Chocolate consumption is starting to fall in Estonia as cocoa prices have steadily risen on the global markets in recent years, pushing up costs.
Bloomberg reported cocoa prices have risen to their highest level in 50 years due to supply chain shortages.
Kaido Kaare, CEO Orkla Eesti AS, which owns the Kalev confectionery brand, said no big changes are expected on the Estonian market in the near future.
Prices have been rising for a long time and will continue at the same pace, Kaare said.
"The shortage of cocoa beans has been going on for three or four years now and prices have also been rising for years. It must be admitted that the increase has been faster in the last year, but no drastic change is expected. It must be acknowledged, however, that higher prices have reduced chocolate consumption," he said.
For example, a 300-gram bar of the popular milk chocolate Anneke currently costs approximately €5, in January it was almost 25 percent cheaper.
Companies are also stockpiling cocoa beans to overcome price hikes, but Kaare sees no reason to panic.
"As there is a need to keep production running, companies that need beans will buy them at a higher price. The long-term outlook is not positive. The raw material is unique and there is no shortage – everyone faces the same problem," the CEO said.
Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Helen Wright