The Smart Cube warns of Easter prices

As Easter approaches, a major holiday for the confectionery industry, consumers will begin purchasing various different types of chocolate products from Easter eggs to Easter bunnies.

Ahead of Easter this year, The Smart Cube warns, shoppers should prepare themselves for increased chocolate prices due to significant increases in the cost of key ingredients. Cocoa prices are currently 35% higher than they were in December 2023, and a 132% higher than in February 2023, while sugar’s value rose by almost 16% year-on-year (YoY) in January 2024.

Nidhi Jain, Commodity Specialist at The Smart Cube, explained: “Cocoa’s price has reached a record high amid continued supply concerns in two of the leading cocoa-producing nations globally – Ivory Coast and Ghana – with cocoa production projected to decline by approximately 10% YoY in West Africa.

“The decrease in production has been caused by several factors, including the spread of disease in cocoa plantations: swollen shoot virus in Ivory Coast and black pod disease in Ghana have led to crop deterioration. Uncharacteristically heavy rains in the region escalated the spread of these diseases – total precipitation in West Africa during the second half of 2023 was more than double the 30-year average – negatively impacting cocoa crop quality and production.

“Like cocoa, global sugar prices have risen considerably in recent months. Driving this is a supply deficit of sugar, caused by the adverse weather associated with El Niño. The weather event has brought dry conditions to India and Thailand – two of the top five producers of the commodity globally. Both India and Thailand are already bearing the brunt of dry weather, with sugar output likely to fall by an estimated 10 per cent and 32% respectively in the marketing year 2023/24 (from October 2023).

“Although chocolate costs are yet to surge, largely due to major chocolate producers having purchased the commodities in advance and stocked inventory, prices are likely to increase ahead of Easter. This is because chocolate producers have failed to restock inventory, anticipating cocoa and sugar prices to drop. In fact, the opposite has happened, with cocoa’s value continuing to rise further and further. As the supply of both commodities dwindles, chocolate makers are expected to raise prices accordingly, passing rising costs onto consumers prior to Easter.”

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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