BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — What’s Halloween without the Halloween candy? But this year, your wallet may be the one screaming.
The spookiest thing this fall is the prices you’re going to have to pay for Halloween candy, largely in part due to inflation.
According to a new report from the National Retail Federation, Americans are projected to spend up to a record $12.2 billion on the holiday. A fourth of that — $3.6 billion — is projected to be spent on candy alone, a 16% increase from last year.
Aside from major retailers, candy makers in the area are especially feeling the lingering impact of inflation, such as the Birmingham Candy Company.
“Inflation has impacted us greatly,” Confectioner and co-owner Wayne Bolden said.
Bolden said inflation is hammering small candy shops because core ingredients like pecans, sugar, half and half and heavy cream now cost up to 25% more.
“The two major factors in which it has impacted us have been in ingredients which we use to cook and make everything because we make everything by hand here, and secondly it would be in labor cost,” Bolden said.
The shop has had no choice but to adjust prices, and Bolden hopes Halloween may help them bounce back from slow business over the summer. He urged shoppers to look local first this fall.
“I hate [adjusting prices]. We try to control and mitigate that as much as possible, but there’s only so much that you can do,” Bolden said.
Kilwins in Hoover sells chocolate, candy, fudge and ice cream. Despite inflation, the shop says customers still want their Halloween orders.
“It’s been pretty steady and busy so far … People still come in because they love our chocolate,” Supervisor Katie Tompkins said. “For Halloween especially, I do these little Halloween apples, and I decorate them like a little spider web.”
According to the National Retail Federation’s report, a record 73% of people will participate in Halloween activities this year.