Sweet-toothed consumers will spend $214 million on candy canes this holiday season — 2 billion of them in all. Sales are expected to be up 2% over last year — growth that Dylan Lauren, founder of the New York sugar palace Dylan’s Candy Bar, ascribes to the candy cane’s consummate affordability. “People are thinking about every penny,” she says. Confectioners are feeling the pinch, too, as sugar prices reach a 28-year high, the result of poor harvests in the world’s two largest sugar producers, India (too little rain) and Brazil (too much). We can think of just the thing to cheer them up: a candy cane. — STEPHANIE SCHOMER
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