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The world is running out of chocolate.
Yes, you read that right. CHOCOLATE.
At least, that’s according to the world's largest confectionary producer, Barry Callebaut Group, and an equally sizeable chocolate manufacturer, Mars.
Global warming and increasing demand are being blamed for depleting cocoa supplies, with 2020 earmarked as doomsday for dessert aficionados.
“The global cocoa sector may suffer a 1million metric ton shortfall by 2020 because of increasing economic and environmental pressures on cocoa farms around the world,” the Swiss-based Barry Callebaut Group said in a release.
Droughts in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa supply is grown, have severely affected chocolate production.
China’s increasing appreciation of the sweet stuff has also put a sizeable dent in global supplies.
As supply dips and demand rises, prices become inflated – the price of chocolate is now more than $3500 per ton, which is double the price it was eight years ago.
However, an Australian chocolate expert has told Yahoo7 there is no need to start hoarding supplies just yet.
“I think it’s misleading to say the world is running out of chocolate,” Katie Robb, owner and creator of Cicada Artisan Chocolate, said.
“The big, multi-national companies pay very little for cocoa, and they want to keep it that way.
“By engineering an over-supply in the market, by saying there’s a shortfall, they’ll keep their prices low.”
Robb says there is a growing demand for chocolate in places like Asia, but there’s no need for chocoholics to panic just yet. Phew.
She said in Australia, there was an increasing trend for darker, single origin chocolate because of our foodie culture.
“High quality chocolate is being sought by consumers.”
Shortage or no shortage, we think it’s the perfect excuse to crack into a family block sized bar ASAP and ponder the future of pralines and puddings.