New York — Increasing consumer chocolate consumption combined with a predicted deficit in cocoa production is resulting in record-high chocolate prices, expected to reach $12.25 per kilogram this year — a 45 percent increase from 2007, according to Euromonitor International, Inc.
“Even though candy isn't as affected by the recession as much as other discretionary expenditures, it is a little bit, and consumers are reacting to having more disposable income,” NCA Senior Vice-President of Communications Susan Smith says. “We're coming out of a recession, and consumers may not have been able to purchase as much premium chocolate during 2008 through 2010 as they are now.”
For the 52 weeks ending August 11, chocolate sales were up 3.7 percent from the year prior. Meanwhile, the International Cocoa Organization predicts a 52,000 metric ton deficit in cocoa production for the 2012-2013 season as a result of unfavorable growing conditions, particularly in Brazil. In 2011-2012, there was an 87,000-ton surplus.
Cocoa futures for December delivery continued their upward trek today, rising 0.3 percent to $2,616 on ICE and 0.3 percent to $2,737 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London.