Here’s Another Reason to Stop With the Chocolate

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Higher demand and bad weather have conspired to raise the price of the major ingredient of a chocolate bar. So expect the cost to climb, especially for the good stuff.

Expect chocolate prices — especially on the high-end stuff — to go up soon.

Rising demand in India along with bad weather for cocoa crops in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia are driving costs up, CNNMoney says. The price of cocoa butter, which is used to make chocolate, is at a four-year high, and it’s up 70 percent in just the past year.

The cost of making the average milk chocolate bar is up 25 percent in the past year, too, according to British trade magazine The Grocer. But retail prices in the U.S. have risen by only 7 percent, CNNMoney says, because the big chocolate makers want to avoid pricing consumers out of their cravings.

If you like higher-quality dark chocolate, you’ll probably see prices going up much more. “Those are made by smaller manufacturers and they’re less able to absorb extra costs compared to the bigger manufacturers,” Peter Greweling, a professor of baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America, told CNNMoney.

What’s a chocolate lover to do? Forbes contributor Doug Bandow proposes we create a Department of Chocolate and a chocolate welfare program to manage the “global chocolate crisis.”

If you want a unilateral solution, however, maybe wait until Nov. 1 and then stuff your freezer full of all the discounted Halloween leftovers. After all, as I write this, we don’t even have a functioning government. (Just thinking about it makes me want some chocolate.)

Stacy Johnson

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