Has the global shortage of cocoa impacted your small business?

Has the global shortage of cocoa impacted your small business?

A global cocoa shortage has meant a notable increase in the price of chocolate, something that is having a huge negative impact especially on smaller businesses whose sole income is reliant on the sale of chocolate goodies. 

Harsh weather conditions have made it difficult for cocoa to be grown, and in this consumer world the demand for it is well outweighing supply. 

What does this mean for small businesses?

One of the differences between small businesses and massive corporations is the scale of which chocolate is produced. 

At Sarah's Creative Chocolate Kitchen, for example, every single item of chocolate that leaves the premises is handmade, hand topped, and hand wrapped. The only machinery we use as a part of our production process is the tempering - something we have to rely on due to the amount of chocolate being tempered on a daily basis. In more sizable companies where chocolate is mass produced, you'll find this is done by machinery. They'll be machine tempered, machine topped, and machine wrapped. Because of the shorter time scales that it takes to do this compared to handmade, they're able to make a much higher quantity and are able to reduce costs. Bigger businesses and corporations can afford to take the hit of an increase in cocoa costs because money is saved elsewhere, and they're able to up the cost of the completed product more minimally than small businesses. 

In the small business world, when costs increase at the production level, we have to increase costs at the completion level... most of the time not to make a hefty profit, but simply to break even and make ends meet. This means that you can usually find chocolate cheaper in supermarkets, and in a time where people are struggling to pay bills, even if shopping small is your preference, you're more likely to buy it cheaper elsewhere to save those ever-important pennies. 

I get it - I really do. Guilty of it myself! 

Small business are more reliant on people choosing to shop local and shop small than ever, as more are closing down each day and losing out to consumer giants. 

Why should I shop small if it costs more?

Whilst our chocolate may cost a little more, the care and effort we put into making cannot be matched by machine. The ingredients will be similar, if not very nearly the same, but we have something in ours that you cannot get from a piece of metal - that's the love. 

The love that comes from standing over a metal bench, hair in net, gloves on hands, painstakingly adding every single topping to every single disc or bar. The love that comes from those 5am mornings to get the oven pre-heated and the baked goods made so they're fresh out of the oven for sale the same day - not pre-packaged, not sat for days in a warehouse before being added to a shelf where it'll sit for a few more. The love that comes from knowing your money doesn't go into lining the pockets of the already rich, but will pay for a small business owners child to attend their ballet lessons, or to put food on the table or a roof over heads. The love that comes from knowing how much those small businesses owners must care about their product and how much you enjoy it, to keep going and not giving up in an economy that begs you to. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published