“Everything’s getting too expensive,” my landlord grumbled this week as he tinkered with my busted doorknob. “Gotta be a millionaire to buy groceries.” Old Chicagoan grumpiness aside, he’s right. Grocery prices are skyrocketing—and soon, you’ll pay more for your favorite chocolate treats. That’s right, y’all: Hershey is raising its prices this year, meaning you’ll pay more for everything from Reese’s to Almond Joy.
CNN Business reports that Hershey CEO Michele Buck discussed the company’s 2022 financial forecast during an earnings call on Thursday. The company will soon see “list price increases across all segments” as a way to drive sales growth and offset higher ingredient and labor costs.
This shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise: as CNN points out, the US consumer price index rose 7% last year before seasonal adjustments—the biggest spike since June 1982. Grocery prices also rose about 6.5% last year. However, demand for candy and snacks also grew as consumers sought comfort foods during the height of the pandemic. On the earnings call, Buck pointed out that retail sales of Reese’s grew close to 25% over the past two years; meanwhile, sales of the company’s top candy brands grew more than 12% on average, per Buck. Hershey’s snack brands, including Skinny Pop and Pirate’s Booty, also performed extremely well last year.
There’s also precedent for the price increase. Buck told analysts that higher prices contributed to sales growth in the fourth quarter. “Historically, our category has successfully been able to execute price increases and we expect that to be the case this year as well,” said Buck. Why? Loyalty, Buck says. “They don’t want to switch to another brand,” Buck explained.
Pandemic-related inflation likely isn’t settling down any time soon. (Soon, you’ll need to shell out a bit more for Starbucks, which will increase prices this year as well.) With that in mind, it’s time to get thrifty. Just don’t follow my landlord’s lead. (Thanks a lot for the $50 monthly increase, pal.)