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    Easter eggs to be ‘smaller, more expensive’ this year

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    Easter eggs are likely to be smaller and more expensive this year owing to surging cost of raw ingredients, primarily cocoa, states a recent report citing statements from leading makers.

    The price of cocoa has risen by more than 40 per cent since the start of January and more than doubled since the start of 2023. A tonne of cocoa has now topped £4,355, breaking the last record high set in 1977. While already at a record high, experts believe the price of cocoa will keep rising.

    The result will inevitably be higher prices. It comes at a time when chocolate has already been rapidly getting more expensive as energy and labour costs climb. The price of some chocolates rose by as much as 60pc in supermarkets over the last year, according to Assosia data.

    Apart from higher prices, manufacturers will increasingly resort to making their products smaller to cut costs, sparking another wave of so-called “shrinkflation”.

    A spokesman for Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, said, “Looking ahead, given these challenges and specifically the rising cocoa prices, we may be required to make further, carefully considered changes within our UK portfolio.

    “This could include different measures such as cost price increases or changing the unit weights of our products, but always as a last resort.”

    Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars shrunk by 10 per cent in 2022, while a ‘Big Share’ bag of its Dairy Milk Buttons became 23 per cent smaller last year.

    Nestle, which along with Cadbury and Mars makes up the big three chocolate producers in Britain, confirmed that it too may have to “make adjustments to the price or weight of some of our products” because of surging cocoa prices.

    William Whitaker, managing director of Whitaker’s Chocolates, is hoping to find more creative solutions like makng use of less chocolate and focusing more on other items such as fondant creams.

    “If this trend continues, it isn’t going to be ‘I can have a bar a day, I can buy it whenever I like’, it is going to be like it was when I was a kid, which was an occasional treat,” The Telegraph quoted Paul A Young, a former chocolatier who now works as a consultant in the industry, as saying.

    The cocoa crisis  stems from West Africa, particularly Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that produce 60 per cent of supply. A series of poor harvests in the region due to unusually heavy rains have hammered production.

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