Add Halloween candy to the list of inflation victims – while the price of sweets is spooky expensive this year, some trick-or-treating favorites have been hit harder than others.
When it comes to preparations for Halloween night, homeowners are getting the “trick” at the cash register, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that found candy and gum to be 13.1% more expensive in September 2022 than the previous year. It was the biggest jump ever recorded, and just weeks before Halloween.
So what’s behind the ghoulish increase in candy prices? Sugar, Bloomberg reports. Drought-stricken beet-sugar crops drove U.S. refined sugar prices up, a phenomenon made worse by supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.
Last week, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared to suggest that something more nefarious might be at play, price gouging.
“While the cost of Halloween candy has surged more than 13.1% since last September, the Mars candy bar family became 44% richer during the pandemic increasing their wealth by $32.6 billion,” Sanders tweeted. “The Mars family is now worth $106.8 billion. Do you know what’s scary? Corporate greed.”
Here’s a breakdown of the top five list price increases according to Bloomberg, from Sept. 1, 2021 to Oct 16, 2022:
So if you’re still looking to stock up on Halloween candy, you might want to aim for some of the brands that have seen the least inflation since last Halloween: M&M’s (12%), Sour Patch Kids (10%), Butterfinger (5%) and Nestle Crunch (4%).