There is nothing better than curling up on a Saturday night and enjoying some chocolate. Whether it’s dark chocolate or milk chocolate, baked inside cookies or in some form of candy, nothing tastes better. However, a trip to the nearest grocery store may prove to be disappointing to chocolate lovers everywhere.
Today, a single bag of M&M’s at Wal-Mart is anywhere from $3 to $5 depending on the flavor and amount of candy in the bag. For instance, the pretzel M&M’s and peanut butter M&M’S cost almost $5 for only 15.4 ounces. As of right now, the Halloween-themed candy corn flavored M&M’s cost $2.88 for only 9.9 ounces.
A 9.5 ounce bag of Dove Promises chocolates are $3.68, and an 11 ounce bag of Hersey’s Kisses costs $3.28. Nestle chocolate chips are now $2.28 for an 11.5 ounce bag.
Ghirardelli is by far the most expensive brand — a 5.2 ounce bag of their chocolate squares costs $3.98. It’s so hard to justify spending $5 on a bag of chocolate in any form, no matter how good it is. It seems like the smartest thing to do is spend 68 cents on a candy bar and call it a day.
The worst part is that these chocolate prices will probably rise again soon, this time because of the price of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is vegetable fat taken from the cocoa bean. It is what gives chocolate its silky smooth consistency.
According to the Huffington Post, “Increased demand from Asia’s expanding middle class and a turnaround sales in big consuming countries have seen butter prices nearly double to more than $7,000 a tonne from $4,000 a tonne six months ago.”
As a result of this, the prices of chocolate may increase very soon. Especially as the demand grows for the upcoming holiday season, many big companies might be forced to combat the high cocoa butter prices by raising the cost of their chocolate products.
As a result of this rise in demand, the high prices are now the least of our worries. All you chocolate lovers out there brace yourselves and try to stay calm.
According to Daily Star, “Confectionery giants noted that there are just not enough cocoa plantations across the globe to cater to the soaring chocolate demand. They warned we would need the equivalent of another planet Earth to fill the gap needed to keep the chocolate industry going.”
So what does this mean? Well, according to the Daily Star, it means that the world is going to run out of chocolate in seven years.
Yes, you read that right; we only have seven more years before the cocoa bean as we know it becomes a thing of the past, making what’s left a luxury item for the wealthy. Are you ready to cry yet? Suddenly $5 for M&M’s no longer seems so bad. In fact, you might just want to head to the store now and stock up.
A world without chocolate seems like such a crazy thing, but sadly it is becoming reality. By 2020 the world as we know it could be changed forever. Yes, it’s a little dramatic, but think about it.
The stereotypical Valentine’s Day gift of flowers and chocolate will change. Kids trick-or-treating on Halloween will no longer have a bag full of fun-sized candy bars to enjoy. Easter won’t be accompanied by huge, hollow chocolate bunnies for us to nibble on. Our many Christmas treats will no longer be accompanied by chocolate delights.
Chocolate bars won’t be adorning every grocery store aisle. The bars that do will be much smaller and the quality won’t be as good. Those in the lower- and middle-classes will be lucky to afford any chocolate, while the rich will be able to still afford some.
It’s a sad reality, but one that reminds us that our resources aren’t unlimited. Just like our limited supply of cocoa beans, many of our important resources are limited as well. Our demands are growing, yet our resources are becoming smaller. Though a life without chocolate is a horrible one, it’s scary to think of what resources we will lose next.
So what is being done to prevent this chocolate apocalypse from happening? Well as of right now, nothing really. The damage is already done, and unless consumption falls dramatically, the demise of chocolate is pretty much imminent. However, there still may be hope.
According to confectionerynews.com, Mars, one of the chocolate industry’s huge companies, is looking for a solution to the crisis. By supporting the cocoa bean farmers, trying to sustain the cocoa beans and helping the cocoa beans grow, they are hoping to improve the situation.
Whether this article has brought you to tears or turned you into a chocolate environmentalist, one thing is for sure: The world needs chocolate. We all had better start praying to the chocolate gods and hope for change, because as of right now the future is looking pretty grim. The chocolate apocalypse is upon us.