Well folks it looks like the end is coming. No, there have been no zombie sightings; no meteors headed our way, but something even worse. It has been reported (brace yourselves) that there is a possible chocolate shortage approaching. While this would certainly be a sign of the end on its own, it manages to get worse. It is anticipated that a wine shortage is coming as well. I don’t know about you, but a decent amount of my nights center around those two staple items! Maybe this is a good thing then? Well before we go storming your local liquor and supermarkets, let’s take a breath and look at some of the facts.
One factor impacting this possible atrocity is the world’s increasing love and consumption of chocolate. There are expected increases in chocolate use in both Russia and China in a huge way. In addition to this, maintaining and protecting cocoa trees with pesticides is becoming more and more expensive for farmers, especially in Asia. The cost of cocoa butter rose 63% in the past 20 months. Cocoa butter makes up about a quarter of every chocolate bar. Other chemicals and ingredients are likely to slowly take over the majority of a chocolate bar. Real chocolate would then become much more expensive and possibly become a luxury item.
Global consumption of wine is drastically increasing as well. Morgan Stanley released a report this month about an upcoming wine shortage, which sparked this global concern. Last year there was actually an undersupply of wine of about 300 million cases. Since 1990 wine consumption has been on the rise. Meanwhile the production of wine in the top three producers (Spain, France and Italy) has fallen over recent years. Could we be simply drinking too much wine? The U.S consumes about 12% of the world’s wine, and it is projected that the U.S and China will consume 400 million cases of wine each by 2016.
Meanwhile, lots of experts are insisting that there is nothing to fear, as this decline in production is coming after years of over production. This year’s wine production has also been exceptionally good, with good harvests helping to recover from past years.
So, what should we take from all of this? Stock up on chocolate? Never spill the wine? Avoid being single on Valentine’s Day? For now, it appears that our chocolate and wine needs should continue to be met, but keep an eye up for possible price rises in the future. Any possible shortage of change in the wine and chocolate industry won’t happen for a while, so breath a little easier, loosen that grip on that wine bottle (or maybe box), and maybe clean out that chocolate stash under your bed.