Filling Your Stocking With Chocolate May Be Cheaper This Year

Image courtesy of PepOMint

If it’s not visions of sugar plums you see dancing in your head at Christmas, but images of chocolate Santa Clauses and reindeer, you’re in luck: cocoa prices are falling, which means chocolate is getting cheaper.

Last year, cocoa prices were up more than 50% from the previous year, amid a prolonged drought in West Africa, where more than two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown, Bloomberg reports. But today, cocoa futures are at a three-year low because of increased rainfall boosting crops in the region. As a result, it’s the biggest cocoa surplus the industry has seen in six years.

At the same time, there isn’t as much demand, because people are eating less chocolate in favor of healthier options, like yogurt. Candymakers have been using more fillers and have shrunk the size of sweets as well, after years of high cocoa prices.

This all means that retail prices are dropping: chocolate prices fell 16% in the four weeks through Nov. 6 from the prior four-week period, Bloomberg notes, despite the fact that we’re in the peak period for demand. The chocolate season kicks off around Halloween, and is followed by Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, according to the National Confectioners Association.

Prices should stay low as well, as there just aren’t as many folks looking to buy up all that chocolate: consumption is already high and products that are lower in sugar are taking market share instead, a food analyst at Euromonitor explained to Bloomberg.

The good news for the cocoa industry — and folks who really love chocolate, too — is that lower costs could encourage some processors to ditch fillers in favor of more cocoa.

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