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Candy cane shortages become new Grinch for holiday season

Peppermint candy is getting harder to find in the days leading up to the big day.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Candy canes a favorite treat at Christmas time

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While preparing for Christmas, people may have seen a key part of the holiday missing from shelves in the supermarkets.

So what is there another shortage of? None other than good 'ole candy canes.

Yes, you read that correctly. Peppermint candy is getting harder to find in the days leading up to Christmas.

Deemed as the "great Candy Cane Crisis of 2021," a weakness in peppermint crops and issues from COVID-19 have created problems, the New York Post reports.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, peppermint production has declined more than 20 percent in the past 10 years.

The owner of Economy Candy in New York, Mitchell Cohen, said to the Post he only "received half of [the] candy cane orders for the holiday season and sold out almost immediately."

"We currently have zero in stock," Cohen explained to the media outlet. "Raw material and ingredient shortages globally have had quite an impact."

This is not the only shortage dampening the holiday spirit. Cream cheese is barely on shelves at local markets.

“As you walk through a lot of stores you won’t see the quantity and quality of items you are accustomed to seeing,” Patrick Penfield, professor of supply chain practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, told USA TODAY. “Unfortunately, as we progress through the holiday season, we are seeing more bare shelves and stockouts of popular items.”

Penfield says some of the shortages could be more regional because of labor or truck shortages as well, USA TODAY explains.

People might have to settle for fruit-flavored candy canes this year.

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