Are We Running Out of Chocolate?

Hunter Meyer - March 30, 2015

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People are consuming chocolate at a rate that is faster than its main ingredient can be grown. Although we are not experiencing a shortage of chocolate, many experts in the field predict that such a situation is becoming more and more possible. With the difficulty already being faced in the world of growing cocoa, the price is destined to go up, and people will still buy it in copious amounts.

How Do We Know We Are Running Out Of Chocolate?

  • In 2013, the world consumed around 77,000 tons more cocoa than what was being produced, according to Mars Chocolate and Barry Callebaut.
  • Prices of cocoa have risen about %60 since 2012, because manufacturers now have to pay more for the raw materials.
  • Stores have stayed stocked with chocolate, thanks to stockpiles of cocoa, but those are starting to run out.
  • Growing cocoa is difficult, because a cacao can only produce up to 70 pods per year, which must be hand-harvested and chopped open to retrieve the cocoa beans.
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What Can Be Done About This?

The simple answer is obvious: eat less chocolate. America especially, consumes monstrous amounts of chocolate every day, and it is predicted that if we do not slow our consumption, we will see prices for chocolate go through the roof. Besides, eating less chocolate is better for you anyways.
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To learn more about the difficulties faced by cocoa farmers, watch this short video about the Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast Cocoa Bean on VOA's In Focus.mp4