Rising Prices Make for a Scary Shopping Experience This Year

October 25, 2023

Shoppers are in for a fright this year as they stock up on trick-or-treat candy, as inflation and high cocoa prices are driving up the cost of seasonal treats.

Prices for candy and gum jumped 7.5% in September compared with the same month last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One factor driving up prices is the cocoa market, which has been making chocolate-based treats trickier to afford. Cocoa futures have risen 61% this year to a multidecade high, according to data from financial services firm ING. Persistent rains in cocoa-producing countries like Ghana and Cameroon have delayed harvesting and slowed production.

The cost of chocolate imports into the U.S. was up by 16% in August compared to the same month last year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

All told, Americans are expected to spend a record $12.2 billion on candy, costumes, and other Halloween expenses this year, according to the National Retail Federation trade group. That’s up 15% from last year. Americans are expected to spend $3.6 billion on candy alone, a 16% jump from 2022.

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