chocolate prices

Chocolate prices are going up in Toronto due to skyrocketing costs

Chocolate prices in Toronto are on the rise due to costs for cocoa soaring worldwide.

Prepare to shell out some extra dough for your next sweet treat, Toronto, because chocolate makers and businesses across the city (and the world) are increasing their prices due to a global cacao shortage.

"Cacao trees are quite fragile," Sam Lapointe of West Queen West's Grand Order of Divine Sweets (GOoDS)  tells blogTO, "they need very specific growing conditions to flourish."

"With weather unpredictability, drought-triggered forest fires and an increase in pests, chocolate supply is and will continue to diminish until we fix our climate."

According to an April report by J.P. Morgan, cocoa prices have been on a steady rise so far this year, even reaching a record-breaking high in March at $10,000 per metric ton due to climate change-induced draught and underinvestment in the industry.

Independent chocolatiers and big-name chocolate brands the world over grapple to accommodate the sky-high prices — and Toronto's own network of chocolate makers are no different.

In a blog posted to their website, Toronto-based chocolate producer, Chocosol, announces that they'll be increasing prices across their entire line of offerings, from cacao powder to chocolate bars in an effort to weather the storm.

"We are concerned that the price will continue to rise over the next 16 months," Founder and acting CEO Michael Sacco and Director of Sales Mathieu Mcfadden write in an Instagram caption announcing the recent changes.

"We are investing in cacao inventory and production efficiencies to offset market fluctuations and ensure a steady supply for all our valued customers," the blog post reads.

In an effort to maintain their quality goodies and fair pay of cacao farmers, the chocolatier has opted to implement increases on a number of their goods, while transitioning some previously permanent flavours to limited editions.

Chocosol isn't alone in feeling the strain of the rising cost of production in the chocolate world.

"Costs of all quality ingredients like the ones we use have been rising rapidly over the last few years," Sam Lapointe tells blogTO.

"It's a constant effort to balance quality ingredients, ethical sustainability and supporting out staff all while not adding to the food cost issues we all face by keeping prices as low to our community as we can."

Alongside cocoa prices, Sam tells blogTO, the price of Vanilla Bean orchids has also been on a steep rise — putting plenty of chocolate makers in a bind.

Like Chocosol, the GOoDS has also recently upped the prices of a few of their items after "putting it off" as long as they could, hoping to maintain accessible pricing for the community, but are also looking into ways to introduce lower-cost items to offset the price increase.

Kyle, the co-Founder of Soul Chocolate tells blogTO that they've been paying higher prices for cacao since the business started, prioritizing quality ingredients, and have increased their prices over time.

While not planning to raise their prices this year, Kyle does warn that some more opportunistic, larger corporations could use the current climate as an excuse to raise their prices more than necessary.

"For those buying chocolate from the big brands, they're likely being opportunistic here and raised prices far faster than they want," he tells blogTO. "Because they want your money."

For Chocosol, The GOoDS, and Soul Chocolate, sourcing quality chocolate from fairly paid farmers is a priority — especially now that the cacao farming industry finds itself in a precarious position.

"Buy from those who give a damn about the people responsible for farming cacao," says Kyle. "They have been underpaid for far too long."

"The good news is," Sam says, "we can have chocolate, it doesn't have to disappear."

"We just need to be conscious about where it's coming from and how we're getting it so we can sustain our favourite indulgence."

So, while the cacao world grapples to survive an ever-evolving world, you can still get your fill of the sweet stuff. It just might cost you a little extra — but, really, doesn't that make it seem even more luxurious?

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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