Summer s'mores are going to be pricier this year, and it’s not just because of vacation season expenses. Chocolate prices are soaring, hitting a record high recently when cocoa futures reached a staggering $8,939 per metric ton. This marks an astounding 205% jump from this time last year.

For chocolate lovers in North Dakota and Montana, this means that summer treats like s'mores are going to cost more. The beloved ingredient, cocoa, has been on a relentless upward trend since mid-2022, and experts predict it’s only going to keep climbing.

Here’s What’s Going On:

Around 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Cocoa prices are soaring globally, impacting chocolate lovers everywhere, including in North Dakota. The situation is compounded by extreme weather—intense rains followed by dry spells and winds—making life tough for cocoa farmers in West Africa. Adding pests and diseases to the mix has created a recipe for disaster.

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This combination of weather challenges and pests has led to cocoa harvests falling short for the third year in a row. For North Dakotans, this means chocolate prices are likely to keep climbing. The International Cocoa Organization predicts a shortfall of 374,000 tons this season, a stark increase from last season’s 74,000-ton deficit.


So, brace yourselves for even pricier chocolate treats. US chocolate prices have already shot up by 11.6% in 2023 compared to the previous year, and big names like Hershey’s and Mondelez, the makers of Cadbury, aren’t sugar-coating it—they’re warning that prices will climb even higher, affecting chocolate lovers worldwide.

Related Article: Largest S'mores Making Event at North Dakota Park 

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