Consumers With Sweet Tooth Could Soon Pay More For Chocolate

Tuesday, February 22nd 2011, 3:41 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A ban on cocoa coming from the Ivory Coast in Africa could mean consumers pay more for Easter candy this year.

Local chocolatier and owner of Cocoa Flow, Gene Leiterman, said he is feeling the impact. He said it's not just the cocoa ban, but the rising cost of cocoa and sugar that make it more expensive to make his sweet confections.

"Our single origins, the specialty chocolates that are from one region or a country, those are getting pricier and pricier. We've seen a 40 percent increase on those chocolates," Leiterman said.

Leiterman has not had to pass the higher prices onto consumers, yet. He said that may happen next year.

In northwest Oklahoma City, at the 42nd Street Candy Store, owner Teresa Wall is taking down all her Valentine's decorations and candy and replacing them with Easter treats. She hasn't raised her prices on chocolate because she bought her inventory before prices went up.

"We had a lot of our vendors contacted us at the end of last year and said prices would go up at the beginning of this year. We were fortunate to be forewarned," Wall said.