When will the world run out of chocolate? The very thought of that is too frightening to consider. But in order to answer it truthfully, you first have to understand a few facts about chocolate. For instance, where does chocolate come from? How is chocolate made? And how much chocolate is in the world right now?
Where is chocolate from?
The very first step when it comes to answering when the world will run out of chocolate is knowing where this luscious treat actually originated. While some believe that cocoa beans were discovered by monkeys in South America, others suggest that they came from ancient tribes living around Ecuador and Columbia. Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, one thing is certain: cocoa beans are the basis for all kinds of chocolate.
And when it comes to understanding how much chocolate is in the world, one must first look at where this sweet treat grows best. As mentioned earlier, cocoa only thrives within certain areas around South America and Africa (and now Asia). Places like Ghana and Nigeria produce nearly 70% of the world’s cocoa, which is then shipped to countries like America for processing.
As far as when the world will run out of chocolate goes, all signs point towards 2050 when there may be a shortage due to climate change and outdated farming practices. But don’t worry – scientists are already working on ways to extend our supply by breeding more resilient crops.
But don’t worry – even if we do eventually run out of cocoa beans, researchers have already come up with ways to make your favorite sweet treat taste just as good without them.
How much chocolate is in the world right now?
The thought of a world with no chocolate is almost too much to handle (especially for my fellow chocoholics out there), but we have to understand just how much chocolate there is in the world to think about ever having a shortage.
The world produced 170,000 metric tons of chocolate in 2014. In total, the entire world uses about 700,000 metric tons every year! To put that into perspective – you would have to eat over 200 chocolate bars every single day, 365 days a year for the rest of your life if you ate all that chocolate!
There are many children and adults who depend on a daily dose. The average American eats around 11 pounds per year, while Europeans eat about five times as much, according to Euromonitor International. In total, world chocolate consumption is expected to reach a record high of more than six million metric tons in 2021.
So when you read this story and get all nervous that you won’t get your chocolate fix, rest assured. Chocolate is here to stay!
What would have to happen for the world to run out of chocolate?
The main problem is a lack of fresh water and how we will be able to grow the chocolate tree under these conditions. Cocoa trees, like many fruits need copious amounts of water to thrive which has been an issue for countries such as Ghana where it is grown due to rainfall levels decreasing by almost a third since the 1960s.
Another factor in the shortage of chocolate is the increase in demand. There is a rise in the number of people eating chocolate around the world. In China alone, demand has doubled since 2000 and is expected to continue rising at this rate for years to come.
Will the world ever really run out of chocolate?
Hopefully not in our lifetime. But you never know with the way the demand is increasing and climates are changing. We can only hope that things stay consistent enough to supply us with enough cocoa until the scientists figure out a way to produce chocolate without the plant.
Where’s Willy Wonka when you need him, right?