Much like you can't have autumn without some pumpkin spice, it's hard to enjoy the Christmas season without peppermint, the main ingredient in many candy canes. However, you might have noticed there aren't as many of the red and white striped treats this year, and there's a reason for it. The country is currently is in the middle of a candy cane shortage.
While many products are struggling to get to market because of the supply chain crisis, candy canes are facing a double whammy of obstacles because production of peppermint oil has also dramatically dropped. The oil's production has been steadily decreasing for the past ten years, and making matters worse, the crops needed for it were recently hit with a persistent fungal disease.
The lack of candy canes is affecting retailers hard. The owner of Economy Candy told the New York Post, "We only received half of our 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." He noted that it is the first time in the store's 84-year history that they have run out of candy canes.
The lack of peppermint isn't just hurting candy cane lovers - foodies and coffee aficionados are suffering too. The owner of Park Avenue Coffee in Missouri, a place known for their speciality peppermint coffees and peppermint bark, told KSDK, "I mean, we order peppermint in November. We always order peppermint in November and it always comes in, you know, the first week in December, we're good to go. Not This year."
Unfortunately, if building a ginger bread house is part of your holiday tradition, you might have to find a replacement for your candy cane door or pathway this year - or you could always use a candy cane with a different flavor, like clam, mac & cheese, or pickle.