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Inflation: Sales of chocolate bars down amid higher prices

Yahoo Finance Live's Brian Sozzi breaks down how inflation is targeting chocolate bars.

Video Transcript


- Well, record high inflation is hitting just about everything, including sales of chocolate. Sales are down 2% to 3% over the last couple of months due to higher prices. That's according to Reuters. It spoke to an executive from Hershey. And that's where we find Sozzi's take today. Sozz, are you a chocolate consumer even?

BRIAN SOZZI: I am here to report sour news on sweets. You see what I did there? You have to make it fun. I mean, finance shouldn't have to be as boring as watching grass grow.

To your point, yes, US chocolate sales down 2% to 3% the last few months. That is according to Reuters new report from them, citing IRI data. Essentially, that is a grocery data tracking firm that tracks these sales.

Interesting to note, chocolate sales volume for the 13 weeks ended June 12 down 1 and 1/2%. So like we were talking about with Conagra a little earlier, prices are going up for chocolate. And consumers are perhaps not out there buying some of that more expensive chocolate perhaps like a Hershey's or Reese's and a Kit Kat, like you see in the screen.

What is working though, fascinating, sales of private label chocolate up 8% in the last six months.

- Well, that makes sense. They're trading down.

BRIAN SOZZI: But unclear what private label chocolate is actually is. I have not seen--

- Store brand. Store-brand chocolate.

BRIAN SOZZI: OK. So there I am. So there I am promoting the trade down effect. It is time to go try some of that private label candy.

- Even though you didn't know what it was.

- Which clearly, I didn't know what it was. Just give it a try anyway. But we were just talking. We were showing a lot of Hershey's products on the screen. Those may or may not be Hershey's. Goldman Sachs out with a report on Hershey's I believe two weeks ago, noting Hershey's just took a 14% price increase for its various products. 17% increases for Hershey bars and 13% increase for their big king bars, which is just their longer Hershey bars.

Those are big increases. And if you are a price sensitive consumer, perhaps you don't put that Hershey bar in the bag.

- Yeah. I guess. I mean, some of this also-- I wonder if baking chocolate is in here, right, because there I've definitely seen store brands.

BRIAN SOZZI: You got me on the baking chocolate.

- I've seen the store brands indeed for some of the like, you know, candy bars.

BRIAN SOZZI: What's your favorite-- what was your favorite candy up there, Julie?

- I always like to Whatchamacallit.


- Which is a little bit more obscure. Kit Kat I like, a Twix I like. I like the caramel and chocolate and cookie kind of combo. What about you?

BRIAN SOZZI: I like Whoppers. Whoppers don't get enough attention.

- Malt balls.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. Whoppers. It's not malt balls.

- But that's what a whopper is. It's a malt ball covered in chocolate.

BRIAN SOZZI: Look at that big bar. That big bar, that is a classic Hershey bar what you're seeing on the screen, probably up 17% versus this time last year. That's huge.

- But if I'm going to like treat myself, I'm going to go like Maison du Chocolat, like Jacques Torres here in New York has wonderful chocolate.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, right now I'm treating myself-- I'm on a cleanse, so I'm rolling with grapefruit. No chocolate for me, grapefruit.

- You're always on a cleanse. When are you not on a cleanse?

BRIAN SOZZI: There's always something going on.