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Supply chain scare: Halloween candy scarce this year amid war in Ukraine

By Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Executives at the Hershey Co. are warning consumers that they won't be able to meet the usual demand for Halloween candy this year. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 2 | Executives at the Hershey Co. are warning consumers that they won't be able to meet the usual demand for Halloween candy this year. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 29 (UPI) -- This Halloween might be more trick than treat, as the world's largest candy makers are short on supply and consumers continue to see price increases as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Executives at the Hershey Co. are warning consumers that they won't be able to meet the usual demand for Halloween candy. Meanwhile, Nestle said its prices in North America are nearly 10 percent higher than a year ago.

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Both companies say they continue to battle supply-chain difficulties due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has created shortages and increased prices for production and materials.

"We had a strategy of prioritizing everyday on-shelf availability," Hershey's CEO Michele Buck told investors Thursday, as reported by NBC News.

"It was a tough decision to balance that with the seasons, but we thought that was really important," Buck said. "And so that was a choice that we needed to make. We had an opportunity to deliver more Halloween [candy], but we weren't able to supply that."

While Nestle has not reported product shortages for Halloween, CEO Mark Schneider said Thursday that U.S. prices had increased again by 9.8 percent in 2022, after a previous hike of 3.1 percent in the last quarter of 2021.

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"We limited the impact of unprecedented inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints on our margin development through disciplined cost control and operational efficiencies," Schneider told investors, according to the BBC.

This could be the country's third tragic Halloween in a row. Two years ago, celebrations were mostly shunned due to COVID-19 restrictions. And last year, there were widespread costume shortages, as the world slowly reopened after pandemic shutdowns and manufacturers struggled to come up with enough supply in time for celebrations.

"The trends move on really quickly," Syracuse University Professor Niederhoff told the New York Times last year. "They come out of nowhere, so we have very little advance notice and very little staying power and that makes it very hard for large-scale production around a tight timeline like Halloween or Christmas."

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