Is there a candy cane shortage?

HOLIDAY time and candy seem to go hand in hand — especially candy canes.

But this year people might have some trouble getting their mittens on the peppermint treat.

Why are people having trouble finding candy canes?

There has been a steady decline in peppermint production over the last decade. The lack of peppermint production combined with the COVID-19 supply chain disruptions has made it difficult for retailers to provide this iconic holiday candy.

Mitchell Cohen — owner of Economy Candy in New York City — recently spoke to The New York Post, and he mentioned the store would usually sell more than 12,000 candy canes before running out of supply.

Cohen went on to say that the store only “received half of the candy cane order for the holiday season and sold out almost immediately. We currently have zero in stock. Raw material and ingredient shortages globally have had quite an impact.”

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What else will the candy cane shortage affect?

The candy cane crisis of 2021 has been affecting gingerbread house construction as well.

"We can't really do a gingerbread house without a candy cane tree, a candy cane door, or candy cane anything," Cohen said.

Without candy canes, retailers are unable to put together the gingerbread house kits people have come to expect.

If making gingerbread houses or filling stockings with candy canes are a part of your Christmas traditions, it's probably best for you to get to the store as soon as possible before the peppermint runs out.

Why are candy canes associated with the holidays?

With all the buzz around the candy cane shortage, many people are wondering when this piece of candy became such an important part of the holiday season.

Candy canes first gained their significance in 1670, in Cologne, Germany. A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral wanted to reduce the noise the children were making during worship services.

Therefore, the choirmaster asked a local candy maker for some 'sugar sticks'. To justify giving children candy in the middle of service, the candymaker added a crook to the top of each stick. This crook would help children remember the shepherds who visited Baby Jesus.

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