Why chocolate is getting cheaper

Dec. 13 is Hot Cocoa Day

If you're planning to buy lots of chocolate this holiday season, this is great news. 

Bloomberg reported this week that more rain in West Africa is improving cocoa crops, leading to a surplus. More than two-thirds of the world's cocoa supply comes from that region.

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Yet it's also a question of demand-- people are eating less chocolate and opting for healthier snacks.

Retail prices for chocolate dropped 16 percent in the four weeks through Nov. 6 from the prior four-week period, according to data from research firm IRI compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Last year, the supply of cocoa, one of the main ingredients in chocolate, was down, due to bad, dry weather conditions in the two countries that produce most of the world's cocoa, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

The shortage pushed cocoa prices up 12 percent in the summer of 2015.

Coincidentally, Dec. 13 is actually National Cocoa Day. Shopping rewards app Ibotta claims Maryland consumers buy more hot cocoa than almost any other state. 

Consumers in West Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas and Wyoming also buy a lot of hot cocoa, Ibotta says.

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