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You're Not Imagining It: Halloween Candy Is More Expensive This Year

New research shows that Halloween candy prices have surged in 2023. But why?
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Just like everything else you've been buying, Halloween candy feels more expensive this year. And naturally, it is. If you've stocked up for trick-or-treaters, the receipts may indicate a very real—and expensive—trend.

New analysis from Datasembly, which tracks retail prices, shows that Halloween candy has indeed surged in price in 2023, up 13% since October 2022. That's a major increase, especially considering standard groceries have only (only? Ugh.) increased by about 6% due to inflation. So yeah, it may be cheaper to pass out chips or clementines this year, but are the savings really worth it? Especially since Halloween candy may only be increasing in price for the foreseeable future.

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If a 13% increase in candy prices sounds scary, maybe that's because it is. This is the second year in a row that Halloween candy has increased in price by a double-digit percentage.

In October 2022, candy and gum prices were up by 14% in the United States, according to PBS News. Simple math shows us that's a 27% increase in just two years (a $1 candy bar in 2021 cost $1.14 in 2022 and then about $1.29 in 2023). And as spooky as that pricing sounds, there's no sign that trick-or-treating will become more affordable in the coming years.


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Data from The Federal Reserve shows that the increasing prices of cocoa and sugar are to blame for the rise in candy prices. Bad weather conditions and lack of rain are to blame for the increase in the price of commodities like sugar, particularly from Brazil, India, and across Europe. Ongoing droughts won't make it any easier to harvest more sugar, and once you factor in the increasing costs of freight and shipping (which, yes, some major brands do absorb to keep consumer costs down), sugar may soon feel more like an indulgent treat than a daily habit.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, Americans may be aware of their soon-to-increase holiday spending. With the USDA reporting food price increases at higher than historical averages, grocery inflation is all too real across the country.

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Regionally, however, candy prices vary. Datasembly reports that while candy prices are increasing nationwide, some states, including Alaska, Michigan, and Ohio have lower candy price increases of 7.1%, 7.5%, and 8.1% respectively. The Northeast, however, has even higher surging prices. Vermont, Maine, and Pennsylvania are seeing candy price increases of 14.7%, 14.2%, and 14.1%, respectively.

Trick or treating? Don't expect too many toothbrushes, apples, or other inferior candy substitutes. Americans are still apparently treating their neighbors well. Datasembly weekly store-level measurements indicate that the demand continues for candy, and folks are indeed buying the more expensive stuff this season. Whether they're hoarding it for themselves, or handing out tiny Tootsie Rolls instead of fun-size Butterfingers remains to be seen. Best of luck out there.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Melissa is a writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn, where she lives with her wife and rescue dog. Read more about Melissa
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