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A Hershey's chocolate bar is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California , (Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake)

Hershey plans to raise prices for holiday chocolates this year

A Hershey's chocolate bar is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California , (Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake)

That chocolate Santa will cost a bit more this coming Christmas.

Hershey Co plans to raise prices on bags of kisses, miniature chocolate bars and other seasonal treats shaped like snowmen and Santas starting in the 2021 holiday season, Chief Executive Officer Michele Buck said Thursday in an interview. Prices for these items had not been increased since the 2014 holiday season.

Hershey Co CEO Michele Buck (Photo: DNA India)

The decision, which will affect products accounting for about 10 per cent of the company’s total sales, was recently communicated to retailers, she said. Buck declined to specify the magnitude of the price hike, but she said consumers are likely to see it in stores.

“Historically, retailers do pass it along,” she said after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.

Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss (Photo: The Canadian Press)

The candymaker has fared well overall in the pandemic as consumers reach for products that provide comfort and nostalgia. While candy bar sales dropped as consumers stayed home, other products tied to homebound behavior saw upticks, including baking staples like chocolate chips and movie night favorites such as Twizzlers.

Net sales rose 5.7 per cent in the quarter to US$2.19 billion, the company said, beating analysts’ estimates.