A Chocolate Crisis

Could you live without these popular chocolates?

Ashley Niu

Could you live without these popular chocolates?

Ashley Niu, Photojournalist

THE WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF CHOCOLATE! Well, not exactly. So, calm down and do not rush off to the supermarket to buy chocolate. I’ll clarify in just a bit. On the other hand, have you noticed that the prices for chocolate have been rising? Well, it’s said that cocoa prices have increased by more than 60 percent since 2012. So, to combat this, chocolate makers have been raising the prices of their products in order to gain the same amount of profit. One of the biggest chocolate companies, Hershey’s was the first to do so and gradually other companies raised prices as well.


However, the problem is not with the price; it’s the fact that everyone consumes too much chocolate. Yes, we are in a shortage of chocolate! We eat more chocolate than cocoa trees can produce. During the last year, the world ate about 70,000 metric tons of cocoa that were not technically produced. So, in a sense, society is increasingly eating more chocolate each year. The reason behind such an outcome is that most of the chocolate comes from West Africa (specifically Ghana and Ivory Coast) where droughts and other diseases have disrupted production. In a recent report released, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut, the largest chocolate makers, have stated that the global demand for chocolate will outpace the supply by one million metric tons in 2020.


Is this a sign that we need to eat less chocolate to save it from being a costly treasure? Well, it depends on your viewpoint. But to exaggerate the effects of losing chocolate, what would happen in a world without chocolate? Could you live? Would society ever be content? When asked if there were a world without chocolate, Rachel Stumpf (12) felt disheartened and said “whenever I think about chocolate, I feel like that [fish] from the Spongebob episode” with Spongebob trying to sell chocolate and the fish becomes crazily obsessed. To add on, Rachel is so enthusiastic about chocolate that she believes “chocolate is love; chocolate is life.” Most of us love chocolate and could never think of a world without it. Chocolate has been hailed as one of the most popular foods. To the extent, the scientific name for the cocoa tree comes from theobroma cacao, which means food of the gods. Certainly, it was named for a reason. Chocolate is included in most holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Halloween. Could you think of Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Americans buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate every year for this day. Likewise, this sweet has shared many childhood memories eating the candy bar or picking out your favorite colored M&M’s.


Although chocolate is popular among most people, some do not see a difference in their life if chocolate disappeared. People like Emily LeBlanc (12) don’t see the craze for chocolate and is “not really concerned about the chocolate shortage” because they rarely indulge chocolate.


What would you do if chocolate no longer existed?