Price of chocolate 'to triple'
The price of Britain's favourite chocolate treats could be set to soar by up to a third by Christmas after a crippling rise in cocoa butter and other costs, experts have revealed.
By News agencies
10:10AM BST 08 Oct 2013
And it could add as much as 21p to every 100g of milk chocolate, spelling an inflation busting rise in everything from advert calendars to chocolate gift packs to everyday indulgences.
The cost of producing chocolate soared by 33 per cent in the last year thanks to a 70 per cent rise in the price of cocoa butter, 50 per cent to milk powder and 15 per cent to whey powder.
Both cocoa powder and sugar prices have fallen but they account for a much smaller proportion of production costs, said the report by analysts for trade journal The Grocer.
So far only some of the rising costs have been passed on by some chocolate makers, from 7.5 per cent on a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk to 14.3 per cent to a box of Quality Street.
But with the peak time of year fast approaching, there may be more price rises to come ahead of the Christmas rush.
Cocoa butter is the main culprit, particular for milk chocolate where it accounts for around 25 per cent of the production costs, said analysts Mintec.
Prices of cocoa butter are currently at a four year high of £4,000 a tonne, a 70 per cent increase on this time last year.
Bad weather and increased demand hit the cocoa bean crop in the key growing region of the Ivory Coast leading to a lower supply and a poor forecast for the coming 2013/14 crop.
Upmarket maker Thorntons, for instance, has put prices up by an average 11.5 per cent in the last 12 months, said The Grocer.
But in contrast, the price of a box of Celebrations is currently the same as this time last year and a box of Roses is only 1.3 per cent higher.
Mintec analyst Liliana Gonzalez said: "Rising cocoa butter prices and inflation on other key ingredients have taken their toll on chocolate manufactuers.
"This works out as a 21p cost increase on the average 100g bar of milk chocolate."