High-end chocolate prices rising as holiday season approaches

Price of cocoa butter has increased 70 percent in last year

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

WINTER PARK, Fla. - With Halloween and the holiday season rapidly approaching, chocolate is sure to be a popular purchase. But lovers of the sweet treat may find prices increasing, especially for high-end chocolate.

The price of cocoa butter has increased 70 percent in the last year. The jump is thanks in part to bad weather in regions like Africa that produce most of the world's cacao.

"A lot of farmers don't know how to use their soil properly and how to get the most from what they're getting and they over-exhaust the store," said Peterbrooke Chocolatier manager Caleb Pfeurfer.

Pfeufer said customers at his Winter Park store will not see a price increase. That's because Peterbrooke has already purchased their chocolate supply through spring 2014.

"We do a lot of research to make sure we are ahead of the game," said Pfeufer. "Different chocolatiers who don't do that research end up having to deal with rising prices or decrease in margin if they don't want to do that increase."

Pfeufer said some grocery-store type brands may compensate by adding other ingredients to their products, to make up for using a lower-quality chocolate.

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