What’s With the Chocolate?



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So it’s been Christmas and the holiday season and Santa had his sacks stuffed with chocolate. Then it was Cupid and Valentine’s Day and the chocolate got bought up in the shops and the loved one’s will be complaining that they put on too much on their hips or the boyfriend felt sick after gorging himself on the stuff and you still reply they look chocolate-boxy and fine.

Whatever you have been doing, get ready for the world price rise in chocolate…it’s running out. Yes, another thing to add to the endless list that we are told is going to disappear with the water we drink, the gas that we heat the home with and probably just about anything and everything has been added to that list of things that will go the way of the Dodo. So, if you have a few chocolates on that second layer that are still left over, then you need to whip them off to the bank and get them locked away.

• The retail price of chocolate in the US rose last year by 2.8%.
• The world is now consuming 4 million tons of the stuff.
• That means it’s 32% more than a decade ago. 
• The price of Cacao has already increased by 9% this year. 
• Demand will outstrip supply for the next five years at least.
• The emerging markets have had their share of the gorging too on chocolate. Greater affluence has meant that they are buying it up. 
• China has increased consumption by 5% and is expected to do so steadily right through to 2018. 
• The USA imported 450 000 tons of cacao in 2011.
That’s way behind the Netherlands which is the biggest importer in the world (720, 000 tons), which is surprising given the population of the country and the fact that the Dutch aren’t the first that spring to mind when thinking about chocolate. 
• The cocoa futures are nearing the $3, 000-per ton mark today.
• Dealing with the increased consumption can’t be remedied immediately since it takes roughly a decade for a cocoa tree to reach maturity. 
• Only an increase to $3, 500 per ton may incite farmers to invest in expanding their production, according to specialists.

So, what does this mean for the chocolate lovers around the world? Probably that you will either be seeing a price rise in your favorite chocolate bar or else the size of it will have to see a drop. That’s the only two ways it can go. It’s either more expensive or smaller. Probably, we could end up with both: expensive small bars of chocolate. Great! Wasn’t life already bad enough with the economists’ scare-mongering everybody?

Does that mean we are going to see chocolate being sold illicitly on the street corner? Will we have chocolate runners and chockie barons? ‘I should cocoa’ as the Brits might say!

Life without chocolate would be a beach…without water. In the meantime, the price of cacao futures is set to rise over the next few months and even years. Either that, or you can run into the nearest chocolate store and shout ‘put the chocolate in the bag, lady…and nobody gets hurt!’; it’s always an alternative.

Originally posted: What’s With the Chocolate?

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