The cocoa price has risen 11 % over the past year, to its highest level in 5 years' time, which in turn has made chocolate 3 % more expensive although prices could increase even more next year.
"Historically, the average price for cocoa is at its highest level in 5 years' time", economist Frank Rijkers said in an ABN Amro report. "The price increase has been speeding up since the second quarter and will not slow down over the next few quarters."
The price is on the rise as there is a worldwide cocoa shortage. Continuous droughts in Western Africa, which handles 60 % of the worldwide cocoa production, are the main source of the price hike, especially as the demand keeps growing.
Upper limit of chocolate price reached
Higher prices are not exactly what chocolate factories wanted, especially not after the warm weather. "We are highly dependent on the weather. The longer the winter lasts, the more people drink chocolate milk or eat chocolate", Chocolate Company's CEO Mirjam Schroeder told Dutch paper Telegraaf.
Not only the cocoa prices are pushing up the chocolate prices as marzipan, hazelnuts and nougat are also becoming more expensive. Schroeder also believes chocolate prices in stores cannot go any higher. "There comes a time when you cannot simply charge the consumer for the higher cocoa prices. However, we want to maintain our level of quality, which means we are trying to cut down our operational costs."