Bonbons and candy canes may dominate the American holiday aesthetic, but US confectionery companies are feeling anything but jolly as they head into one of the sugar market’s tightest years in recent memory.

Prolonged droughts in major cane-producers Mexico and Louisiana have helped push US sugar futures to the highest ever for this time of year and forced users to turn to high-cost imports instead. Sweets-makers paying up to snag supplies are choosing to protect their margins by raising prices for consumers — and hoping shoppers don’t balk at the mark-up.