ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Inflation has now reached the Halloween industry. 

But Rockford-area shoppers aren’t spooked. 

Stores are seeing an increase in sales of Halloween items this year after COVID-19 put a damper on things the last two years.

The uptick in business comes as everything from candy to costumes is on the rise. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American household is expected to spend at least $100 on Halloween in 2022, a 15-percent increase from 2019. 

Some local shoppers say they are spending more than the national average and have no intention of scaling back, not if it means skimping on their favorite fall celebration. 

“Halloween makes my kids happy,” said Amanda Roewer, of Bryon. “We’re not going to change what we do.”

Candy prices have been increasing steadily since July. Hershey products are up 14% while Mars and Nestle have hiked their prices by 7% and 9.8% respectively. 

Families spent about $25 on Halloween candy in 2021. Rockford-area shoppers are expected to far exceed that mark this year, with many turning to wholesalers to defray the increases and get more for their money.

“Candy was a little more,” said Laurel Reints, of Stillman Valley, who recently stocked up at Costco. “But I bought more than usual because we always run out.”

Economists say price increases can be linked to the same labor shortages, supply chain hiccups, and rising costs of materials responsible for the current inflation rate that is currently hovering around 8.2%. 

The 2020 and 2021, trick-or-treating was thin while parties, haunted houses, and spooky events were poorly attended as the pandemic lingered. The result has created a pent-up demand that are keeping costs up.

Costumes, decorations, and pumpkins, now selling for about $5 a piece, are also costing shoppers more. But, as with candy, they’re not keeping Stateline residents at home this Halloween.

The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend $10.6 billion on costumers and decorations in 2022. In 2021, they spent $10.1 billion.

“We are spending more money but in the end it’s fun, so we still do it,” Roewer said. 

The National Retail Federation says participation in Halloween this year is expected to reach the highest levels since 2019.