The Vanilla Shortage on the Horizon

vanilla-shutterstock_281680811.jpgVanilla often gets a bad rap as the most boring flavor, but ice cream connoisseurs know that it’s still an irreplaceable necessity in the vast majority of varieties. This makes the news even more troubling that a vanilla shortage is driving supply down and prices up just in time for the warm weather.

The shortage has been caused by a particularly bad harvest months ago in Madagascar, the world’s largest producer of the beans. Since harvesting and curing vanilla pods is a process that takes several months, this shortage has been on the horizon for awhile, and prices have been climbing steadily. They’re now at near-record highs of $205 per kilogram, up from $85 last year and $20 in 2011. Apparently the process has become circular, with farmers picking beans earlier and lowering the overall quality of the supply.

These price fluctuations in crops are not new, and so far the 2016 crop looks to be doing better (so it’s unlikely we’ll have to hunker down for several vanilla-free years). The larger long term problems may be in coffee and cocoa, which are so far affected more negatively by climate change. The vanilla shortage of 2015 will hopefully just serve as an important reminder that ice cream’s most-maligned flavor is also one of the most important.

4/18: Submit Your Bids for a Mobile Food Stand in the Battery

The NYC Parks Department has put out a request for bids for the operation of six mobile food concessions in the Battery in Manhattan. Details are below!

In accordance with Section 1-12 of the Concession Rules of the City of New York, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (“NYCDPR”) is issuing, as of the date of this notice, a Request for Bids (RFB) for the operation of six (6) mobile food concessions within the Battery, Manhattan.
Hard copies of the RFB can be obtained, at no cost, commencing Monday, March 28, 2016 through Monday, April 18, 2016 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and Holidays, at the Revenue Division of NYCDPR, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.   All bids submitted in response to this RFB must be submitted by no later than Monday, April 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.
The RFB is also available for download, commencing on Monday, March 28, 2016 through Monday, April 18, 2016 on Parks’ website.  To download the RFB, visit, click on the link for “Concessions Opportunities at Parks” and, after logging in, click on the “download” link that appears adjacent to the RFB’s description.
For more information, contact Glenn Kaalund at (212) 360-1397or VIA email at Thank you.