Candy cane shortage 2021: Peppermint candy is harder to find before Christmas

You might have to settle for a box of fruit-flavored candy canes this year. There's a peppermint shortage taking yet another bite out of holiday traditions.

As the world reaches the two-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, more items are becoming scarce because of global supply chain disruptions such as congestion at ports and shortages of truck drivers and service workers.

Candy canes have made it onto the long list of Christmas shortages, next to cream cheese.

The New York Post reported that a New York candy store ran out of the classic holiday treat and received less inventory than in past holiday seasons.

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“We only received half of our candy cane order for the holiday season and sold out almost immediately. We currently have zero in stock,” Mitchell Cohen, the owner of Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, told The Post. “Raw material and ingredient shortages globally have had quite an impact.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, peppermint production has declined nearly 25% over the past decade.

Patrick Penfield, professor of supply chain practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, told USA TODAY that peppermint, cream cheese and international foods are among the food products in short supply.

“As you walk through a lot of stores you won’t see the quantity and quality of items you are accustomed to seeing,” Penfield said. “Unfortunately, as we progress through the holiday season, we are seeing more bare shelves and stockouts of popular items.”

Some of the shortages could be regional due to labor and truck shortages, Penfield said.

USA TODAY checked Amazon Monday afternoon and found several options that would arrive before Christmas. Other candy canes had a delivery date after Christmas.

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Contributing: Naomi Ludlow

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Candy cane shortage: Peppermint candy in short supply before Christmas