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Diatribe: Rising Chocolate Prices!

10/21/2013

RisingChocolatePricesI’ve been dieting for several months.  I’m counting calories and doing well but it’s not easy.  One of the things that I’ve had to do in order to be successful is give up sweets.  I have a notorious sweet tooth so this has been very difficult.  My biggest weakness is, and always has been chocolate.  Fortunately, I’ve discovered a low-calorie treat that is both sweet and crunchy.  A handful of Kellogg’s Maple Brown Sugar Mini Wheats contains only a few calories and is sweet enough to soothe any cravings I have after a sensible meal.  But it’s not chocolate.

I’ve decided that, rather than go without chocolate for the rest of my life, I will treat myself on occasion but only to a sample of really good chocolate.  If I’m going to eat chocolate calories I want a Godiva truffle, a Ghirardelli square or piece of Toblerone rather than an inexpensive lower-quality chocolate.  Unfortunately, it appears that we all will be paying an increasingly hefty price for good chocolate.

Candy bars could soon change significantly as palm oil, chemical flavorings and fillers replace increasingly scarce cocoa beans and other expensive ingredients making pure chocolates an expensive real luxury item.  Experts say that if chocolatiers continue with business as usual, the world could find itself with a shortage of cocoa beans within seven years.

“The industry is keeping it fairly quiet at the moment, but they’re all looking very carefully at the situation over the next few years,” Angus Kennedy, former chocolate taster for major manufacturers.

According to some research, the raw material costs involved in producing a generic 3.5 ounce milk chocolate bar have increased twenty-eight percent in the last year.  The price of cocoa butter, the vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans which makes up about a quarter of every chocolate bar, rose sixty-three percent in the past twenty months and whole milk powder rose more than twenty percent.  Many factors have led to the price increases, including weather and social tensions in cocoa growing regions around the world, but the biggest is probably demand for the product.  Europeans in particular are each estimated to consume on average as much as seventeen pounds of chocolate each year.

Since the majority of chocolate product sales take place in supermarkets, analysts believe manufacturers will have to use more cost efficient ingredients to keep their products within reach of their current customer base.  So we should all expect to see more imitation flavorings and more fillings like nuts and raisins in chocolate products.

It appears that the luxury of quality pure milk chocolate will become even more special and those of us enjoying it as a special occasion treat will have to make an even bigger effort to savor every taste.

Do you buy chocolate?  Will you still buy it if prices become significantly higher?

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7 Comments
  1. The only time I eat chocolate is when it’s part of a peanut Butter Cup, and they’d better not mess with The Cup!

    Like

  2. Uh-oh. We better stockpile the Hershey’s Bars we bought for Halloween……

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  3. I worked myself up to Lindt’s 90% dark. And now I’ve given that up. sob.
    All for a good cause too tedious to get into here so I will do my part to keep
    more chocolate out there for the rest of you!

    Like

  4. Like you, I am currently trying to drop some weight – in my case for health reasons. I keep track of my calories carefully, but because I am such a chocoholic I leave space in my daily calorie count for a fudgesicle every evening for my dessert after dinner. I would rather eat a couple of smaller meals earlier in the day & have my dessert/chocolate. I eat Brown Sugar Mini Wheats for breakfast every day. I just noticed yesterday, if I don’t eat something with as much fiber for breakfast then I am hungry all evening. Yesterday, just for a change I had a bagel for breakfast rather than cereal & I was starving all evening after a beautiful dinner of salad, a slice of pork roast, broccoli & beets. Have you noticed any difference in how hungry you are – does it depend on the amount of fiber you eat?

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    • I honestly haven’t been tracking the amount of fiber that I eat. My doctor recommended a protein shake for breakfast (I’m drinking milk-chocolate SlimFast) and it keeps me from being hungry until lunchtime. Like you, I save the majority of my calories for my evening meal but the cereal is my treat so I get something sweet to end my day.

      Maybe I’ll pay more attention to the amount of fiber that I eat. It’s possible that I could be eating too much of the cereal!

      Like

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