Halloween candy prices have risen the most since at least 1999

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Halloween may feel like more than a trick or treat this year.

Candy prices are estimated to be 14% higher than last year, according to a recent report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. This is the largest increase since the company began tracking Halloween candy prices in 1999.

“The 14% rise in candy prices is the highest on record by a significant margin,” Akshat Goel, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, told CNN. This year’s projected increase is double the 7% jump recorded in 2008, during the financial crisis. That was the next biggest increase the company followed.

The price increases coincide with difficult economic times, and as Goel points out, “the hyperinflationary period of the 1970s/1980s could easily have seen higher price increases.” But he added that the company does not have data on candy prices starting from that period.

The higher price should come as no surprise. Inflation has remained very high, with an unadjusted annual rate of 8.2% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in September. Food prices have risen even more. Between the year and September, food became more expensive by 11.2%, and food prices rose by 13%.

Food manufacturers are constantly raising prices, and confectioners are no exception. In its 2022 financial outlook shared earlier this year, Hershey said it planned to increase “list price increases across all segments.”

However, it seems that people are ready to scoop out the candy this spooky season. According to S&P Global, US spending on Halloween candy will reach $3.2 billion this year, up 1% from last year.

The National Retail Federation, in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics, in its annual Halloween Consumer Survey, found that 67% of respondents planned to hand out candy this year, up from 66% in 2021.

Overall, the NRF expects US consumers to spend a record $10.6 billion on Halloween celebrations in 2022, up from $10.1 billion last year.

Candy shoppers may not find what they’re looking for.

In July, Hershey ( HSY ) said there was strong interest in its traditional candy the offer meant that he would not be able to meet the demand for Halloween items.

The chocolatier uses the same manufacturing lines for regular and seasonal products, so it was unable to increase production of both regular candy and Halloween or holiday products at the same time.

“We had a strategy to prioritize daily shelf availability,” CEO Michele Buck said on an analyst call over the summer. “This was a choice we had to make,” he said. “It was a hard decision.”

For Hershey, it likely means giving up ground to competitors like Mars Wrigley, Maker of M&Ms and Snickers and marketer of Sour Patch Kids Mondelez (MDLZ) during the Halloween season.

-— CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report.