The Price Of Chocolate Could Climb Higher Than Ever. Here's Why

If you count the changing seasons by the stock of holiday chocolates available in your grocery store's seasonal aisle, then you might be surprised by another key change coming along with the colorful packaging. Like many other foods, the price of chocolate is about to go up. While inflation and on-going issues with the supply chain have caused chocolate prices to increase 2022, the reason behind this spike is actually much larger and could be long-term (via CBS News).

Chocolate companies have faced a lot of challenges over the past few years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of cocoa beans dropped in 2021 which was good for candy producers, but recently these companies have faced trouble sourcing some of the raw ingredients necessary to make chocolate at the price consumers have grown accustomed to. According to Read Cacao, chocolate is typically made of cocoa beans, cocoa butter, milk, and sugar (plus an emulsifier like soy lecithin) – but half of those ingredients are under price surges at the moment. 

A severe drought will cause a shortage

Chocolate companies that rely on cocoa beans from West Africa's Ivory Coast are facing a shortage due to a drought, reports the Wall Street Journal. The outlet calls this region "the world's largest exporter of cocoa beans," and the hot weather without rain will certainly be felt at the cash register when you purchase chocolate in the future, according to analysts. Sugar prices have climbed too, creating an additional expense for chocolatiers. Even the cost of packaging chocolate has increased this year, leaving some feeling the pinch when pricing seasonal confections for Valentine's Day 2022, according to Fox Business

If the weather changes and crops of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast are not ruined this dry season, perhaps another hike in the price of chocolate can be avoided, but that is of course out of the control of farmers or candy makers.