Halloween Candy Shortage Expected Says Hershey CEO

Spooky season hasn't even begun just yet and the scariest thing imaginable may have already happened, a potential shortage on Halloween candy. Speaking during Hershey's quarterly financial meeting, company President and Chief Executive Officer Michele Buck confirmed the news, revealing that they've been forced to find a balance on production between Halloween-specific candies and their traditional, everyday offerings. As a result of this, there may not be quite as many Hershey bars in the Halloween candy aisle at retailers this October. In prepared remarks (H/T CNN), Buck said: "We will not be able to fully meet consumer demand due to capacity constraints."

"Given many of our everyday and seasonal products are made on the same line, we have needed to balance production over the past several months to improve everyday on-shelf availability and build seasonal inventory at the same time," she added. "While this will likely result in second half seasonal share pressures, we expect our everyday share trends to remain strong behind higher inventory levels and more advertising and merchandising. As we head into next year with healthier inventory levels and more capacity, we believe we will be well positioned to meet consumer demand across our everyday and seasonal portfolios."

Keep in mind that Hershey's brands of candy include not only the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar and its variants but also Hershey's Kisses, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, and others.   

Buck was asked in the Q&A about their Halloween plans, specifically why they wouldn't be able to meet such the demand of trick-or-treaters and why they weren't in "all-hands-on-deck mode." The CEO noted that their strategy over the past year has been about "prioritizing everyday on shelf availability," calling it "a tough decision to balance that with the seasons."

"That was a choice that we needed to make," she added. "We had opportunity to deliver more Halloween, but we weren't able to supply that. We were really producing-we begin producing Halloween back in the Spring, and that's really when we needed to make these key decisions on what we were going to produce. So, trade-off to make, we feel really good about having high single digit growth, but we also feel good about as we get into the future, being able to have more capacity to really fulfill more of the demand that we see during the seasons"

Expect maybe more M&Ms and Sour Patch Kids this year in your candy bag.  

(Cover photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)