, told ABC News, “The price of candy has gotten to be outrageous. It doesn’t make sense to me to spend $100 on candy.”

Weathers mentioned that she typically purchases a substantial amount of candy for trick-or-treaters, school functions and church events during this season. However, this time, she could only manage to buy two bags.

Information from market research company Numerator reveals that approximately one-third of American consumers will opt for less-known, more affordable candy brands this year.

Business writer Dee-Ann Durbin explained, “The primary reason for these increased prices is the weather. Cocoa prices have reached four-decade highs due to reduced production caused by heavy rains in West Africa in the previous season. Additionally, ongoing El Nino conditions are exacerbating dryness in the region, and they are expected to persist well into the spring.”

Dan Sadler, who serves as the head of customer insights at the market research company Circana, cautioned that there may not be any price relief in the foreseeable future, at least until the first half of 2024.

According to Kelly Goughary, a senior research analyst at the agricultural analytics firm Gro Intelligence, responsible for approximately 40% of global cocoa production, is bracing for one of its most severe droughts in two decades.

Global sugar prices have seen significant increases, reaching their highest levels in 12 years, according to Goughary.

India, the world’s second-largest sugar producer following Brazil, imposed a ban on sugar exports for the first time in seven years due to damage caused by monsoon rains to the upcoming harvest.

Additionally, Thailand’s sugar output has decreased.

All of these factors combined contribute to the rising cost of candy worldwide, including in the United States.