TIME Food & Drink

Chocolate Prices Are Soaring, So Just to Be Safe, Everybody Should Probably Panic

Chocolate Stack
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The sweet treat could soon become more of a high-end luxury item

Alright, chocoholics, listen up. (Everyone who just really loves chocolate but would never call themselves “chocoholics” should also listen up.)

Here’s the deal: cocoa prices are surging, which means chocolate is poised to become more of a high-end luxury item, NBC News reports. If costs continue soaring, chocolate could become “like champagne,” says Edward George, head of soft commodities at Ecobank. “Something which is a luxury, but not all of us can afford.”

Last year, prices rose 20 percent, and so far this year, cocoa futures are up 10 percent, largely due to demand from emerging markets. In China, for example, chocolate consumption has tripled over the last four years. We all should have kept quieter about how delicious it is so it could have remained our little secret!

“If prices go up too much (chocolate makers) shift to substitutes and instead of cocoa butter, which gives that melt-in-the-mouth flavor, you can use palm oil, or even cotton seed oil,” George told NBC News.

But, like, no. We would like chocolate to maintain its melt-in-the-mouth qualities but also remain affordable. So if any economists would like to drop their other work and focus on this clearly more pressing issue, that would be great, thanks.

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