- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The nation’s candy makers are expecting a 5% increase in Halloween chocolate and candy sales from last year as most Americans responding to a recent survey say they plan to celebrate the holiday.

In a survey released Monday, the National Confectioners Association reported that 93% of adults plan to celebrate the Oct. 31 holiday with chocolate and other treats such as candy corn.

“The past few years have proven that the confectionery industry is resilient, and Americans remain enthusiastic about enjoying their favorite treats during seasonal celebrations like Halloween with friends and family,” John Downs, the trade group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The association did not respond to an email asking if inflation is driving this year’s sales increase.

But in their half-year reports last month, Pennsylvania-based Hershey Co. and Switzerland-based Nestle said pandemic-driven global supply chain disruptions and the Russia-Ukraine war have made cocoa and other ingredients scarcer and more expensive as demand soars.

The maker of Nestle Crunch announced a 6.5% price increase to offset lower profit margins amid “significant and unprecedented cost inflation.” Nestle now expects an 8% increase in sales this year, higher than its previous 5% estimate.

According to the survey, 97% of Americans plan to welcome trick-or-treaters with treats this year, higher than the number that plans to celebrate more generally.

Polling company 210 Analytics conducted the national online survey of 1,573 adults on Jan. 17-31. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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

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