That chocolate wedding cake you had your heart set on might become a whole lot more expensive...
This is not a drill, people: we could very well be facing a chocolate shortage within this decade. *Hyperventilates into Malteasars packet*
According to a new report, the world consumed 70,000 tons more cocoa than it produced.
Barry Callebaut - providers of cocoa to Cadbury's and Hershey - and Mars Inc. have both warned that our collective global sweet tooth could lead to a severe cocoa shortage, predicting that the shortfall will rise to 1million metric tons by 2020, and 2million metric tons by 2030.
The experts at Switzerland-based chocolate giants Barry Callebaut revealed that it sold more than 1.7 million tonnes of chocolate between 2013 and 2014 – a year-on-year increase of more than 11.8 per cent.
Experts have predicted that we might be looking at a chocolate shortage starting as soon as in five years time. *Bulk-buys Galaxy bars just to be safe*
Ironically, a big contributing factor to the imminent choc-crisis is our penchant for dark chocolate, the healthier alternative to the traditional sweet fix.
Drought has also played a big part in the shortage of cocoa supplies, with global warming in the Ivory Coast and Ghana - where more than 70% of the world's cocoa is produced - is only getting worse, whilst a disease called Frosty Pod has wiped out around 30-40% of the world's cocoa production.
So what does all this mean? The start of the cocoa shortage has led to rapidly rising prices - with the cost of chocolate already rising by 25% in the last year alone.
If you have your heart set on a chocolate wedding cake for your celebration, make sure you talk to your cake-maker to discuss prices before committing.
However, don't panic too much just yet: the crisis isn't meant to properly kick in for another five years.