The World is Running Out of Chocolate!

Chocolate makers Mars and Barry Callebaut are anticipating chocolate shortages in coming years, reports The Washington Post. The industry already can't keep up with how much chocolate the world wants to eat – and it's only going to get worse.

 Few months back, two of the world's biggest manufacturers of chocolate goods began to sound the alarm. "If we don't have more, a shortage could happen," warned Juergen Steinemann, head of Barry Callebaut. In 2013, the world consumed about 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. And now manufacturers are predicting that by 2020, this number could swell up to 1 million metric tons (a 14-fold bump!).

Crops of cocoa have been suffering due to dry weather in West Africa, where most cocoa is produced, and a fungal disease that has wiped out around a third of global coca production. The problems are similar to the coffee industry, where a fungus threatens to drag down the global production of coffee by as much as 40 percent.

Part of the problem, too, is dependence on the rain reaching crops in West African countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced.

Due to the supply-demand disparity, chocolate prices have shot up by more than 60 percent since 2012. Chocolate bars have not only become more expensive but some of them now come in reduced sizes in order to meet the increased demand. Certain companies have started promoting bars with fillers like nuts, nougat and crackles as a measure to preserve the cocoa supplies.

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Although farmers will receive more for the cocoa by the next harvest, many struggle to cover the costs associated with growing cocoa, like pesticides. Some farmers are seeing crops killed by a fungus called frosty pod that’s taken out 30 to 40 percent of cocoa production.

As a result, some farmers have even switched over to more profitable crops, like rubber.

The worst fear is that companies may have to switch to cocoa alternatives or use it in combination with ingredients like vegetable fat or other chemicals if the current situation does not improve.

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The World is Running Out of Chocolate! The World is Running Out of Chocolate! Reviewed by TrendSpot on Thursday, November 20, 2014 Rating: 5

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