HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Trick-or-treating is still months away, but the Hershey Company said in a call with analysts on Thursday that they are already expecting candy shortages come Halloween.
Why? Hershey says pandemic-induced supply-chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine have crunched supplies of cocoa, edible oil, and other ingredients.
Hershey says those issues, and trying to meet demand during non-holiday periods, will lead to a likely shortage for the spooky season.
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“Seasonal consumer engagement is expected to remain high, and we expect high single-digit sales growth for both our Halloween and Holiday seasons. Despite this strong growth, we will not be able to fully meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints,” said Michele Buck, the president and CEO of the Hershey Company.
The decision to devote the production lines to keeping shelves stocked in non-holiday periods, knowing that it could mean a candy shortage come Halloween, was a difficult one, Buck said.
“That was a choice that we needed to make. We had opportunity to deliver more Halloween, but we weren’t able to supply that. We were really producing—we begin 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,” Buck said during the Q&A portion of the phone call.
The Halloween and Holiday season is not the first time the company has had to make changes due to outside factors. In June, the company raise the prices of its products due to increasing inflation rates.
According to a Yahoo News report, the prices for a standard Hershey chocolate bar when up 17%.
At the time, the report from an analyst at Goldman Sachs blamed the higher costs for raw materials and transportation for the price hikes.
In Thursday’s phone call, the company also released its second-quarter 2022 financial results. The company had consolidated net sales of $2,372.6 million, an increase of 19.3%.