You've Been Warned: The Price of Chocolate is Rising

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Consolation is a box of chocolates
From and

Earlier this year, The Takeaway reported that shortages of limes, avocados, and pork have sent prices of margaritas, guacamole, and bacon sky high.

And now it looks as if the unthinkable is happening: Mars and Hershey have announced that they will be boosting the price of chocolate products price by seven and eight percent, respectively. Grim news.

What’s driving the increase? And more importantly: How do we cope?

Dan Pashman, the host of WNYC’s Sporkful food podcast, and author of the forthcoming book, "Eat More Better,” says there are two reasons that the price of chocolate is going up.

"One is there have been poor yields from major cocoa producers going back now several years," Pashman. "Sixty-eight percent of the world's cocoa comes from Africa, and a lot of the trees there are getting old and sick, and reforming the industry there has been very difficult. It's actually one of the few agribusiness industries where a huge amount of the crop actually still comes from very small, local farmers."

In addition supply problems, Pashman says that there has been a greater demand world wide for higher cocoa content in chocolate products. 

"People love their cocoa," says Pashman. "I do have a couple tips for folks who maybe want to stretch their chocolate dollar a little bit farther. In an upcoming episode of The Sporkful, I talk to a guy who makes chocolate in Hawaii. He identifies two different types of chocolate eaters: Melters and chompers."

A melter, as the name suggests, is someone who patiently holds a piece of chocolate in their mouth until it melts away, while a chomper chews a pieces of chocolate relatively quickly. Pashman says that the former can save money, and allow the eater to savor the chocolate.

"You may be able to eat less chocolate if you let it melt in your mouth because it would take so long and you would get so much flavor from it," he says.