- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2021

One-third of U.S. parents reported finding Halloween candy more expensive than expected this year, dampening an otherwise festive return to the holiday with reminders of rampant inflation, a new survey shows.

Premise Data, a global marketing data collection agency, also reported in its survey of 1,000 parents with children under 12 years old that 19% of families felt concerned about Halloween product availability and prices due to the pandemic-fueled global supply chain crisis.

Ken Cassar, a Premise official, said three merchandising performance indicators — shelf stock levels, shelf organization and assortment appeal — started “very strongly” and then declined as the holiday drew near.

“Looking at the reality on the ground this Halloween shopping season through our in-store observations, we saw that shoppers’ fears about price increases and out of stocks were on point, but Halloween was far from a disaster,” Mr. Cassar said.

Part of the shortage-driven increase of Halloween candy prices occurred due to more trick-or-treaters this year, the study found.

Premise found that 72% of families in cities trick-or-treated this year compared to 49% last year, when many cities remained in pandemic lockdowns.

“In short, Halloween 2021 was a bit more expensive, and candy and costumes saw thin availability late in the game,” the firm said in a statement.

Premise Data also noted that Halloween traditionally suffers less from supply chain shortages due to its relatively small reliance on Asian goods, compared to the winter holidays.

The Washington Times reported Oct. 21 that this year’s surge in consumer demand for Halloween goods surprised many industry retailers who had underestimated this year’s demand when ordering costumes and other supplies in January and February.

“This year, almost out of the blue, we’ve got the biggest Halloween in history that will sell $10.4 billion of related goods in the United States,” Gregor Lawson, chairman of the nonprofit Halloween & Costume Association, told The Times in October.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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