The world is wolfing down far more chocolate than it’s producing.
I won’t run out any time soon – we’re too addicted to the stuff for that to ever happen – but stocking up is probably not a bad idea. The price you pay for your guilty pleasure is almost certainly going to skyrocket.
The unavoidable curse of “supply vs. demand”
Chocolate, some say, is better than sex. The demand is, was and always will be there. In 2013 consumers consumed 70 000 tons more cocoa than was produced. “We’re digging into global reserves,” says Nomu Brands’ Paul Raphaely.
“Farmers in West Africa have in the last three to four years stopped producing cocoa in favour of palm oil or rubber as they’re not seeing any benefit in planting cocoa,” says Raphaely.
West Africa produces anything between 60 and 70 percent of the world’s cocoa while much of the rest comes from South America where crops have been decimated by a disease called “Frosty Pod”.
Big cocoa consuming businesses have responded slowly to the drop in production by devising programmes to assist farmers to return to cocoa production. However, these measures will only fully come online by 2020.
Chocoholics; fear the rise of China (and the rest of the developing world)!
“China is only now starting to develop a taste for chocolate,” warns Raphaely. “Other emerging markets around the world also have growing disposable incomes and they want chocolate.”
Nomu has had to absorb an 18 percent increase in cocoa prices in the last eight months. “Consumers will soon have to start digging deeper,” cautions Raphaely.
Listen to the Souncloud clip for more detail.