Worldwide Vanilla Shortage Is Making Ice Cream A Luxury

At our current rate of consumption, we're driving vanilla prices sky high. The price for a kilo of the brown stuff has jumped from $US25 to $US40 in a single day, which means your ice creams might soon be an even more expensive treat than usual.

Virtually all of the world's vanilla supplies are grown in Madagascar, Mexico and India. But in the last year, Mexico's yield has dropped by a staggering 90 per cent, reports Management Today. In fact, India's yields are struggling too, leaving Madagascar as pretty much the sole source.

In turn, that's seen 40 per cent of the world's current stock of vanilla -- around 1000 tonnes -- shipped out of Madagascar recently, and as a result the markets have gone crazy. After six years hovering at around $US25 per kilo, the price has jumped to $US40 in single day.

And if all that doesn't sound too serious, think on this: vanilla is used in medicines, perfumes and all kinds of food production, so the rise in prices will soon have a knock-on effect for all of us. Most importantly, though, is what it could do to the price of ice cream. As Management Today suggests:

"Analysts reckon that the price of a scoop of vanilla ice cream will go up by 10 per cent to help manufacturers preserve margins."

I, for one, am stockpiling ice cream sandwiches this afternoon. [Management Today]

Image: M. Unal Ozmen/Shutterstock



    Blah blah, end of the world. Here's what happens when prices like this go up: somebody else starts growing the stuff.

      Hah, I know right. Have you seen those dumb fools who complain that there's only a finite amount of resources available and not all resources can be reproduced at all/in a certain time frame? 'Dey sure are dumb.

    Eh.. good thing I prefer chocolate then.. Chocolate isn't in short supply is it? :)

      Chocolate is flavoured with Vanilla...
      but again, the vast majority of Chocolate will use Vanillin as per my comment below.

        Hmm, is that why some chocolate just doesn't taste right anymore? I prefer the darker more rich blends like Old Gold myself.

    We ignored the warnings.
    We've reached Peak Vanilla.

    Game over, man. Game over!

    99% of ice-cream would be manufactured with artificially manufactured Vanillin anyway.
    If prices o go up, it'll be a convenient excuse rather than an actual response to price of Vanilla beans.

    Yeah, not much icecream is made with real vanilla... not for, what...? 80 years? more?
    I imagine those poor Madagascan farmers won't be getting much out of this huge price increase if anything at all.

    Good. Now lets hope cocoa, coffee and other commodities increase so that the poor farmers stop getting ripped off.

      Yeah... then they can go to growing things people will buy.
      Like opium, cocaine and marijuana as has happened in South America.

        Hey, if more people grew cocaine and the price went down I would be happy with that.

    Global Warming has come, the warnings were there but... We didn't listen. WE DIDN'T LISTEN!!!

    This story is absolute rubbish, less than 10% of the worlds vanilla comes from Mexico and it is not the best at that. Madagascar and Indonesia provide the bulk and there is not shortage whatsoever. This is no news item. How come we know? We are the European representatives of Nielsen Massey the premier supplier of Vanilla Extract, Paste and Vanilla Pods. Whilst this fable will increase sales of our Vanilla Products be assured that the origin of the story is pure fantasy.

    First chocolate, now vanilla. I hope Strawberry is safe. Also caramel.

    I live on a Spanish Island & cannot get any vanilla ice cream in shops here except Mercadona.
    All the local supermarkets have none. This has been so since last summer.
    Prestige do one at an exorbitant price but none of your average ice cream anywhere.
    Is there a cunning plan, I don't know about?????

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