Buying candy for Halloween? Get it early before themed packaging runs out

Posted at 5:34 AM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 14:20:59-04

(WXYZ) — We're just over a month away from Halloween, but people are getting ready for spooky season already!

According to the National Retail Federation's annual survey, Halloween participation is returning to pre-pandemic levels. But you might want to shop for candy early if you have certain candy you'd like to hand out.

In late July, The Hersey Company, the largest and most popular candy producer in the U.S., reported a net sales growth of 19% for the second quarter.

Hersey President and CEO Michele Buck explained in prepared remarks, in part, "Seasonal consumer engagement is expected to remain high, and we expect single-digit sales growth for both our Halloween and holiday seasons. Despite this strong growth, we will not be able to meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints."

I reached out to the company to see if this means there would be a candy shortage.

According to spokesperson Allison Kleinfelter, not at all — just a "Halloween packaging" issue.

Hershey's "everyday" and "seasonal products" are made on the same line, so Hersheys has to balance the making of the "everyday" products — like regular or king-sized candies — with "seasonal portfolios" like Reese's Pumpkins, Franken Cups and more.

Douglas Cale, the owner of Birmingham Chocolate, has dealt with supply chain issues. After the pandemic shutdown, he ended up closing his Birmingham store and moving into a Ferndale warehouse, selling chocolates wholesale and online.

He said some candy makers may be impacted by the war in Ukraine.

"If their corn sweeteners or whatever are dependent on Ukraine crops, then they probably got a problem," Cale said.

As for Hershey, a spokesperson said the company expects "high sell-through rates and less limited-time seasonal offerings within the final week of the holiday."

So, you will still be able to find Reese's, Kit Kat, Hersheys and the rest, but they may be in "everyday" packaging.

Bottom line, there is no candy shortage, but some of your favorite Halloween-themed packages or small sizes may sell out before Halloween.

If you do decide to buy candy early, Cale said there are three pointers to remember:

  1. Keep your candy at room temperature
  2. Keep it out of direct sunlight
  3. Don't move it in and out of the refrigerator because that could cause a bloom issue
    Note: Cale said you don't need to freeze candy unless it has a cream center.