TODAY   |  October 28, 2013

Cocoa shortages lead to hike in chocolate prices

The price of chocolate in the United States has increased by 7 percent over the past year because cocoa beans, the main ingredient in the sweet treat, are in limited supply across the world. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> some not so tasty news for chocolate lovers. experts are warning of a loom lo ing cocoa shortage and you could soon be digging deeper for that next fix.

>> reporter: there could be a scary surprise, especially for chocolate lovers. the price of your favorite treat might soon be on the rise. overs last year, u.s. chocolate prices are risen 7% and they're why. cocoa beans are in limited supply and worldwide demand is way up. as countries like india, china and russia develop a sweet tooth . how much more are you paying for the beans?

>> versus last year, we're paying approximately 20% to 25% more than we did a year ago.

>> reporter: the nation's largest grinder of cocoa beans , chocolate produced here is september to baker's. in the short term, what happens when you pay more for the beans?

>> if we're paying more for the primary fwree primary ingredient, we have to pass that cost along to our customers.

>> reporter: cocoa butter is up 70% over the past 12 months. the culprit in all this just might be dark chocolate . with many people believing it's a healthier choice, demand is skyrocketing. hand dip truffles are a crowd favorite and customers are lining up for a fix. how much does one truffle cost?

>> one is $2.75. $2.25 a year ago.

>> reporter: makers don't want to scare customers away. many add fillers or make the bars smaller.

>> i don't mind spending the money on it.

>> we're still going to buy chocolate.

>> reporter: bittersweet, as lovers dig deeper for a little luxury.

>> it's delicious.

>> reporter: for today, janet shamlian , nbc news, chicago.

>> natalie was saying she just went out and broke the bank on halloween?

>> $85 for tons of candy. but, yeah, it's expensive.

>> you have a lot of kids in the neighborhood. repeat customers?

>> yes.

>> three kids just keep --

>> i give them a whole handful.