Chocolate maker Hershey said today it is raising prices by about 10% to offset the new costs of ingredients, Reuters reports. Commodities like cocoa and peanuts are up between 20% and 45%, it said, yet one analyst called the price hike a "real surprise." The candy giant also predicted lower than expected profit for 2008; stocks were down 4% on the news.
“Commodity costs have been volatile over the last several years and continue to remain at levels that are well above historical averages,” Hershey’s CEO said. “Consumers are likely to see higher every day and promotional retail prices as we implement the price increase and, as a result, we expect volume in the fourth quarter and next year to be lower than previously estimated.” (Read more The Hershey Company stories.)