Like grabbing a Snickers on the run or savoring a little dark chocolate in the evening? Then brace yourself, because chocolate production is failing to keep up with worldwide consumption and could fall behind by 2 million metric tons annually by 2030, two big chocolate makers tell the Washington Post. Dry weather and fungal disease are partly to blame, but there's another cause: "Demand for chocolate is great," an expert told Bloomberg last year. "A lot of the world population is moving to the middle class and will have more money to spend, in particular in emerging markets and Asia.” Yes, the Chinese are eating twice as much chocolate as 10 years ago, and dark chocolate, which uses much more cocoa than regular chocolate bars, is growing more popular.
This has forced up cocoa prices by more than 60% over the past two years. It has also inspired innovation, like trees that can produce up to 700% more cocoa than their traditional counterparts. But this breed of tree—which is also resistant to a devastating fungus called Witches' Broom—comes with far less flavor, making chocolate "as tasteless as today’s store-bought tomatoes, yet another food, along with chicken and strawberries, that went from flavorful to forgettable on the road to plenitude," writes Mark Schatzker at Bloomberg. Still, experts say that some African growers are producing chocolate with actual flavor. Hopefully, "better-tasting beans will command higher prices, incentivizing quality, not just quantity," writes Schatzker. (Read about a chocolate-maker named ISIS that changed its name.)