Hershey's Seasonal Chocolates Are About To Get More Expensive

We have some good news and bad news. The good news: Your favorite seasonal Hershey's chocolates will still be around for the 2021 holiday season (hello, chocolate snowmen!). Now for the bad news: Their price tags are going to be a little steeper — for the first time in seven years. Hershey Co.'s Chief Executive Officer, Michele Buck, confirmed the price increase in an interview with Bloomberg on February 4. 

The price change will affect bags of Hershey's Kisses, chocolate snowmen, chocolate Santas, miniature chocolate bars, and other seasonal confections. In total, the decision "will affect products accounting for about 10 [percent] of the company's total sales," Bloomberg reports. Although no specifics have been released regarding the exact date the change will occur or how much the new prices will vary, Buck told Bloomberg that customers will likely notice the difference when the new prices hit stores. On the consumer's end, that means more expensive holiday chocolate favorites.

So, why is the price of Hershey's chocolates increasing, anyway?

As it turns out, the price increase is likely unrelated to pandemic-induced financial losses. In fact, the sale of Hershey's baking items, s'mores ingredients, and some other candies were up 40 to 50 percent in areas hit hard by the pandemic (via CNBC). Ultimately, Buck didn't comment on what the real reason for the increase is, but the fact that more people are buying their chocolate online and spending less time in grocery stores means Hershey's has to adjust how it markets its products. According to CNBC, "[Consumers] are celebrating holidays differently, which could change how much candy they buy."

Not to mention, Hershey's also had its "biggest s'more season [it] ever had" last year, Chief Growth Officer, Kristen Riggs, recalled at a virtual conference hosted by the National Retail Federation. "The s'mores surge is an example of the growth opportunities that the snack and confectionery company sees as consumers spend more time at home and try to create occasions during the global health crisis," CNBC says.