As a semi-reformed procrastinator, I’m here to tell you that it’s never too early to start prepping for the holiday season. Yes, it’s only February, but if you’re planning to knit someone an ambitious afghan you might as well give yourself 10 months of lead time. Another thing to prepare for: pricier stocking stuffers, as Hershey Co. plans to raise prices on holiday treats starting in the 2021 holiday season.
Bloomberg recently interviewed Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck, who explained the price hike. She said that Hershey Co. plans to raise prices on bags of Kisses, miniature chocolate bars, and other seasonal treats (chocolate snowmen, chocolate Santas, et al) later this year. It’s the first time Hershey has raised prices on seasonal items since the 2014 holiday season. Buck didn’t get into specifics, but she did tell Bloomberg that consumers will likely notice the price increase. “Historically, retailers do pass it along,” she said somewhat ominously, noting that holiday products account for about 10% of Hershey Co’s total sales.
It’s tempting to blame the increase on a pandemic-related chocolate sales slump; however, research tells us that consumers are buying more comfort food than ever before during the pandemic. Bloomberg also reports that Hershey Co. has fared pretty darn well during the pandemic, with net sales rising 5.7% in the quarter to $2.19 billion. The holiday season may be months away, but it’s time to come to terms with the fact that capitalism brings out the Grinch in all of us.