Cocoa prices soared to a new record on Friday, creating fresh concerns that the price of a bar of chocolate could be hiked.
The popular commodity has jumped in price by more than 40% in just the last month, hitting £4,909 per metric tonne on Friday, up from £3,443 on January 9. On Friday alone the price jumped by more than 5% on London’s ICE exchange.
Cocoa prices had already risen massively, from around £1,904 a year ago, and last month Cadbury’s warned that it was having to make “carefully considered price increases”.
“Making changes to the price of our products is always a last resort, however, costs across our supply chain have risen steeply,” it said in a response to a customer on X, formerly Twitter.
“Core ingredients we heavily rely on, like cocoa and sugar are a lot more expensive, while the cost of energy, packaging, and transport also remain high.
“As a result, we are having to make some carefully considered price increases across our range so we can continue to provide consumers with the brands they love without compromising on taste or quality.”
Meanwhile, Nestle earlier this week said that it would no longer make Breakaway and Yorkie biscuit bars, citing falling sales.
On Thursday, US producer Hershey’s said that it was going to have to cut costs by 300 million dollars (£238 million) and warned it would miss market forecasts.
Michele Buck, who runs the Hershey Company, said that the company would have to change prices in the light of higher cocoa costs, in order to manage the business.
Research by Which? last year found that the price of festive chocolate boxes had rise by at least 50% compared to the year before.
Towards the end of last year, the price of chocolate had been increasing at nearly twice the speed of other food and drink at supermarkets.
In September it emerged that chocolate brand Galaxy had cut the size of its Smooth Milk bar from 110g to 100g, while the price had increased from 99p to £1.25 in Tesco. On Friday a 110g Galaxy bar cost £1.35 on the supermarket’s website.