Chocolate prices have gone up and are expected to go up more thanks to Ebola. According to NPR, chocolate bars like Hershey’s milk have already increased by 5 to 10 cents and may continue to do so as Halloween approaches.
Jack Scoville, a senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, has been tracking the price jumps and the reasoning behind them. Scoville told NPR that chocolate prices have hit a three-year high now because of the Ebola crisis.
Before panic sets in and you trash your secret stash of office sweets (you’ll never find them, Elie), it should be mentioned that one cannot contract Ebola from eating or handling chocolate. The reason for the price hike is a fear of Ebola spreading to the Ivory Coast, causing cocoa farmers to move to avoid exposure. This leaves crops of cocoa beans unpicked and unready for shipment.
Now that the borders are sealed, they can’t just hop back and start harvesting again. While farmers are looking to hire locals to pick the cocoa for them, the uncertainty of the Ebola crisis has left the cocoa market in the dark.
Thus, because supply is limited, prices increase.