Even the Easter Bunny can’t escape inflation as skyrocketing prices hamper holiday plans

As if parents don’t already have enough to worry about in today’s pandemic-weary, war-plagued, Liberal-led America, many must now scale down on a much-loved tradition — the sweet-filled Easter basket — as sanctions against Russia cause the cost of candy to surge.

According to the New York Post, “the average cost of an Easter basket has skyrocketed to $61.83, up from $50.46 in the pre-pandemic spring of 2019.”

“That’s an increase of 22.5%, more than double the already historic 9 percent inflation rate in the same period,” The Post reports.

It seems impossible that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could have anything to do with the Easter Bunny, but as April 17 approaches, the cost of ingredients needed to fill a proper Easter basket has all gone up, including on crucial items such as milk, sugar, and cocoa. What’s more, there’s a shortage of aluminum required to make all those shiny wrappers.

For stay-at-home mother of two children  (and aunt to two more) Monica Matute, the extra big price tag means this year’s baskets are going to be extra “basic.”

“We’re just going to stick with the basics and buy only what we need,” Matute said. “It’s not like before. You can just see the difference in prices, anytime you go to the supermarket.”

 

According to Mitch Cohen of the Lower East Side’s Economy Candy, it’s a trend that started across the board in 2019.

The Post reports  that “ever-popular confections such as Hershey’s bars and Kit Kats have risen from 99 cents each to $1.25 each (26%); the price of jelly beans has grown from $3.99 to $4.99 per pound (25%), and a medium-sized 6-ounce chocolate bunny has risen from $4.99 to $5.99 (20%).”

And according to the experts, it’s not just a problem of higher prices — there are shortages stymying the Easter Bunny’s efforts.

“Sadly our order of Peeps did not arrive this year and we received only a limited number of chocolate bunnies,” said Cohen. “We’ll be sold out before Easter.”

Peeps product manager Caitlin Servain points to breakdowns in transportation, logistics, and labor, which is making it more difficult to get what product there is to market. Family-owned confections manufacturer Just Born is, Servain noted, producing 2 billion of the iconic marshmallow candies this year.

“All candy companies are facing similar supply chain issues, labor shortages, driver shortages and long lead times on packaging and ingredients,” Servain said.

And then there’s the price of gas, which affects the price of literally everything else.

For a shipment of packaging from Indonesia, luxury Brooklyn-based chocolatier Jacques Torres recently spent $23,000, up from just $9,000, two years ago,  for the same shipment.

Torres sells 2 1/2-foot tall chocolate bunnies that weigh in at a basket-bending two pounds. The price for the eye-popping bunnies would, in recent years, set a seasonal chocaholic back 90 bucks. Now, the price is $130, and even still, said Torres, “we’re taking a hit. We can’t pass along the entire added costs to consumers.”

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