Producers Pay Billions to Prevent Chocolate Shortage

Patchi_Chocolate_Pieces.jpgControversy over $10 remelted chocolate bars aside, the real price of chocolate increased by leaps and bounds in 2015, due in part to El Niño-related droughts, ebola outbreaks in exporting countries, and other supply chain issues. Some chocolate companies weathered the increase by upping prices or using less chocolate in their products, but industry leaders think this is only a stop-gap measure. With ever-growing demand for chocolate in China and India, there’s simply no price increase now that could prevent a shortage in the near future. As the chief sustainability officer at Mars explains, there are “still one to two billion consumers around the world that don’t eat chocolate today, and we think they will.”

With this fear looming, some chocolate companies (including Mars) have already invested billions to increase chocolate supplies, doing everything from paying agronomists in Indonesia to experiment with plant grafting, to sending instructors out into the fields to teach better agricultural practices. These measures have already caused some tensions between multinational chocolate corporations and the governments in these regions, who see the “help” as mostly interference. All something to keep in mind as you estimate the price of your chocolate addiction – and maybe buy Valentine’s gifts early.

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