Home Business News Chocolate prices set to rise ahead of Easter

Chocolate prices set to rise ahead of Easter

12th Mar 24 10:14 am

With Easter fast approaching, consumers will soon begin stocking up on numerous different types of chocolate products – whether that be Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs, or chocolate Easter Bunnies.

However, ahead of Easter this year, shoppers should prepare themselves for increased chocolate prices due to considerable increases in the costs of key ingredients.

For instance, cocoa prices are currently 35 per cent higher than they were in December 2023, and a staggering 132 per cent higher than in February 2023, while sugar’s value rose by almost 16 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in January 2024.

Nidhi Jain, commodity specialist at The Smart Cube, outlines what has caused cocoa and sugar prices to surge.

Jain said, “Cocoa’s price has reached a record high amid continued supply concerns in two of the leading cocoa-producing nations globally – Ivory Coast and Ghana – with cocoa production projected to decline by approximately 10 per cent YoY in West Africa.

“The decrease in production has been caused by several factors, including the spread of disease in cocoa plantations: swollen shoot virus in Ivory Coast and black pod disease in Ghana have led to crop deterioration. Uncharacteristically heavy rains in the region escalated the spread of these diseases – total precipitation in West Africa during the second half of 2023 was more than double the 30-year average – negatively impacting cocoa crop quality and production.

“Like cocoa, global sugar prices have risen considerably in recent months. Driving this is a supply deficit of sugar, caused by the adverse weather associated with El Niño. The weather event has brought dry conditions to India and Thailand – two of the top five producers of the commodity globally. Both India and Thailand are already bearing the brunt of dry weather, with sugar output likely to fall by an estimated 10 per cent and 32 per cent respectively in the marketing year 2023/24 (from October 2023).

“Although chocolate costs are yet to surge, largely due to major chocolate producers having purchased the commodities in advance and stocked inventory, prices are likely to increase ahead of Easter. This is because chocolate producers have failed to restock inventory, anticipating cocoa and sugar prices to drop.

“In fact, the opposite has happened, with cocoa’s value continuing to rise further and further. As the supply of both commodities dwindles, chocolate makers are expected to raise prices accordingly, passing rising costs onto consumers prior to Easter.”

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