Britain is a nation of chocolate lovers – we love to indulge in this scrumptious treat. Britons consume an average of 11kh per person per year, that’s around 3 bars a week – this equates to 660,900 tonnes a year in total!
Since 2007 chocolate consumption has doubled, the biggest increase was seen to be in the consumption of dark chocolate, milk chocolate is the first choice for two thirds of all Brits, only 1% don’t like it!
The demand for chocolate will increase by roughly 5 million metric tonnes by 2012 according to food companies and commodity traders – this year’s supply is already expected to fall short, with demand being too high.
Chocolate is not just important to business in the UK; according to the World Cocoa Foundation some 50 million people around the world depend on cocoa as a source of livelihood. Chocolate’s popularity means it has been a powerful tool for changing trade patters, as on of the first and most successful fairly traded products.
On a negative note, it has been said that in 20 years it could be a possibility that chocolate production will decrease to the point where it will be as valuable as caviar. Farmers in Africa are currently illegally using land on national reserves, as they are so desperate for fertile land to produce this sought after crop. John Mason, executive director and founder of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council, has forecast that shortages in bulk production in Africa will have a devastating effect: ‘In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it.’
The aforementioned can already be seen as cocoa prices increased by 10% in 2011, this is the largest increase since the 1970s.