Rising Chocolate Prices Signal an Impending Cocoa Crisis

High demand coupled with poor yields have top chocolate companies raising wholesale prices. The future of the industry is bleak as social, economic, and environmental factors could cause cocoa bean production to crash. Although this isn't exactly an economical depression, that's the emotion most chocoholics are feeling right now.

What's the Latest?

Are you prepared for the Chocolate Depression? No, that's not an economic term; it's an emotional one. Your Kit Kat bars are about to get a whole lot more expensive.

Reuters reports that Hershey has joined competitors Mars and Nestle in announcing price increases for their products. The rise in the cost of chocolate is a direct response to the skyrocketing price of cocoa beans and dairy products. Unfortunately for chocoholics, numerous social, economic, and environmental factors suggest the price of sweets is only going to keep rising.

What's the Big Idea?

According to Slatethe price of cocoa beans has shot up 18% this year alone, a result of high demand unsuitably coupled with dwindling supply. It's been a rough year for the world's cocoa producers, many of them independent farmers struggling in volatile markets such as Côte d’Ivoire (which produces 37% of the world's cocoa), Ghana (21%), Indonesia (13%), and other equatorial countries. Despite corporate investments aimed at improving infrastructure and stabilizing these vital cocoa-producing regions, many farmers are abandoning the crop altogether. One reason is that climate change threatens to slow chocolate production in the coming years. Cocoa crops are particularly vulnerable to erratic weather shifts. That they can only really be grown in a small latitudinal pocket located around the equator makes finding new production bases difficult.  

While the threat of 250 million displaced people probably won't influence the world's leaders to act on climate change, having to pay an extra $2 for a Kit Kat bar just might. 

Read more at Slate, DevExand Reuters

Photo credit: joannawnuk / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less