Chocolate lovers don’t have to worry — their favorite sweet treats will be available for Halloween.
Recently, Reuters and other news outlets reported that Hershey’s would not be able to meet consumer demand for chocolate this Halloween.
Those reports came after Hershey CEO Michele Buck said in an earnings call that the candy company was facing a shortage due to supply chain issues.
"We will not be able to fully meet consumer demand," Buck said in prepared remarks.
The company says that Halloween candy makes up 10 percent of its annual sales. Hershey reported a second-quarter profit of $315.6 million.
Demand for sweets skyrocketed during the pandemic.
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In June, Wolfgang Confectioners President Sam Miller said the 101-year-old York-based candy manufacturer saw a surge in candy sales during the pandemic, and Hershey executives reported the same increase.
“In down times, the first thing to go up is liquor sales, and then it’s candy,” Miller said. “And it makes sense. You’re not going out and buying a Lexus during uncertain financial times, but you can get a $5 bag of candy. That’s an easy and cheap luxury item.”
The demand has not gone back down. For a chocolate maker such as Hershey, that spells bad news because they use the same manufacturing lines for both regular and seasonal products.
According to Buck, Hershey begins producing candy for the Halloween season in spring, but company executives had to decide between increasing seasonal items over everyday products.
"We had a strategy of prioritizing everyday on-shelf availability," Buck said during the earnings call. "It was a tough decision to balance that with the seasons, but we thought that was really important."
In addition to these constraints, the company is still grappling with supply chain issues and inflation.
But since those comments came out, Hershey’s has backtracked.
“We actually anticipate high single-digit growth for our Halloween and holiday seasons and will have even more seasonal product available to the consumer this year than last year,” senior director of Hershey corporate communications Allison Kleinfelter said in an e-mailed statement.
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So, chocolate lovers and sweet-toothed consumers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. There will be enough candy to fill Halloween trick-or-treat buckets this year after all.But it will cost you more.
Earlier this year, Hershey announced a price increase to offset rising production costs. This comes after the company increased prices last year.
That should come as no surprise, though. The U.S. consumer price index rose 7% last year, before seasonal adjustments, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. That was the biggest spike since June 1982.
Grocery prices rose about 6.5% last year.
This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Hershey will have enough candy for Halloween, but it will cost more