Chocolate Makers Warn the World May Run Out of Chocolate

Two of the world’s largest chocolate makers warned that the world may run out of chocolate due to the continues decline of cocoa production. People are consuming more chocolate than the volume of cocoa produced by farmers worldwide.

Chocolate deficit

Longest streak of chocolate deficits

Barry Callebaut AG (SWX:BARN), a Swiss chocolate maker and Mars, Incorporated, the maker of M&M’s, Snickers and Mars chocolate bars cited that that the world has been experiencing the longest trend of consecutive chocolate deficits over the past 50 years.

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Data showed that the world consumed 70,000 metric tons more cocoa last year than what coco farmers produced. The chocolate consumption is estimated to rise 14 folds to 1 million metric tons by 2020 and 2 million metric tons by 2030.

The Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa produces more than 70% of the world’s cocoa. The region’s cocoa products had been decreasing significantly due to drought and crop disease called frosty pod.

The World International Cocoa Organization estimated that the global cocoa production declined around 30% to 40% due to the problems. Growing cocoa has become a difficult business for farmers and many shifted to planting more productive crops such as corn and rubber

Chocolate will become rare and expensive like caviar

John Mason of Nature Conservation Research Council in Ghana commented that “chocolate will be like caviar” in 20 years. According to him, chocolate will become so rare and expensive that the average consume will not be able to afford it.

Since 2012, the price of cocoa increased more than 60%, which prompted chocolate makers to raise the prices of their products.

New breed of cacao tree

Currently, an agricultural research group in Central Africa is trying to resolve the chocolate deficit by developing trees that can produce cocoa beans seven times more than the existing trees.

Mark Schatzker of Bloomberg opined that the new breed of cacao trees may compromise the taste of the chocolate.

“Efforts are under way to make chocolate cheap and abundant — in the process inadvertently rendering it as tasteless as today’s store-bought tomatoes, yet another food, along with chicken and strawberries, that went from flavorful to forgettable on the road to plenitude,” wrote Schatzker.