By Ethan Letkeman
Scared yet? American households might be frightened by how much they will be paying for candy this year as Halloween approaches next week.
High inflation has increased the cost of candy by 13.1 percent from a year ago — the highest price increase ever recorded.
This can be attributed to a surge in production costs and price increases for sugar, milk, and flour ingredients. According to the Labor Department, sugar is up by 14.4 percent, milk is up by 15.2 percent, and flour has jumped by a whopping 24.2 percent.
A drought in sugar beet crops is also affecting production costs has also affected production. Forbes notes that since sugar beets require fertilizer, which has been affected by supply chain issues and high inflation, American farmers have elected to plant fewer sugar beets to save on costs.
As a result, companies have drastically raised the price of the candy products they produce from last year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Starburst bars have increased by 35 percent, while Skittles bars have jumped by 42 percent. Both products are made by Mars Inc.
Furthermore, on Amazon.com, a bag of fun-size Snickers bars is currently selling for $12, whereas a year ago, it was only selling for about $5. A family-sized bag of Sourpatch kids is now selling for $16.99, whereas it was selling for $12 this time last year.
Companies have also been turning to shrinkflation to save on costs without raising prices. The Washington Post reported that a bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses is two ounces smaller than it was previously, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups are a tenth of an ounce smaller, and Cadbury Chocolate bars have shrunk by ten percent.
Americans are projected to spend a record $10.6 billion on Halloween this year, with an estimated $102.74 spent per household. In 2015, households only spent $74.34 on Halloween costs on average.
Overall inflation has increased by 8.2 percent since last year, while core inflation — not including food and energy prices — is up 6.6 percent, a 40-year high, Breitbart News reported. Grocery prices are also up by 13 percent.