We sounded an alarm for chocolate lovers earlier this fall, warning that Cocoa prices were going to skyrocket. Well… The crisis has hit! And the shortages driving the price hikes are far from over. Will it all change the way you look at Chocolate and what you’re willing to spend on it?
Raw Cocoa Beans ready for export and a cocoa pod, right off the tree
An endangered species?
We warned of continued steep price hikes for cocoa-based foods way back January of this year and, since then, prices and shortages have increased – if anything – more steeply than were then predicted. The Washington Post reports that cocoa prices have risen by a full 30 per cent just over the past two years!
Of course, anyone who really follows Chocolate’s fortunes – and that naturally includes Chocoholics, those who make their living in the confectionery business and those who deal in Cocoa as a commodity – will already be well-up on the causes of this phenomenon: widespread crop failures in many of the equatorial countries where Cocoa is grown. It’s all the result of the appearance of a new family of tough-case plant diseases that decimate not only Cocoa but Coffee plants.
(BTW: Have you checked out Coffee prices lately?)
In a world where a regular-sized Chocolate Bar costs anywhere from $3 to $5, what’s next?
- $10 Chocolate Bars may be just the beginning. Will we come to look upon them as we now view Caviar and Truffles? Or anything plated with edible Gold Foil…
- Will we shift our collective Sweet Tooth’s focus to other stuff, which suddenly becomes attractively priced compared to soaring Chocolate? Say, Honey? Could be an opportunity for the Granola bar people…
- Will Carob Bean cultivation explode in popularity?
Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, get your fill of Chocolate while you can… Even when the crop failures are over and the plant diseases are conquered, it will be years – maybe decades – before the Cocoa industry can re-establish itself in its former glory.
~ Maggie J.