No Tricks, Only Treats

Published online: Oct 27, 2023 Feature American Sugar Alliance,
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This Halloween don’t be tricked by candy corporations’ claims that sugar prices are too high or there is not enough sugar.

Since 2010, the cost of your sweet treats has risen by 43 percent, and baked goods have skyrocketed by a scary 41 percent. That is nearly double the increase in the price of sugar. Not to mention, the current U.S. domestic supply of sugar exceeds demand by roughly 3.5 billion pounds – more than enough for your Halloween haul.

Yet sugar-using food companies are pocketing the savings, not you. Since 2020, confectioners have had record U.S. sales, totaling nearly $43 billion in sales in 2022. The Economic Policy Institute found that corporate profits were the main culprit in food price hikes between 2020 and 2021.

The price of sugar has remained a tiny fraction of the cost of your Halloween haul – with very little going back to farmers.

We analyzed some of your favorite Halloween candies and found that America’s hardworking farmers and factory workers will receive just pennies for these sweet treats. Now, that should send a chill up your spine.

A bag of candy corn that costs $3.49 contains $0.31 of sugar. One serving of candy corn contains $0.03 of sugar. The farmer who grew that sugar will receive even less — about a penny.

For every bubble gum lollipop you hand out the farmer doesn’t even see a penny. A bag costs $3.99 but it contains $0.018 of sugar per serving.  

A $5.99 bag of caramel and nougat chocolates has just over 1 cent of sugar per serving. The farmer doesn’t even get half a penny per serving.  

A fun-sized bag of chocolate candies is the perfect size to toss in a trick-or-treater's bag, but what’s not so fun is how little sugar producers receive for the sugar in that candy. Each serving has about 2 cents of sugar, with less than a penny going back to the farmer.

This Halloween, we’ll be thanking the farmers still hard at work in the fields harvesting and the workers who will make those crops into sugar. On behalf of America’s sugar producers, have a very happy – and sweet – Halloween!