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All Tricks, no treats? Inflated Candy Prices just became scarier than Halloween

Xcelerant Blog - October 2022

Fielded October 13-14th, 2022


According to a recent article published by The Washington Post and U.S. Labor Department data, inflation is rising faster than it has in the last four decades and even the experts aren’t sure when it will slow down. As of October 13th, the annual U.S. inflation rate is up 8.2% and has already invoked worries of a declining economy as Americans struggle to keep up with the soaring cost of living. Not only has inflation made the price of gas, energy, groceries, and house payments more worrisome, the Halloween candy aisle now has consumers spooked too after seeing candy prices up more than 13% from a year ago. This has left U.S. consumers with the frustrating decision to overspend on sweet treats or leave empty-handed, forgoing the Halloween fun.

It's no surprise that Halloween is the biggest season for candy sales – surpassing Easter and Christmas. The average U.S. household is expected to spend around $100 on candy, costumes, decorations, and more this holiday season as compared to $75 in 2015. U.S. candy makers claim that inflation rates have driven up production, labor, and ingredient costs of flour (up 24%), sugar (up 17%), and milk, leading to an overall increase in candy costs by 13% - the largest yearly increase the CPI has ever recorded and one of the biggest price jumps of any grocery store section. However, Americans collectively are still expected to spend around $3.1 billion this year according to NPR.org.

Xcelerant In Action

The Xcelerant team was curious to find out whether the 13% inflation of candy costs would alter this year’s Halloween agendas among U.S. adults and their families. Specifically, the team asked about plans to buy candy, trick-or-treat participation, and Halloween candy favorites (chocolate and non-chocolate).

After comparing results to last year’s data, more people are buying candy and taking part in trick-or-treating this year, despite 13% higher costs than in 2021. Hershey’s Reese’s Cups/Pieces, followed by Mars Kit Kats and Snickers, were the top three chocolate candy favorites, while Candy Corn, Smarties, and Swedish Fish took the top three non-chocolate candy favorites among U.S. adults.

It appears that consumers are still willing to pay higher prices for the upcoming spooky season. Let’s just hope Halloween festivities remain scarier than the rising prices in the years to come.

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