Is CHOCOLATE getting more expensive than ever? Here’s why your favorite treat might be hit by inflation

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The cost of cocoa is up to an all-time high of nearly $6,000 per metric ton 
  • The price increase has become a concern for consumers and companies 

Chocolate lovers should be prepared to pay more than ever for their favorite treat. 

Cocoa prices have been rising since the end of 2022 and are up to an all-time high this month, having a significant impact on the price of chocolate in stores. 

The cost increase has become a concern for consumers who are facing rising prices and chocolate businesses which have suffered a massive drop in year-on-year profits.

There are multiple factors that go into how the price of cocoa can rapidly increase in a short period of time.

Cocoa prices have been rising since the end of 2022 and are up to an all-time high of nearly $6,000 per metric ton as of February 2024 

Multiple factors such as weather, disease, and government play roles in the reasons behind the price increase in cocoa

Multiple factors such as weather, disease, and government play roles in the reasons behind the price increase in cocoa

The year-on-year profits at Hershey’s have been declining every year, with the company suffering an 11.5 percent profit drop during its fourth quarter last year.

Hershey’s also announced that it would cut 5 percent of their workforce. 

However, the company does expect to see a 2 to 3 percent growth in net sales later this year.

Barry Callebaut, the world’s biggest chocolate-maker, said that it would lay 18 percent of its workforce, which is about 2,500 workers.

Cadbury confirmed in December 2023 that some of their Roses tubs would not contain orange candies due to a supply shortage close to Christmas.

‘This year, a small percentage of Cadbury Roses products will not contain any Orange Cremes due to supply chain challenges,’ said a Cadbury spokesperson last December.

‘But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to enjoy the same amount of chocolate as usual as we’ve replaced them with our much-loved Strawberry Cremes.’ 

Barry Callebaut, the world's biggest chocolate maker, even had to layoff 2,500 individuals

The year-on-year profits have been declining and its year-on-year profits dropped 11.5 percent last quarter

Barry Callebaut, the world’s biggest chocolate maker, even had to layoff 2,500 individuals. The year-on-year profits have been declining and its year-on-year profits dropped 11.5 percent last quarter

The increase can in-part be attributed to weather conditions in areas where cacao is grown. 

For example, the El Nino weather patterns have led to extremely high temperatures and rainfall and droughts since 2023 that has affected production.

The weather caused dried temperatures in West Africa, where three quarters of the world-wide supply of cocoa beans are grown.

CNBC reported back in October that the El Nino is expected to last until March 2024 and that it can ‘reduce the amount of arable land for cocoa cultivation.’

Ghana and Ivory Coast, two of the largest cocoa producing counties, have been strongly affected by the weather patterns for other reasons besides crop destruction.

The El Nino weather patterns have led to extremely high temperatures and rainfall and droughts since 2023 that has affected cocoa production

The El Nino weather patterns have led to extremely high temperatures and rainfall and droughts since 2023 that has affected cocoa production

Black-pod disease and the cocoa swollen-shoot virus spread throughout Ghana and Ivory Coast last year during a heavy rainfall

Black-pod disease and the cocoa swollen-shoot virus spread throughout Ghana and Ivory Coast last year during a heavy rainfall

Black-pod disease and the cacao swollen-shoot virus spread throughout Ghana and Ivory Coast last year during a heavy rainfall.

Black-pod disease is a fungal disease that can infect the stems and roots of cocoa trees.

The disease pathogen can cause up to 10 percent of cacao tree loss in Ghana and has posted a a significant threat to the sustainability of the country’s cocoa industry. 

The cacao swollen-shoot virus is just as damaging as black pod disease due to it primarily infecting cocoa trees. 

According to Tropical Research Services, the swollen-shoot virus infected about 20 percent of cacao trees in Ivory Coast last year. 

Government officials in Ghana and Ivory Coast are responsible for setting prices for farmers who work in cocoa production.

Cost of Living CrisisCadbury

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