We Are Running Out of Chocolate!

Here’s a scary thought: several news and industry organizations are reporting that the world’s supply of chocolate is in danger.  The problem is that global demand has skyrocketed at the same time that there is a shortage of supply.

West Africa (which grows 70 percent of the world’s cocoa) is facing lower production yields from aging trees.  Ivory Coast and Ghana (the two biggest growers) are suffering from drought.  Cocoa prices have risen 24 percent over the past year.

As a result, cocoa consumption exceeded production by 70,000 metric tons over the past year, according to London’s International Cocoa Organization.  Commerzbank believes the production shortfall may top 100,000 tons in the coming year.  The deficit is expected to last through 2018, making it the longest chocolate shortage in 50 years.

Western Europe continues to have the most chocoholics, who consume 2.2 million tons of cocoa a year.  But Asia is rapidly catching up, as emerging economies improve their standards of living.  Chocolate sales in China have more than doubled over the past decade.  Another trend is the increasing popularity of dark chocolate, which uses seven times more cocoa than standard chocolate.

Agilent is a world-leader in technology solutions for food safety and quality.  Our instruments are used for detecting and measuring compounds in chocolate, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrylamide and carbohydrates.

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