When I read about the chocolate shortage this week I thought I might have a meltdown.
According to the Cocoa Research Association we’re consuming more chocolate than is being produced. And that may mean chocolate could one day be out of reach.
In fact the Nature Conservation Research Center’s John Mason said: “In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it.”
Part of the problem is the cacao plant can only be grown within ten degrees of the equator and it is difficult enough to harvest. In fact it can take between three and five years to harvest.
A few years ago Hershey’s changed some candy formulations to replace cocoa butter with cheaper vegetable oils.
That sparked a debate with the FDA as to whether or not candy manufacturers could substitute cocoa butter with vegetable fat and still call their products chocolate.
As a result you may see more candy companies labeling their chocolate bars with “made with chocolate," "chocolate candy," or "chocolate coating."
Some people actually prefer the candy made with vegetable oil. I’d much rather have the real thing. So I prefer to look at this chocolate shortage as another incentive to keep saving money!