2020 chocolate shortage

A number of recent reports have predicted a global chocolate shortage by 2020. Unfortunately, Delta Economics forecasts that these concerns could be merited. The trade data shows that demand for chocolate will continue at a high rate to 2020, but cocoa exporters (predominately within Africa) will struggle to meet this demand with a corresponding increase in exports.

Over the next five years demand for chocolate is expected to experience steady growth. In Asia, we expect demand to grow at an annualised rate of 7% to 2020. Interestingly, however, it is not from Asia, that the highest rates of demand for chocolate can be found. Demand for chocolate from the MENA region is expected to increase at an annualized rate of over 8% over the same period. North American demand for imported chocolate is also expected to increase by 6% annually to 2020.

Over the next five years, the largest cocoa exporting nations, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, are all expected to see growth in cocoa exports. However, these rates of growth are significantly lower than the expected increase in global demand for chocolate. This increases the pressure on cocoa farmers and the implications for African agricultural industries are severe. In Ghana, for example, the cocoa industry employs around 800,000 families and has given rise to the saying “cocoa is Ghana, Ghana is cocoa”.

Without investment to maintain sustainable conditions for productivity, there will be little impetus for growth and cocoa farmers will be unable to meet growing demand. However, with adequate policy measures in place, there could be a prosperous future for farmers, producers and consumers alike.


2020 chocolate shortage  |  Author  |  Nayani Bandara  |  Analyst and Project Manager