Concerns over chocolate prices for Easter as cocoa cost hits record high

Concerns Over Chocolate Prices For Easter As Cocoa Cost Hits Record High
Cocoa has jumped in price by more than 40% in just the last month. Photo: PA
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By August Graham, PA Business Reporter

Cocoa prices soared to a new record on Friday, creating fresh concerns that the price of chocolate could be hiked in the run-up to Easter.

The popular commodity has jumped in price by more than 40 per cent in just the last month, hitting £4,909 (€5,751) per metric tonne on Friday, up from £3,443 on January 9th. On Friday alone the price jumped by more than 5 per cent on London’s ICE exchange.


Cocoa prices had already risen massively, from around £1,904 a year ago, and last month Cadbury’s warned that it was having to make “carefully considered price increases”.

“Making changes to the price of our products is always a last resort, however, costs across our supply chain have risen steeply,” it said in a response to a customer on X, formerly Twitter.

“Core ingredients we heavily rely on, like cocoa and sugar are a lot more expensive, while the cost of energy, packaging, and transport also remain high.

“As a result, we are having to make some carefully considered price increases across our range so we can continue to provide consumers with the brands they love without compromising on taste or quality.”


Figures from the Central Statistics Office show the cost of cocoa and drinking chocolate in Ireland rose 12.9 per cent in the year to December 2023.

Meanwhile, Nestle earlier this week said that it would no longer make Breakaway and Yorkie biscuit bars, citing falling sales.

On Thursday, US producer Hershey’s said that it was going to have to cut costs by $300 million (€278 million) and warned it would miss market forecasts.

"Panic is already very much in the market, but potentially we could move even higher," Rabobank analyst Paul Joules told Reuters.


"For me the real risk is next season. When we have crop tours in the second quarter, if the pod count is poor, people are going to question whether this is systemic," he added.

Joules explained that diseases currently impacting cocoa trees in top producing region West Africa are a lot worse than they have been in recent years, and that there isn't treatment other than cutting trees out and replanting.

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