The cocoa crisis and the chocolate deficit

One of the world’s favourite treat- chocolate, could face a critical shortage in the next 20 years; two leading chocolate makers Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut say.

Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut, which describes itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, said it had concerns about future cocoa supply in its annual report published earlier this month. Barry Callebaut was repeating the concerns of Mars in the US, which has been warning for some years that cocoa production could be 1 million tonnes short of demand by 2020.

Simply put from the manufacture perspective, it seems like people are eating too much chocolate therefore leads to this not-so-sweet deficit in the future.



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Nevertheless, people’s exceeding consumption power is not the only reason for the deficit.

On the other side of the supply-demand chain, the market supply of chocolate has already been affected by the lower cocoa productivity worldwide in recent years.

Cocoa is the main ingredient in chocolate, without it there is no tasty chocolate. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. Bloomberg reports that from 1993 to 2007, the price of cocoa averaged about $1,400 a ton; the past six years had an average of little more than $2,700 – an 87 percent increase. According to Bloomberg, the lack of supply is reportedly due to drought, disease, higher demand of more-productive crops like corn, and last but not least, the rising popularity of dark chocolate – which calls for more cocoa.



Source: Groupe Sucres et Denrées (SUCDEN)

At the same time, people in the developing economies of Asia and Latin America are acquiring a taste for chocolate. While North America and Western Europe still account for more than half of global chocolate sales, demand is growing faster in emerging markets. That’s raising concerns that demand for cocoa beans, the key ingredient in chocolate bars, will outstrip supply.

Chocolate sales in Asia are forecast to grow by 23 per cent over the next five years and by almost 31 per cent in Latin America, according to London-based research firm Euromonitor International. That compares with growth of 8.3 per cent in North America and 4.7 per cent in Western Europe over the same period.



Source: the Wall Street Journal 

To confront the natural disadvantages as drought and diseases, a much faster growing strains of cocoa were being developed, mostly in Africa and south America. But according to the article by Bloomberg, many of them didn’t taste good.
It was not likely for the cocoa production and chocolate market to turn around shortly; so the chocolate lovers have came up with their conduct of code under the dark clouds of chocolate deficit, according to the Guardian these codes are:

It’s a treat, not a food group: Enjoy it and don’t eat it in two seconds.

Ration chocolate in cakes and other dishes: when it comes to bought products like chocolate, it makes  the triple chocolate cake you’re making need the choc buttercream, the dark chocolate ganache and the white chocolate curls all seem luxurious and somehow unnecessary.

Be prepared to pay more. A lot more: That would be bad news for consumers, but there is an upside to the looming shortage – it could finally spell good news for cocoa growers, many of whom receive a “paltry amount” for their product, says Harcourt-Cooze: “If a shortage meant cocoa farmers got high prices, it would make me smile.”

Stop abusing chocolate: For ChocoChicken – the LA restaurant that serves chocolate fried chicken with chocolate ketchup and white choc-fried potatoes, their behaviour has been seen has a conduct of chocolate abusing, and according to Guardian piece, “will not be tolerated”.

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