19 Nov 2014

Chocolate demand outstripping supply

2:13 pm on 19 November 2014

Reports the world could run out of chocolate is largly due to increased demand from emerging markets such as India and China, New Zealand company Whittakers says.

Two of the world's biggest chocolate makers, Mars and Barry Callebaut, claim farmers are producing less cocoa than the world eats.

The cocoa produced for Porirua-based Whittakers comes from Ghana, in West Africa, where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced.

The International Cocoa Organisation has said the decreased production is caused by dry weather and a fungal disease known as frosty pod.

But Whittakers national sales manager Matt Whittaker said talk of cocoa running out had been going on for a decade.

"Running out is not the situation. It's just a situation of demand outstripping supply, and I guess that has implications for price in the long term," he said.

"But in the short term, we're looking at one of the biggest crops of cocoa ever this year."