Sweet trouble: Easter Egg prices soar as cocoa rates ascend

Sweet trouble: Easter Egg prices soar as cocoa rates ascend

Sweet trouble: Easter Egg prices soar as cocoa rates ascend

The prices of easter eggs are soaring since the price of cocoa has more than doubled this year

Easter is around the corner and easter egg prices are soaring! ‘Eggflation’ is affecting consumers and shoppers are paying at least 50% more than they did a year ago according to new studies. The prices of popular brands like Cadbury, Maltesers, and Lindt have also increased.

Chocolates burning Pockets!

The higher prices that we see now for easter eggs could be mainly attributed to the increase in cocoa prices in 2023. The overall price of chocolate has soared by 12.6% in a year which is significantly more than the usual 5.6% increase seen in supermarket food and drink generally. The price of cocoa has more than doubled this year, making it one of the most heated commodities this year.

In recent weeks, wholesale beans in New York have spiked more than 47%, exceeding $8,900 a ton. UK on the other hand, are paying more for chocolate and getting less for what they pay, in other words, it’s “shrinkflation”. The prices of easter eggs in Brazil are soaring as well. Easter is a major celebration in Brazil, and recent price hikes have become internet memes when some stores advertise that people could buy them with credits and payment installments.

Why is ‘Eggflation’ happening?

The inadequate harvests in West Africa, Ivory Coast, and Ghana are one of the main factors for the record surge. These regions also report for most of the world’s production. The cocoa industry is mainly comprised of small-scale farmers who have been receiving poor returns, making it even harder to invest in their plots to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Emily Stone, the founder of specialty cocoa dealer Uncommon Cacao, told Bloomberg that the true price for chocolates has not been seen by consumers for a long time. “Persistent low prices to producers and climate change are driving the market up to these heights. Now, that comes as a shock to some, but this was predictable,” she added.

According to a YouGov survey this month, confectionary is among the categories where US consumers are noticing the shrinkflation the most. The US National Confectioners Association mentions that households are already cutting back on treats. 44% say that they buy sweet treats less often because of inflation.   

The price hike reflects broader trends in the cocoa market. Many factors including the production shortage, rising raw material costs, and the impact of post-pandemic inflation are all reasons for the current situation. And it’s not just individuals who are feeling the heat of price hikes, confectionary giants like Sprüngli and Lindt are also being affected by the price hikes.

The Swiss chocolate maker’s announcement of approaching price hikes highlights the industry-wide challenges presented by the increase in cocoa prices. And they are not alone; other major players like Hershey and Mondelez International are also signaling forthcoming price adjustments to offset inflationary pressures.

Judy Ganes, president of J Ganes Consulting mentions that some companies may have cheap inventories to cover production for the next few months, so they might only increase the price gradually rather than alarming the customers with extreme increases. “If you push through a price increase now, then you can sustain operations and not have to make a short jump,” Judy Ganes added. This tactical method not only reduces the blow for consumers but also guarantees the sustainability of operations for manufacturers.   

Large companies like Nestle SA are exploring possibilities to reduce the impact, making use of efficiencies to absorb some of the higher costs. However, the potential for future price adjustments looms large, signaling a potential shift in the chocolate landscape as manufacturers cope with the delicate balance between profitability and consumer affordability.                  

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