Candy prices soar to the highest in years

Consumers stocking up for Halloween might notice that candy prices are higher than ever, according to new data from the Grocery Price Index.

A photo of candy bars with their prices

Candy buyers might be getting more tricks than treats this Halloween.

As students stash up for the holiday weekend, they’ll notice that their favorite candies taste a little more expensive. For parents, the cost of supplying trick-or-treaters is on the rise. According to the Grocery Price Index, candy prices have skyrocketed by 13% since 2021.

Noteworthy surges include Skittles which has risen 42% and Starburst at 35%. On the flip side, Butterfinger and Crunch bar lovers will be less affected by the booming candy inflation, with the lowest price jumps, Crunch by only 6% and Butterfinger by 7%.

Halloween candy prices are higher compared to last year due to the inflation of costs of ingredients like sugar, flour and milk. To put the rise in perspective, a bag of fun-size Snickers that sold for $5 in October 2021 is selling this Halloween season for $12, according to the Wall Street Journal. Customers are shocked by the prices seen in stores when shopping for trick-or-treat candy.

Ashley Whalen, a junior majoring in communication, says she “still harbors that childlike need for candy,” and she’s been shocked by the prices this year. She “bought a bag of Kit-Kats for four dollars, and it ruined [her] day.”

The Wall Street Journal says the “average household is expected to spend about $100 on candy, costumes and decorations.” In 2015, the average was $74 per household. According to the National Retail Federation, customers are predicted to spend upwards of $3 billion on Halloween candy this year.

Andrea Jackson, a junior environmental studies and public relations double major, acknowledges “it’s the really sugary stuff that’s so overpriced.” Skittles saw the most significant price jump from $3.13 to $4.43, a 42% increase. She “went to go get candy to hand out in [her] neighborhood this Monday and spent almost $90 on candy.”

Some students worry about the effects of candy inflation on future generations of trick-or-treaters. Junior communications major Alexa Grenley expresses that “[her] biggest concern is children losing their childhoods to overpriced candy.”

To encourage the candy craze, some of America’s largest candy corporations made efforts to stabilize the affordability of Halloween treats this year. The Hershey Company has not followed the trend of increasing the prices of some of its products, as the cost of its candy has not risen since June 2022. In addition to its classic chocolate bar, the Pennsylvanian candy hub also produces Kit-Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and additional goods.

The manufacturer Mars Inc., which produces M&M’s, and the evermore expensive Skittles and Starburst, acknowledged last week that the cooperation diverted additional candy costs where possible, understanding this season was a difficult time for candy buyers.