Be on the lookout for cheap chocolate Santas and peppermint bark with slashed prices. Thanks to an exceptionally rainy season in West Africa, where more than two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown, there is now a worldwide chocolate surplus and prices are dropping, according to Bloomberg.
“Everyone’s like, wow. There’s a lot of cocoa out there,” Edward George, head of research at Pan-African lender Ecobank, told The Wall Street Journal.
At the same time, people are eating less chocolate and candy companies are packaging their wares in smaller sizes to appeal to health-conscious customers. The result? Too much chocolate and a market whose future is uncertain based on a reversal of the supply and demand continuum.
“European demand has been pretty sclerotic,” Edward George, the London-based head of research at Ecobank Transnational Inc. told Bloomberg. “Demand is flattening out in developed markets. And while it’s growing in emerging markets, that’s coming from a tiny base.”
This situation is in marked contrast to that during the past two seasons, when serious droughts in West Africa prompted concerns of a chocolate shortage..