Why You Should Buy Your Halloween Candy Now and How to Store It
If you don’t usually get a jump on Halloween holiday prep, you might want to reconsider this year or risk getting tricks for your lack of treats.
It may still feel like summer in most parts of the country, but spooky season is just around the corner. While the candy aisles of grocery stores are currently well stocked, a looming Halloween candy shortage might make it difficult to find your favorites as the holiday draws closer. The Hershey Company (the largest producer of chocolate in North America, which makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat bars, and Twizzlers, among many other popular treats) is warning that the country is facing an impending Halloween candy shortage.
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The surprising causes of shortage
It’s no surprise to most people that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused production interruptions and product shortages in numerous industries, causing shoppers to scramble to find products that were once readily available. Now it appears that Halloween candy might be the next victim of the supply chain issues that have impacted so many other product categories.
However, what most people don’t know is that candy sales have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, with a 15.4 percent increase in 2020 and an additional 11 percent surge in confectionery sales in 2021, according to the National Confectioners Association. Seems that staying home led to some sweet snacking. When combined with supply chain problems, this increased demand spells trouble for Halloween candy availability.
To further complicate matters, chocolate candy production is impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hershey’s, for example, sources much of its equipment and ingredients from Germany, whose energy market has been affected by the restrictions put on Russian oil and gas imports.
Hershey’s has been working on its annual Halloween candy supply to some degree for months, with production having begun in the spring. But since the ingredient shortage has developed, they’ve elected to prioritize their everyday candy line, putting Halloween candy production on the back burner. In their second quarter earnings statement, released in July, the company indicated that it “will not be able to fully meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints.” Statements to the press say that it’s all hands on deck at Hershey’s to try and right the ship.
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The way to store candy until the holiday season
In order to avoid disappointing neighborhood trick-or-treaters (or even becoming the victim of Halloween pranks), it might be prudent to shop for Halloween candy early this year. Whether you’re shopping online or in person, your favorite seasonal treats may not be available come October.
The good news is that most types of Halloween candy are shelf stable and last for months, so if you buy them a couple of months early, you won’t need to do anything special to store them. Since most Halloween candy is individually wrapped, it should remain well-preserved until long past Halloween.
The one thing that is important—especially if you live in a warm climate—is to store them in a cool, dark space, like a pantry or basement. If the temperature in your home reaches over 85 degrees, it may be prudent to store chocolate in the refrigerator to prevent it from melting. To be extra cautious, place the individually-wrapped candy in airtight containers in order to prolong its shelf life.
Of course, the real struggle might be staying out of the Halloween candy until Halloween.