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Cocoa Prices Surge, Threatening Chocolate and Ice Cream Prices in India

by Alice

The world of chocolates and ice creams is facing a bitter reality as cocoa prices soar, impacting major players’ bottom lines. According to a report by TOI, both traditional chocolate manufacturers like Amul and renowned ice cream brands such as Baskin Robbins and Havmor are grappling with the repercussions of heightened cocoa costs.

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Amul, a significant contender in the chocolate market, is contemplating a substantial price increase for its chocolate products. Jayen Mehta, Managing Director at Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the umbrella organization for Amul, disclosed that the price of cocoa beans in India has surged to Rs 800 per kg from its previous range of Rs 150-250. Mehta stressed the inevitability of passing this cost burden on to consumers, projecting a hike of 10-20% in chocolate prices within the next two months.

Despite the impending price hike for chocolates, Amul aims to maintain current prices for its ice creams and beverages, recognizing the challenges associated with adjusting prices for seasonal products. Mehta expressed confidence in the competitiveness of their offerings, anticipating minimal impact on market share.

Similarly, Baskin Robbins, a popular American ice cream brand in India, is feeling the pressure of escalating cocoa prices. Mohit Khattar, CEO at Graviss Foods, the master franchise holder for Baskin Robbins in India, revealed that prices of cocoa-based ingredients have surged by 70-80%. However, the company has chosen to absorb these increased costs for the time being, refraining from immediate consumer price hikes. Khattar indicated that they would reassess the situation after the summer season, remaining optimistic about sales performance.

Havmor Ice Cream, which had previously adjusted prices to counter inflation, is also devising strategies to mitigate the impact of cocoa price hikes. Komal Anand, Managing Director at Havmor, emphasized the ice cream market’s sensitivity to pricing changes. Anand revealed that the company had secured long-term pricing contracts proactively, anticipating such challenges and aiming to maintain current price levels despite the surge in cocoa costs.

As cocoa prices continue to climb, chocolate and ice cream brands are navigating a delicate balancing act between maintaining profitability and retaining consumer loyalty. The decisions made by industry leaders like Amul, Baskin Robbins, and Havmor are poised to influence pricing dynamics in the coming months, potentially impacting consumer choices in the chocolate and ice cream aisles.

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