Bad news: chocolate, the delicacy of choice for children, chocoholics and depressives everywhere, has become increasingly expensive.
Now comes even worse news: global supplies of the brown stuff are becoming increasingly scarce, according to one report.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that due to a host of factors, a perfect storm is brewing that is creating a worldwide shortage of chocolate. According to the report, two of the world's largest chocolate confectionaries, Mars and Barry Callebaut, are sounding alarm bells.
Cocoa—the base ingredient for chocolate—has surged this year by at least 10 percent, on the heels of a 20 percent run up last year. The commodity's surging price, led mostly by surging emerging market demand, has led some analysts to believe chocolate may eventually become a luxury item.
The problem, however, may be more acute than even some believed. The Post cited data showing the world ate more than 70,000 metric tons of cocoa than it produced in 2013. By 2020, the two major chocolate manufacturers believe that deficit could burgeon to more than a million, a whopping 14-fold surge. By 2030, the gap could blow out to 2 million metric tons.
All told, chocolate prices have exploded by more than 60 percent since 2012, according to The Post, forcing chocolate makers to hike retail prices. If the shortage continues, and if prices continue to rise, people drowning their sorrows in chocolate may be a thing of the past.
Still, there may be hope on the horizon. An agricultural research group in Central Africa is developing trees that can produce up to seven times the amount of beans traditional cocoa trees can, The Post added.
The full report can be found at The Washington Post's website.