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Hershey warns of possible Halloween and holiday candy shortage

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(NEW YORK) — Trick-or-treaters may see fewer of their favorite sweets while going door-to-door this October.

Hershey announced in the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday that it expects to face a candy shortage amid ongoing struggles with the global supply chain.

The company’s CEO warned specifically that it would not be able to meet the demand for Halloween this year.
 
“We will not be able to fully meet consumer demand,” CEO Michele Buck said in prepared remarks.

While the company has added production capacity, Hershey said it can’t keep up for this year. The candymaker has also been hit by a shortage of essential ingredients like cocoa as a result of a global supply chain issues due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Balancing non-seasonal candy production with holiday themed sweets has also proven more difficult this year, the company noted.

“We began producing Halloween back in the spring,” Buck said. “And that’s really when we needed to make these key decisions on what we were going to produce, so tough trade out to make. We had opportunity to deliver more Halloween, but we weren’t able to supply that. And we were really producing.”

“…We had a strategy of prioritizing every day on-shelf availability,” Buck said elsewhere in the call. “It was a tough decision to balance that with the seasons, but we thought that was really important.”

“It’s definitely all hands on deck. You make mistakes,” Hershey’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, Steve Voskuil, added.

Halloween candy makes up nearly 10% of the the company’s annual sales.

Hershey’s is far from the only company making tough decisions amid the global supply chain crisis. Most recently, Klondike, which is owned by Unilever, announced it would be discontinuing the fan-favorite Choco Taco due to an “unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio” and the need to balance availability of its other products nationwide.

“We know this may be very disappointing, and hope you’ll try our other delicious frozen treats!” the company wrote on Twitter.

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