I’m addressing a topic stirring waves in the world of sweets – the soaring prices of cacao. As a fellow lover of all things chocolate and leader in the raw dessert space, I feel it’s my responsibility to bring awareness around the current situation and give you some solutions on adapting accordingly.

You may have heard that cacao prices have skyrocketed to record levels. Just to give you some context – in 2019, cacao was hovering around USD 2400 a tonne, and today, over USD 10,000 a tonne! This surge has left many of us wondering about the future of our favorite chocolate treats and how it will impact us in the dessert and chocolate-making industry. If you’re a student in my raw dessert courses, this will not affect us too much since we are not making pure chocolate and focusing more on raw cakes and raw desserts.

The root cause of the price surge can be traced to several factors – Unpredictable weather patterns, coupled with environmental challenges, have disrupted cacao production in key regions like West Africa, where a substantial portion of the world’s cacao is cultivated. Additionally, increasing demand for chocolate products globally has put a strain on the delicate supply chain.

So, what does this mean for us as consumers, especially those who rely heavily on chocolate for our culinary and food businesses?

Chocolate may become a luxury item for the foreseeable future as bulk wholesale prices for cacao products have doubled to quadrupled in price. For instance, I used to get a pound of organic unroasted cacao butter for $11 CDN and now it’s $31 CDN, ouch! It has me thinking twice about developing new chocolate recipes, but honestly, I will still be purchasing it, just using it less.

If your core business is chocolate and your ingredients have increased to the point that you’re not able to translate those costs to your customer then pivoting or adding other items to your menu might be a great option.

My good friend, Colleen from Colleen’s Chocolates, and I have been discussing this topic a lot recently and she has graciously shared how her business is adapting to the rising cacao prices as it may help you. Here is what Colleen had to say:

“We raised our prices on November 1st last year because we had already seen about twelve price increases in the year and a half prior. Some ingredients went up by 17% in one increase and white chocolate is currently sitting at an almost 50% increase. I made a mistake by waiting until November 1st to raise prices so the business did lose money last year. I just felt bad raising prices which is silly because you cannot run a business on a deficit.

We ended up increasing our prices by 10 to 20% on our products. We are keeping the chocolate bar prices the same but any specialty, new or custom items will have a higher price point. My goal over the year is to do two things: firstly, teach more classes because we have a set amount of chocolate for each guest and I only have to make that much so there is no excess. Whereas with markets, I’m making thousands of dollars worth of bars not knowing how much will sell. Second, I’m working on adding products that are not 100% chocolate-centric, so things as marshmallows, granola, specialty dessert jars, and some raw vegan treats. Between those two the goal is 25% of the business will move in that direction. We’ve already started with a lot of classes and tasting events.

The other thing I’m working really hard on right now is the gourmet Phoenix bark. That is where we save all the chocolate orphans and run them through the stone grinder to make them into something delightful! By saving all the little bits from the chocolate molds or the sides of desserts and chocolate bars, I probably saved 60 or more kilograms of chocolate that other chocolatiers would just discard. So, for chocolate, we can have items like that where we are repurposing and making sure to have a zero-waste kitchen.”

She also dives more into detail in a recent YouTube video.

Cacao prices will continue to rise, reaching $ 11,116.11 per ton by December 2026 and $12,485.59 by March 2029.

In summary:

  • The soaring cacao prices will impact you depending on how and what kind of cacao products you’re using.
  • Prices have doubled to quadrupled in price.
  • Research bulk suppliers for the best deal and get a wholesale account. The larger the quantity you buy, the cheaper it is. Check out my sourcing list here.
  • Brainstorm solutions that make sense for your business. If you’re a chocolatier, add raw vegan desserts to your menu or products that use less cacao products.
  • Create a zero-waste environment in your chocolate kitchen to save chocolate for products that would otherwise be discarded.


I hope you found this helpful! If you’re a chocolatier or run a food business using chocolate ingredients, I would love to know how you’re navigating this price surge, send me an email – info@crystaldawnculinary.com