Chocolate Could Get Even More Expensive In 2024—Here's Why

In regards to confections, the previous year has been relatively negative. The cost of Halloween candies increased by an astounding 13% in 2023 due to a severe sugar shortage and soaring sugar prices. 

Presently, American consumers might be subjected to additional price hikes for chocolate, an additional incredibly popular confection. 

In a recent report, CoBank, a cooperative bank that offers financial services to various rural American industries, predicted that chocolate prices would "likely" increase in 2024. 

The cause? Because cocoa prices have increased by nearly 65 percent since the same time last year, it is anticipated that producers will implement further price hikes to compensate for the increased expenses. 

The 7.2% increase in chocolate prices in the United States over the previous two years, as reported by CoBank, which cited data from consumer researcher Eurobank International, would be compounded by any price increases in 2024. 

It appears that the price increases have a varied impact on chocolate sales. Due to the increased cost of chocolate, the confection's total sales increased in 2023.  

CoBank reports that the volume of chocolate sold has decreased by 5% over the past year and by 9.5% over the past two years. 

Hershey recently disclosed its intention to reduce workforce in light of the anticipation that the exorbitant cost of cocoa will constrain its revenue expansion in 2024. 

Agriculture Dive reported that the increase in cocoa prices is attributable to disease and excessive rainfall that negatively impacted the cocoa crop in West Africa, which produces approximately 70% of the world's cocoa.  

Bloomberg predicted, for instance, that Ghana, a West African nation, would generate the least amount of cocoa in thirteen years during the summer of 2023.  

CoBank predicts that until late 2024, when a new African cocoa harvest arrives on the market, cocoa prices will remain elevated. 

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