Updated: 09/30/2013 10:09 AM
Created: 09/30/2013 10:06 AM WHEC.com
The price of chocolate could soon be going up. Part of the blame goes to dry weather and a poor harvest expected in West Africa.
Seventy percent of cacao beans comes from West Africa and dry weather is expected to hurt the fall harvest.
But there's something else that could drive up the price, the consumer demand for dark chocolate with its claims of better taste and better health. Dark chocolate usually takes more of the cocoa bean to make than milk chocolate, which means if people want it dark, they may have to pay for it.
Cocoa prices are up 21 percent in the third quarter. Add that to an increased demand and we could see chocolate bars get more expensive. As for chocolate bars, our share in the U.S. has picked up from 18 to 20 percent in the last five years. That's nothing compared to the people in Switzerland, where their share of dark chocolate bars jumped to 30 percent from 22 percent in 2008.