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Ear to the Ground

The End of Chocolate

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Posted on Oct 10, 2013
procsilas (CC BY 2.0)

Every now and then reporters who are out of ideas write an article about the supposed health benefits of chocolate. In recent years, however, some have warned of an impending cocoa shortage and the end of affordable, quality chocolate.

That grim forecast was confirmed earlier this month when industry experts from around the world convened in London at the annual Chocolate Industry Network Conference to discuss the future of their business. They announced the world would run out of chocolate as we know it within seven years, meaning prices will shoot sky high as cocoa supplies fall and demand continues to rise.

Angus Kennedy, a former chocolate taster for some of the world’s biggest manufacturers and ex-editor of Kennedy’s Confection magazine, was quoted in the Daily Star Sunday as saying:

There will be a chocolate shortage and there isn’t a solution to the problem. Seven years is what we think we have left. Experts have worked out we need 2.3 globes to accommodate man’s needs for chocolate in terms of forestry and space. … We are ­destroying the whole thing.

The problem we’ve got is that much of the space that was used for cocoa ­plantations is no longer there. The Chinese love their cars and they have found that rubber makes more money than cocoa and at a much quicker pace. Cocoa farms are being chopped down and turned into rubber ­plantations because they get a ­better yield.

Kennedy added:

There is a small amount of growth projected for cocoa consumption in Europe and America but in China and Asia it is set to go sky high. Also cocoa is being used in everything from bakeries to body creams to sprinkles for coffee. It is a very popular ­product. Unless more trees are planted this will happen.

What we will see is a higher price for cocoa powder and, in turn, chocolate. The price for bars will go up over the next few years. You will see less ­ chocolate in the bars. There will be smaller bars, more ­biscuits, more raisins, more nuts ­because they are cheaper to fill space with. Bars will probably be filled with a lot more sugar as well because it is the cheapest ingredient to bulk out the cocoa. … It is going to be very ­different from the chocolate we know and love today.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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