Higher cocoa, sugar prices making chocolate and cookies much more expensive
As the end of summer nears, producers are starting to build their stocks of Sinterklaas treats like chocolate letters and pepernoten cookies. Consumers can expect to pay much more for these treats this year due to massive price increases for cocoa and sugar, NOS reports.
Chocolate manufacturer Droste told the broadcaster that chocolate letters will be about 10 to 15 percent more expensive this year. Including last year’s price increases, consumers will pay up to 30 percent more than before Russia invaded Ukraine and sparked massive inflation.
“It is simply necessary,” Droste commercial director Bernard Brummelaar said. “We pay 50 percent more for cocoa, our main raw material, and 25 percent more for sugar.” On top of that, the company is facing higher energy, packaging, transport, and labor costs, like everyone else. “Energy cost four times more than before corona last year.”
Oscar de Lange, director-owner of pepernoten producer Van Delft Biscuits, tells a similar story. “I suspect that pepernoten will become about 20 percent more expensive for the consumer this year,” said the director of the company responsible for three-quarters of the Dutch pepernoten market.
That means a one-kilogram bag of pepernoten with chocolate, for example, will approach the 5 euro mark. But De Lange isn’t too concerned about the sales figures. Easter egg sales didn’t fall even though a kilogram bag sold for over 5 euros for the first time this year. “Consumers won’t buy less of it, despite 5.49 euros for a bag. Easter and Sinterklaas are once a year, aren’t they? There is a lot of feeling and emotion involved. People simply see that pepernoten are associated with coziness and release a nostalgic, warm feeling. People just want a bag like that in their home.”
The cocoa prices on the New York stock exchange are at the highest level in more than ten years. “They are close to the previous peak from 2011,” ING food sector economist Thijs Geijer of ING told NOS. “Important factors here are the unfavorable weather and harvest forecasts in main production areas.”