Trick-or-treaters may not get as many treats as they’d like this Halloween.
Hershey warns that a shortage could be in store due to supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Company CEO Michelle Buck says that it will “not be able to fully meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints.” She says the 120-year-old company prioritized balancing its production “to improve everyday on-shelf availability” rather than ramping up manufacturing for the season.
“We had the opportunity to deliver more Halloween candy, but we weren’t able to supply that,” Buck says. “We began producing Halloween back in the spring. And that’s really when we needed to make these key decisions on what we were going to produce, so it was a tough trade-out to make.”
As restrictions from the pandemic decreased and holiday celebrations returned in 2021, Americans spent a record-high $10.14 billion on Halloween. An estimated $3 billion of this spending went toward candy purchases, reports the National Retail Federation.
The scale-back from Hershey comes as supply chain issues have worsened in recent months. The shortages were driven by growing labor constraints, ingredient-sourcing challenges, and international business stressors like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Buck says.
“Early on, it was some of the basic logistics issues largely driven by labor,” the CEO says. “And as we’ve evolved, we’re now starting to see bigger concerns relative to scarcity of ingredients, needing to leverage different suppliers at higher costs and price points in order to secure production, and then also the geopolitical environment has put certain strains on the business.”