Chocolate crunch: Hershey says it won’t be able to meet Halloween demand this year

Chocolate crunch: Hershey says it won't be able to meet Halloween demand this year

This Halloween may bring more tricks than treats, with the Hershey Candy Maker Attention Thursday that it will not be able to meet consumer demand for the October 31 holiday.

CEO Michele Buck warned of the potential shortfall during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, noting that if seasonal consumer demand remains high, “we won’t be able to fully meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints”.

That means Halloween favorites like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, Mr. Goodbar and Almond Joy may not be as plentiful this Halloween as in years past.

Americans have turned to sugary treats during the pandemic, pushing candy and chocolate sales to a record $36.9 billion in 2021, according to the National Association of Confectioners. With consumer demand increasing, Hershey’s faced a dilemma, since their Halloween candy is made on the same equipment as its regular inventory, Buck noted.

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“[W]Our strategy is to prioritize daily on-shelf availability,” Buck noted on the conference call. “It was a tough decision to balance that with the seasons, but we thought it was really important. “

Of course, people looking to give out Halloween treats in October will have other choices in the candy aisle, with rivals such as Mars (maker of M&Ms and other candy) and Ferraro (Butterfinger and Crunch bars) likely. to step in to fill the sweet undo.

It’s not just the capacity constraint that challenges Hershey, Buck added that supply chain issues also remain an issue.

“I think in general we continue to see difficulties throughout the supply chain,” she said. “[W]We are now starting to see greater concerns about the scarcity of ingredients requiring leveraging of different suppliers at higher costs and prices in order to secure production. »

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