Sugar high: Ingredient inflation raises prices at largest Nebraska candy store

GREENWOOD, Neb. (KLKN) – Inflation has affected many industries, and Halloween candy is no exception.

Baker’s Candies, Nebraska’s largest candy outlet, has been facing inflation on multiple fronts when it comes to making their products.

Todd Baker, one of the owners, said ingredients like cocoa, milk and sugar have been impacted the most.

Baker said shipping prices for those items have gone up by around 20% in the last year.

“Cocoa only grows within about 10 degrees of the equator, so it has to travel a really long way to get here, and that means lots of fuel,” he said.

Baker said the store is lucky to have loyal customers from around the state.

Despite the support, it’s still had to raise prices along with candy stores across the nation.

“We’ve done our best to try and offset as much of that cost as we can and not have to pass it along, but there’s a certain amount that you don’t have any choice but to pay it forward,” Baker said.

The supply chain for Baker’s ingredients has also been struggling.

Baker said the problems started when COVID-19 began.

U.S. warehouses were stocked with ingredients, which is where many stores, including Baker’s Candies, were buying their supplies.

Soon, the warehouses began to run out of products, and imports haven’t been able to replenish the stock to keep up with demand.

“We’re still digging out 2½ years later from some of the effects of COVID, but really, it was a problem then that we’re just starting to overcome now,” Baker said.

Baker said Halloween candy is usually on the cheaper side since people have to buy large amounts.

Christmas and Valentine’s Day candy is more expensive because customers want quality gifts.

This year, he said you should expect higher prices across the board.

Baker said he doesn’t think the prices will go back to what they were before.

“All of the price increases that have gone into place this year will probably stand and hold,” he said. “We don’t see any immediate relief in the market anytime soon. That being said, we don’t have any anticipation of having to raise prices again.”

Baker said the company has been fortunate enough that it hasn’t had to discontinue any products.

He gives all of the credit to his Nebraska customers.

Categories: Consumer News, Nebraska News, News, Top Stories