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The Terrifying Reality Of Halloween Candy Prices

If you're shelling out for sweets, you may need to rewear last year's costume.

Whether some Americans will still be using those pandemic-era candy chutes this Halloween remains to be seen, but we do know one thing for sure: Higher prices are making it less likely that any full-size chocolate bars will be launched through those front porch tubes.

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As with nearly everything you love this year, candy prices are being affected by inflation, the war in Ukraine, and supply chain issues. Back in August, Hershey said it wouldn't be able to meet the demand for Halloween, but the company later reassured shoppers that there would be enough to meet the needs of all the neighborhood Minions and Mavericks.

But that won't mean it'll be cheap to fill those bags this year: According to PayPal data, the cost for Halloween candy is expected to increase 34% compared to last year. So if you find more apples in your kid's trick-or-treat haul this year, blame the price of candy. (At least you'll save on dental bills.)

Which candy companies are raising prices?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that candy prices rose 2% from July to August—but what's the company breakdown? Hershey hiked its prices 14% in June, while Nestle increased its candy prices in the US by 9.8% in July. Mars Chocolate raised its candy prices the least, by 7%.

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And unfortunately, while prices are growing, some items are getting smaller, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "shrinkflation." For example, Hershey reduced its 18-ounce packs of dark chocolate Kisses by almost 2 ounces while keeping the list price the same.

What’s the cheapest option for Halloween candy this year?

You could stick with the brand that raised prices the least, which would be Mars. In that case, go ahead and load up on 3 Musketeers, M&M's, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, and Skittles.

Deals website TheKrazyCouponLady.com compared prices at Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, finding that Target and Walmart have the best prices per package on popular brands.

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It's too late this year, but another option is shopping in advance. Way in advance. Snag on-sale candy on November 1 and keep it for next year. If you do that, make sure you snag something with a high cocoa content: Dark chocolate will last one to two years if kept in a cool, dark, and dry place. (Many candies can be kept frozen, too.)

The best way to keep costs down, though, is by offering a little less treat and a little more trick: Place an empty bowl in front of your door with a sign that says "Just take one!" and turn off your lights. It'll save you on the electric bill as well.

 

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