Halloween Is More Expensive This Year as Candy Costs Creep Higher

Candy prices have seen their largest year-to-year jump ever.

Halloween Is More Expensive This Year
Photo: Eli Asenova / Getty Images

Most years, the "cool house" for Halloween trick-or-treaters was the one who handed out full-size candy bars instead of their miniature counterparts. This year, the cool house is every single one that gives out any candy, snacks, or other sugary treats — because all of those things are significantly more expensive this year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent Consumer Price Index, the cost of candy has jumped by 13.1 percent since last year, which is the biggest year-to-year increase ever. (NPR noted that previously it took from 1997 to 2006 — nine entire years — for candy prices to soar by 13%.)

Those notable (and noticeable) price increases are largely because of the increasing costs of both sugar and cocoa, crucial candy ingredients that have been affected by drought, supply chain issues, and disruptions caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

On top of that, the cost of a single pumpkin — whether you're carving a lopsided face on it or putting it on your porch as-is — has jumped to $5.68, an increase of $0.76 cents over last year's average price.

But having to spend a bit more for candy (and on costumes and decorations) apparently isn't going to stop the majority of Halloween lovers from enjoying the holiday. According to the National Retail Federation's annual survey, 69 percent of consumers are going to take part in some kind of Halloween-related activities this year, which is the highest percentage of Spooky Season participation since before the pandemic.

Of those surveyed, 67 percent said that they would give out candy to trick-or-treaters (and, if they're like us, they'll also save a Reese's pumpkin or two for themselves).

"Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year," Matthew Shay, the president and CEO of the NRF said in a statement. "As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one."

The average consumer is expected to spend $100 on Halloween this year, which includes the cost of buying candy, decor, and costumes. The NRF estimates that total spending for the holiday will hit $10.6 billion, a new record high.

On second thought, maybe it's alright to keep an entire bag of Reese's pumpkins for yourself.

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