Expect to pay more for that chocolate bar and candy

Consumers will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets as the price of everyday items like chocolate bars and candy are on the rise.

Just a few weeks before Easter, candy maker Hershey Co. implemented a price hike of about 10 percent on their chocolate bars and multi-packs in the US, Puerto Rico and their export markets, to offset what they called "significant increases in Hershey's input costs." That means the price of their raw materials, packaging, fuel, utilities and transportation.

Aside from their signature chocolate bar bearing its name, Hershey also includes brands like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Twizzlers, Kit Kat and Hershey's Kisses.

Observers say they expect other major industry players to follow suit. Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli has been widely reported as saying they may also increase prices in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, industry watchers are monitoring the reactions of Nestlé, maker of Smarties, Crunch and Kit Kat and Kraft, which owns Cadbury, maker of brands like Cadbury Cream Eggs, Dairy Milk and Toblerone.

In the last few months consumers in North America have been going home from the grocery stores with less food bang for their buck. In the US, Kraft raised the price on their Maxwell House coffee by 22 percent per pound, while Smuckers is raising the price of its Folgers coffee by 10 percent. Sara Lee, which owns brands like Hillshire Farm meats and Sara Lee desserts, has also been hiking up prices steadily since the start of the fiscal year last July.

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