For the last couple of years the world has been running a chocolate deficit and it’s probably not going to change anytime soon. At the moment, the global cacao sector is already in need of one million tons of cacao and the current projection is that we will have a shortfall of 2.2 million metric tons of ebony goodness by 2030.
It’s a real multi-faceted challenge. Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce more than 70% of the world’s cacao, have been suffering from climate change-induced droughts and to top it all off, the cacao trees have also been contending with two different fungal diseases. Health conscious hipsters have been chomping 80-90% dark chocolate for the flavonoids; and don’t forget about the Chinese who are cultivating an insatiable appetite for everything from M&M’s to Lindor truffles.
This is the first year that the substitution effect can be seen clearly; with chocolates being more expensive, the sale of caramel coated Nougatini’s has exploded. New Yorker Danny Taylor explains it as follows: “Who would have thought that we’d ever replace chocolate? I’m taking my girl to the drive-in where we’ll have a picnic and for dessert we’ll be eating Nougatini’s. I love her, but hell no, I’m not paying 30 bucks for 8 Hershey’s Kisses. Besides, the modified stuff tastes like crap!”
As if it’s not bad enough to be sulking alone on Valentine’s Day, now hordes of singletons are angry and craving their favourite dopamine booster. The only upside to this saga is that people are losing weight without really trying! And with baggy pants dragging in the mud, belts and suspenders are making a real comeback too. Seems like life really is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.