Chocolate and bonbons will become much more expensive in the coming year and quality could become poorer.
Chocolate and bonbons will become much more expensive in the coming year and quality could become poorer, according to insiders in the chocolate market in Belgium and Switzerland, the leading chocolate producers in Europe.
The reasons behind this are the increasing demand from China and the poorer cocoa quality because of unrest in the largest production country, Ivory Coast. The cocoa plantations in Malaysia have largely been replaced by more lucrative palm oil plantations for bio-fuel.
Top Belgian chocolatier Galler announced a 10-percent increase in prices on Tuesday. "In the long term we are heading for scarcity and even higher prices," Justine Galler said in Het Laatste Nieuws.
CEO Patrick de Maeseneire of Swiss company Barry-Callebaut predicts increases of 12 to 15 percent this month. It is not that easy to step up cocoa bean production, he warned. "Planting more beans and harvesting good quality cocoa takes five to seven years.">>>MORE
Curse you, palm oil.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008