(Clinton, KY) - The cost of sweet goodness is about to get more expensive. Hershey Corporation has just announced an 8 percent across the board increase for all its products.
At Dollar General stores, this past week the price of a 4.25 ounce Hershey Special Dark Chocolate bar is now $1.75. At the beginning of 2014, the same chocolate bar was selling at $1.00 in most Dollar Stores and Wal-Marts.
West Kentucky Journal maintains a consumer food tracking inflation index of 20 items found in core stores such as Kroger, Wal-Marts, Dollar General, and Greg's Market, an independent food store here in Clinton. The Hershey Special Dark Chocolate is on that index. This is one of those category food items that people buy to feel good.
The increase of pricing for core food suppliers like the giant Hershey Corporation creates a major ripple in the open marketplace for sweets. Candy is a world market of $150 billion dollars.
The annual American candy chocolate marketplace is around $23 billion dollars. This American candy world consists of two retail models: (1) small businesses, like Rebecca Ruth in Frankfort, Ky. and (2) large mega groups such as Hershey and Mars. All told, some 1,600 firms make candy in America for retail sale. (see link below for a list of Hershey foods)
Even though Hershey says it is only an 8 percent increase, it still adds up for the primary customer. This new pricing at the shelf will meet strong resistance due to two major market forces on the horizon. Price will make many would-be buyers of Special Dark Chocolate hesitate. Customer hesitation is not a good thing for instinctive consumption. The second force are health issues. Diabetes and obesity are major health issues in America. More and more, the scales are forcing Americans to rethink buying candy.
One has to wonder about the metric the folks at Dollar General and Hershey use for pricing their goods. In this slowly recovering economy, a few cents can determine what is consumed and what is left on the retail shelf.