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This Popular Chocolate Brand Is Facing a Major Shortage, Makers Warn

Ongoing supply chain issues could affect candy availability this Halloween.

Anyone who seriously loves chocolate knows there's no substitute for the sweet treat when a craving hits. For many, biting into a candy bar or helping yourself to a cup of cocoa can be an easy way to lift your spirits—and even boost your health. But now, one major manufacturer is warning that their beloved chocolate could be facing a significant shortage in the coming months. Read on to see which candy could be harder to come by soon.

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Supply chain issues have recently affected many popular products.

woman wearing mask and reading label on empty shelf in Supermarket in Bangkok, Thailand.

The earliest days of the COVID-19 toilet paper and disinfectant shortages may now feel like a lifetime ago, but many companies are still struggling to make and ship enough product to satisfy demand for everything from food items to everyday essentials. In June, Huy Fong Inc. announced that its wildly popular Sriracha hot sauce would be in short supply over the summer due to "several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest," the company said in a statement to CNN in June. And over the spring, the U.S. also suffered a severe baby formula shortage from coast to coast after production issues drastically limited supply.

According to experts, this lack of product has become more common as labor shortages, transportation issues, and certain raw materials remain challenging to secure reliably. "If any part of the supply chain is disrupted because crops are not coming through, parts are not in stock, or trucks are not available, that leads to disruption, which means supply chains will have shortages," Achal Bassamboo, a professor of operations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, told CBS MoneyWatch in April.

Now, the confections industry could be facing similar issues in the coming months.

A major candy maker is warning that a shortage of their chocolate and other treats is looming.

A pile of chocolate candies and treats

Anyone with a serious sweet tooth might want to prepare for some bad news. During its earnings call on July 28, iconic candy producer Hershey announced that customers could see a shortage of many of their products in the coming months as lingering supply chain issues hamper the company's ability to manufacture their sweet treats fast enough. Unfortunately, the company expects this will affect availability during the busy Halloween season.

"We will not be able to fully meet consumer demand," Hershey CEO Michele Buck said in prepared remarks, per ABC News.

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The company says it hasn't had the capacity to increase production for Halloween.

kids trick or treating halloween

According to Buck's comments on the call, Hershey begins producing candy for the Halloween season as far back as spring. However, limited production capacity meant that executives were left having to decide between ramping up the seasonal items over products the company sells year-round.

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

Hershey says it will ramp up production capacity soon to avoid facing the same shortage next year.

halloween candy

Even though this year may be particularly tough for trick-or-treaters, Hershey says it plans to increase its production capacity to avoid a similar shortage in the future, CNN reports. The company says that Halloween candy sales makes up 10 percent of its annual sales, per ABC News.

However, the company is facing other problems outside of its manufacturing line, including sourcing ingredients and a higher price on dairy products used in its recipes, which could also take a toll on its output. And this year's shortage could also mean that other major competitors such as M&M, Snickers, and Skittles producer Mars Wrigley could see an uptick in sales when shoppers hit supermarket aisles for Halloween supplies, CNN reports.

"It's definitely all hands on deck. You make mistakes," Steve Voskuil, Hershey's senior vice president and chief financial officer, said during the call, per ABC News.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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