Chocolate lovers, beware–there’s a shortage afoot, the first in three years. And although cocoa grinders are boosting their output, when lack of supply meets inexorable demand, the only thing that’s going to give is price.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that cocoa beans yield both powder and butter, the former used in such products as cookies and ice cream and the latter in those tempting chocolate bars. As global economic woes led to a fall in demand for the luscious product’s powder earlier in the year, grinders cut back output and used reserves of butter to fill supply orders for candy makers.
Now, however, a perfect storm of lower yields among cocoa bean growers in West Africa thanks to dry weather and rising demand, and depleted reserves, prices are on the rise even as grinders seek to up their output. Barry Callebaut AG, which supplies chocolate to Nestle and Hershey Co., said in the report that processing was likely to increase.