Within the past six years, cocoa prices have been on the rise and, according to the Cocoa Research Association, the human race is consuming more cocoa than is being produced. According to John Mason, executive director and founder of the Nature Conservation Research Center, “In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it.”
The cacao plant can only be grown within ten degrees of the equator and is difficult enough to harvest that farmers are seeing less incentive to replant the crop, though if chocolate will become as rare and expensive as caviar, one can only imagine farmers will be more than happy to grow and sell the coveted plant when the chocolate drought hits.
It’s not all doom-and-gloom for the abundance of chocolate, though, as scientists (with the support and intense interest of Hershey and Mars) have recently mapped the cacao genome, which could lead to more resilient trees and who-knows-what in the name of chocolate preservation. Twenty years is quite a bit of time from now and one can assume that it’s enough time to figure out how to prevent the sweet’s scarcity. But, if you fear for the abundance and inexpensiveness of chocolate, you should either cut down on eating so much of it and save some for later, or hide a cache of emergency chocolate funds for whenever the prices rise.