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    Christmas chocolates become pricey as global cocoa prices soar

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    Price of some festive chocolate treats has risen by more than 50 per cent on last year as inflation takes its toll on cocoa, sugar and packaging, a research has shown.

    According to analysis of supermarket pricing by Which?, top of the Christmas inflation pack was Green & Black’s miniature chocolate bar collection which was up by just over 67 per cent on last year to £6 while a 20-pack of fun-size Mars, Snickers, Twix, Maltesers and Milky Way chocolate bars was up just shy of 60 per cent to £3.99.

    A Cadbury Milk Tray chocolate box, 220g box of Quality Street, which is made by Nestlé, and Terry’s chocolate orange in milk were all up by 50 per cent while an 80g bag of Cadbury mini snowballs was up by 50 per cent to £1.50 and a 120g box of Zingy Orange Quality Street Matchmakers was also up by half.

    None of the price comparisons include loyalty card discounts.

    Ele Clark, the Which? retail editor, said, “We’ve seen large price hikes on some festive favourites this year, so to ensure they’re getting the best value for money on their Christmas chocs, shoppers should compare the price per gram across different pack sizes, retailers and brands.”

    Chocolate has been hit by big rises in the cost of raw ingredients including cocoa and sugar which have been affected by poor weather conditions in key growing regions including west Africa, partly caused by the climate crisis. Rising packaging, transport and labour costs have also added to price pressure.

    Some brands have chosen to downsize products to offset price rises – with Mars’ Galaxy smooth milk chocolate bar dropping to 100g from 110g earlier this year.

    Reacting to the findings, supermarket Sainsbury’s said that while prices can go up and down for a range of reasons, we’re committed to offering our customers the best possible value.

    “We have invested millions into keeping prices low on the products we know our customers buy most often and the cost of these items have stayed well below the headline rate of inflation.”

    Nestlé said, “Like every manufacturer, we have faced significant increases in the cost of raw materials, energy, packaging and transportation, making it more expensive to manufacture our products.

    “We are doing everything we can to manage these costs in the short-term, but in order to maintain the highest standards of quality, it is sometimes necessary to make minor adjustments to the weights of our products. We also aim to make any long-term changes to prices gradually and responsibly.

    Mondelez, the owner of Cadbury, said, “We understand the ongoing challenges faced by shoppers in the current economic climate which is why we look to absorb costs wherever we can.

    “However, we are continuing to incur significant increases in input costs across our supply chain which has meant we occasionally have to make difficult decisions, such as slightly increasing the price of some of our products.”

    Harvir Dhillon, ab economist at the British Retail Consortium whose members include all the large supermarkets, said, “Food inflation has fallen significantly in recent months and many food retailers are introducing further discounts in the run-up to Christmas as they seek to support their customers with the rising cost of living.

    “Chocolate has been hard hit by soaring global cocoa prices, which have almost doubled over the last year, reaching a 46-year high. The cost of cocoa has been badly affected by poor harvests in parts of Africa.”

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