How much is that chocolate in the window?

How much is that chocolate in the window?

Chocolate prices are set to soar in line with rising cocoa prices

As the price of raw cocoa climbs to a record high, questions are starting to be raised about how this could affect the price of chocolate.

Earlier this year the price of a ton of raw cocoa on the London commodity exchange hit a record high of just under €5,500. One year ago, the same amount fetched €2500, and in January 2024 it was €4000.

A spokesman for German chocolate manufacturer Ritter Sport said a kilo of cocoa is almost €3 more expensive that it was a year ago, according to Yahoo News.

“Anyone can work out for themselves what this means for the production costs of a 100g chocolate bar, which contains between 35 per cent and 70 per cent cocoa. But we are currently assessing the situation as a whole,” he said.

Yahoo News reported deputy managing director of the Federal Association of the German Confectionary Industry (BDSI) Solveig Schneider said increased raw material prices and wages can lead to cost increases.

“… which tend to be passed on to the consumer,” he said.

US company Hershey’s chief executive Michele Buck also didn’t rule out an overall price rise.

“Given where cocoa prices are, we will be using every tool in our toolbox, including pricing, as a way to manage the business,” Ms Buck said during a mid-February presentation of Hershey’s results.

One reason for the rising costs of cocoa has been attributed to increasing scarcity in the countries where it is grown. Presently Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire account for up to 60 per cent of the global cocoa production.

According to WWF, climate change has also had considerable impact on cultivation, with long periods of drought, heavy rainfall and even flooding damaging the quality of the cocoa, reducing yield quantity or even destroying harvests totally.

Despite this, a recent survey by Yougov showed price increases weren’t deterring many consumers. In fact, 51 per cent of respondents said their chocolate consumption would remain the same, while 37 per cent said they would eat less.

WWF has said they cocoa shortage is unlikely to be a temporary phenomenon, and pointed to studies that showed production in Africa could fall even more sharply, as land used for cultivation becomes less suitable in the future.


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