Easter chocolate hit by low stock and high prices

Written by on 22nd March 2024

Chocolate shop. Credit: Alamy

With Easter coming up, many of us will be dazzled and tempted by the shiny foil-wrapped treats lining the shelves, however, the prices will leave a less sweet taste in our mouths.

The price of chocolate has increased by over 40%, during February leaving companies and manufacturers concerned about the future of their business.

Richard Warne, from Inspired Chocolate company, said that as a small family business, they’ve really felt the price increase, especially over the past year – not just with the cost of chocolate, but sugar too.

Warne commented their “next contract (for stock) has almost doubled” and they “are struggling to get a contract due to prices”.

They went on to say “the worst hasn’t hit yet” as they’re still relying on old stock.

Chocolate prices have also caused tension between making income and the relationship with customers.

Durham chocolate company, La Chocolatrice, stated since they started the company four years ago, back in 2019, the price of chocolate (bought from the brand they use) has “tripled in price”, but they “can’t triple the (selling) price – otherwise people won’t buy it”, saying it would be “problematic”.

Other companies noted the struggles of keeping up with cost increases alongside expenses elsewhere.

Zoe Robertson, of The Good Tempered Chocolate Company, commented on the chocolate crisis: “The cost of our couverture chocolate (the chocolate which temper and use to make our slabs), which we get from Belgium, has increased by 30% over the last three years.

“Along with the increased costs of packaging and overheads, this has significantly impacted the profit margin at a time when I’m reluctant to increase the retail price too much.

“I’m aware our customers are finding their money doesn’t stretch so far each month with everything costing more, and I really value their loyalty.”

Price and supply of cocoa have been negatively affected due to poor weather conditions in the main producing countries, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

The countries, which create around 70% of the world’s chocolate beans, have been hit by the ‘El Nino weather phenomenon’ causing hot temperatures and less frequent rainfall. Crop diseases have also damaged harvests, lowering supply.

Forecasts predict a stock market “rise beyond £5,000 a tonne” (study by Henley Bridge ingredients).

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