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Brace Yourselves: There's a Mass Candy Cane Shortage This Holiday Season

A peppermint supply shortage and pandemic-related complications are affecting candy suppliers this year.


Looks like the holidays just gotten a little less jolly.

Fiordaliso | Getty Images

Covid and the ongoing pandemic have created shortages of everything from presents, to travel, to even foods thanks to supply chain and labor issues over the past two years.

This year, it looks like one favorite holiday treat might be the next victim in the supply chain rapture.

Thanks to a weak peppermint harvest and pandemic-related complications, candy canes will be low in supply this holiday season.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, peppermint production saw a decline of 470,000 pounds from 2019 to 2020, after remaining relatively stagnant since 2015.

"We only received half of our candy cane order for the holiday season and sold out almost immediately. We currently have zero in stock," New York-based candy store owner Mitchell Cohen told The New York Post. "Raw material and ingredient shortages globally have had quite an impact."

New Jersey resident Sue Moll also wrote on behalf of radio station 92.7 WOBM that the seasonal treats were "nowhere to be found."

"I've been into Walgreens, Rite Aid, and many more drugstores. I can't find candy canes anywhere," she wrote. "And, it's not like boxes are empty, there are no boxes."

Dale Schotte, owner of Park Avenue Coffee in Missouri, told local outlet KSDK that his business was having difficulty sourcing the plant for its holiday drinks and seasonal treats.

"We'll buy local if it's available through suppliers, couldn't find it there," he said. "We went to the big box stores, we couldn't find it there … We order peppermint in November. We always order peppermint in November and it always comes in, you know, the first week in December, we're good to go. Not this year."

Over 1.76 billion candy canes are made each year, with about 90% of those being sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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