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

This year was sour for sweets. Due to rising sugar prices and a shortage, Halloween candy prices rose 13% in 2023.

In a new analysis, CoBank, a rural American cooperative bank, predicted chocolate price increases "are likely" in 2024. The reason?

Cocoa prices are roughly 65% higher than a year earlier, and producers are anticipated to raise prices to offset that.

CoBank, citing Eurobank International data, reported a 7.2% increase in US chocolate costs over the past two years and potential price hikes in 2024.

Increased chocolate prices are having varied effects on sales. Because chocolate is more expensive, sales rose in 2023. According to CoBank,

chocolate sales have dropped 5% in the past year and 9.5% in the past two. Hershey announced job cuts this week as it expects rising cocoa prices

CoBank expects chocolate volume sales to drop further and dollar sales to fall due to rising pricing.

"The cocoa issues come at a particularly challenging time for manufacturers, given the three-year increase in sugar prices," said

CoBank senior food and beverage analyst Billy Roberts. "While sugar prices have fallen, cocoa futures prices remain around record levels

Agriculture Dive reported that excessive rains and disease in West Africa, which grows 70% of the world's cocoa, caused cocoa prices to surge.

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