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Bitter News: Chocolate Prices on the Rise

Hershey Chocolate Candy Bars Vending Machine

Chocolate lovers may have to empty their wallets a bit more to satisfy their cravings.

Thanks to an uptick in demand for dark chocolate as more health-conscious consumers seek out the commodity, chocolate prices are expected to hit record highs this year.

The cost of one kilogram of chocolate in the U.S. is expected to hit $12.25 this year, up 45% from 2007, according to the Associated Press. The price hike has been amplified by an increase in demand for dark chocolate as well as a shortage of cocoa beans. Supplies will fall short of demand this year for the first time since 2010, the AP reports, as dark chocolate requires more cocoa beans than milk chocolate.

Darin Newsom, senior commodities analyst from DTN, says that while chocolate prices are on the rise, he sees the dark chocolate trend as more of a passing fad.

“It’s like pumpkin spice and bacon,” he says. “This is mostly chocolate ‘fluff.’ The market has rallied a bit, and we are seeing some global investors buying into it because of these headlines.”

While there are some concerns over long-term supply and demand, Newsom says he is confident there will not be a shortage or price spike in the market anytime soon.

“It’s not a critical supply-and-demand situation at this point,” he says. “The latest weather forecasts…look to be turning more favorable in West Africa, where most of the cocoa is harvested at this point. That could take some of the excitement out of the market.”

And as for consumers, prices will depend on the length of the cocoa rally, Newsom says.

“I don’t know that we have seen enough fear in the market to add a great deal to prices.”

Follow Kate Rogers on Twitter at @KateRogersNews

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