Monday, April 22, 2024

Stand by to watch chocolate prices rise, warns Lincolnshire manufacturer

Poor weather and activity by speculators have combined to push up the price of cocoa, and that’s going to have a knock-on effect on the price of our favourite sweet treats, according to a Lincolnshire manufacturer.

Carol Oldbury, director of Skegness-based Hames Chocolates, says cocoa is trading a whopping 150% higher than it was 12 months ago, with prices having been climbing steadily over the last 12 months. “Given that cocoa accounts for up to 70% of your favourite chocolate treats, it’s going to be having a big impact on retail prices over the coming months.”

She says warm and wet weather in cocoa-growing regions except Cameroon pose a significant threat to cocoa trees, which require specific climatic conditions to thrive. “The result is impaired cocoa yields and quality, while excessive rainfall can cause disease outbreaks and damage crops.

“A shortage of cocoa beans will lead to a shortage of grindings, which will likely lead to a deficit of cocoa available for this current season. When global cocoa production falls short of demand, prices are driven upwards by the resulting supply-demand imbalance.”

She goes on to say that since cocoa is a traded commodity, financial markets have a significant role in cocoa price volatility and trading amplifies price fluctuations. “Twelve months ago cocoa was trading at less than $2,500 per tonne; today this has broken through the $6,000 ceiling, meaning that the main ingredient in chocolate will have increased by more than 150% in one year.”

The result, says Oldbury, is that manufacturers worldwide are going to have to pass on the cost to consumers. “We’ve left no stone unturned looking for efficiencies in the business but the large increased cost of cocoa means that we’re going to have to pass the increases on.”

“We remain committed to trading fairly and sustainably and having a positive impact on all the lives of the people we work with.” says Oldbury. Consumers too are likely to gravitate towards brands who prioritise ethical and sustainable practices.

She predicts a challenging time for the global chocolate industry. ”We believe private label product innovation and investment in efficiency and sustainability are the way through. We’ve recently invested in Solar for our factory. Not only is the energy renewable, but it is expected to provide more than 50% of our electricity usage.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemichaving a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Latest news

Related news