CHILLING NEWS Vanilla ice cream ‘under threat’ as price of pods rockets by 500 per cent

Around 85 per cent of the world's supply of vanilla pods comes from the tropical island of Madagascar, just off the eastern coast of Africa

08 May 2018 - 09:43

ICE Cream makers up and down the country have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths after the price of vanilla pods soared by a shocking 500 per cent.

Costing around £442 per kilo, the nation’s favourite ingredient now costs more than silver.

The sky-high prices have seen vanilla products taken off the menu at a number of smaller, independent outlets who just can’t afford it anymore.

Some manufacturers today pay 30 times more for the extract than they did in previous years.

Since 2016, the price of just over one kilo of vanilla pods has gone up by 500 per cent to around £442 per kilo – by comparison, a kilo of silver costs just £393.

Around 85 per cent of the world's supply of vanilla pods comes from the tropical island of Madagascar, just off the eastern coast of Africa.

However, a series of natural disasters including a powerful cyclone have left almost one third of plantations on the island damaged.

The added problems of political unrest and rampant rioting in the island nation have seen prices of vanilla shoot through the roof.

 Ice cream makers say they are now paying more than 30 times the price for vanilla pods
 
Ice cream makers say they are now paying more than 30 times the price for vanilla pods

According to Julian Gale, a commodities analyst for IEG Vu, vanilla is an extremely difficult spice to cultivate and needs to be extracted from the delicate vanilla orchid flower.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron.

The popular flavour is not just a favourite of those with a sweet tooth.

Vanilla is often used in alcohol, as well as cosmetics and perfumes.

Natural vanilla extract comes in potent, sweet scented brown liquor.

Food manufacturers also purchase spent vanilla powder, the little black dots sometimes seen in ice cream.

However, the price of that has also increased threefold.

Synthetic flavouring called vanillin is extracted from wood and sometimes even petroleum.

It is anticipated that this will now be more widely used across industries as they try to scale back their costs.

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