CLEVELAND — As you creep into the candy goldmine we all know as Sweetie Candy Company, its owner, Tom Scheiman, is urging customers to beware this Halloween season.
“We're spreading things out now,” he said. “Everything is full, but it isn't the [normal] selection. The variety is not where it needs to be.”
Scheiman says candy manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand. Though their bestselling items have been prioritized and remain in stock, the marginal and best-seller sweets at Sweetie have been cut from orders or have been temporarily discontinued.
“The manufacturers are having the same issues as every business; staffing problems [and] packaging problems because a lot of the packaging for products comes from overseas. So, a lot of delays in that,” Scheiman said. “They're scrambling to try to make you know, to make the product. Plus, the industry is just incredibly busy in 2021. The whole industry was up 12% in sales.”
Scheiman went on to explain the store’s recent orders were shorthanded this year for the spooky holiday.
“We've received about 65% of what we ordered. Now, mind you, this product was ordered in March and April of this year for the Halloween season,” he said. “We're going to sell out somewhat early this year.”
However, this has been going on for a while now. We’re told sweetie’s supply has consistently been about 35% out of stock.
“Of the 5,500 items that we stock here at sweetness, 5,499 have had a price increase over the last 12 months,” Scheiman said. “We’re trying to source other items. But I’ll tell you what, it's really tough. We're not the only ones trying to do this.”
Scheiman says looking ahead, he believes he’ll be navigating shortages until mid-2023. It’s why he’s already placing Easter orders. As for Christmas this year, he’s only expecting 70% of his order.