Stuff of Nightmares: Halloween May Be Plagued by a Sugar Shortage

July 28, 2023
1 min read
sugar, cup, pile of sugar

This Halloween, there will be tricks instead of treats.

The Wall Street Journal reports there’s a sugar shortage with import restrictions that is causing candy companies’ supply costs to skyrocket, even cutting the production of the sweets.

Candy producers told the newspaper that the issue lies in the US agriculture policy that requires for “at least 85 percent of US sugar purchases to come from domestic processors,” which has been leading to “tight supplies and high prices when demand rises.”

One company that’s been strongly affected by this is Spangler Candy, which is the maker of classics like Dum-Dums, Jelly Belly, and Sweethearts. 

Spangler President Kirk Vashaw told the publication that “supplier cutbacks to available sugar disrupted the company’s candy supply,” forcing the company to turn down Halloween candy orders it couldn’t fill. At this time, the company isn’t sure it can fulfill orders for Christmas as one of the biggest manufacturers of candy canes in the country.

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Another company that’s struggling is Texas’ Atkinson Candy, which makes chewy candies like Chick-O-Stick, Black Cow, and Mary Jane. Its president Eric Atkinson told WSJ that eleven suppliers informed the company of being out of sugar for the rest of the year. The company resorted to finding a supplier who could get sugar from Colombia.

“We were down to the point where we were about to run out,” noted Atkinson. He added, “We would’ve been going to Costco.”

The exorbitant cost of sugar is reportedly also affecting huge candy companies like Mondelez (which makes Oreos and Sour Patch Kids), though its representative declined to comment to WSJ.

But don’t say boo just yet, as Todd Scott, Hershey’s senior manager of communications, recently told Axios: “Our production is busy and our warehouses are full. There is not going to be a shortage for Halloween.”

That’s a relief!

Axios also credited “El Niño” for this year’s sugar reduction. 

Next: Fans Debate Over Home Depot Releasing Their Massive Halloween Decorations in July

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