Valentine’s Day chocolate may be more expensive this year, here’s why

PITTSBURGH — Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, and that means you might be giving your sweetheart some chocolate.

But, it may cost you, and as Channel 11 News Anchor Katherine Amenta found out, it’s not just because of inflation.

For Christopher Weck, owning a local chocolate company, Sinful Sweets, hasn’t always been a cakewalk.

“The last four years have probably been the hardest four years of my life,” Weck said. “I used to pay, just to give you an idea, around $230 for 55 pounds of chocolate on average, but now you’re paying the same exact price for 22 pounds.”

He says he’s had one roadblock after another since 2020: COVID-19, high inflation and now historic cocoa prices.

It’s partly because cocoa reached its highest price since 1977 earlier this month.

Cocoa crops are failing in West Africa, where the bulk of production is concentrated.

Poor weather conditions are killing fields, while other farms are being stifled by inflation.

Companies like Hershey have raised prices through all the challenges, but Weck said he’s trying to hold out.

“If this becomes the standard, then I have no choice but to raise prices,” Weck said.

For now, though, he’s relying on loyal customers and “big candy holidays” like Valentine’s Day.

“If you could see my boards right now for Valentine’s Day, it’s overwhelming,” Weck said. “Mother’s Day is really big too. I’m just not going to give up, so I just work more

Industry experts say price increases have led to declines in sales.

Even Switzerland, which is considered the chocolate capital of the world, is seeing fewer people indulging.

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