Your chocolate fix just got a little more expensive.According to the Wall Street Journal, the cost of chocolate is on pace to hit a record high this year because of a shortage of cocoa beans. And next year isn’t looking any better for consumers. The supply shortfall is just part of the problem. While the beans needed to make chocolate are growing scarcer, global demand is increasing for dark chocolate, which requires more cacao per bar than milk chocolate.
While we had nothing to do with the cost increases, we like to think that YouBeauty had a hand in spreading the dark chocolate gospel. Especially in the U.S. and Europe, people are finally tuning into the health and beauty benefits of dark chocolate, something we’ve been talking about pretty much forever. (And ever. And ever.)
MORE: Dark Chocolate Buyers’ Guide
There are a ton of ways to justify a dark chocolate habit. For one, the dark stuff is a lower-calorie alternative to milk chocolate, which is loaded with sugar and milk fat. What’s more, regularly eating a little bit of dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao is like a more decadent, subversive version of an apple a day. It’s good for:…your heart, because it decreases your chance of a blood clot that could lead to heart attack or stroke.…your skin, because its antioxidants fight wrinkles, improve blood flow for a healthy glow and protect you from UV damage.…your body, because studies show that dark chocolate decreases inflammation and that people who have a little bit of chocolate every day have lower BMIs.…your mind, because cocoa reduces stress hormones and boosts the release of dopamine (and tastes freakin’ awesome).
MORE: Healthy Skin Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Adding that all up, if you have to increase your chocolate budget this year, we think it’s worth the money.