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SUPPLY CHAIN THREAT TO GERMANY’S EASTER BUNNY

With Christmas behind us, and Valentine’s day right around the corner, chocolate makers have already started turning their attention to Easter, which will conclude the chocolate-fueled holiday season.

Germany’s confectioners have raised concerns over supply shortages and logistics struggles, that could burden chocolate makers this season. Challenges with logistics and costs of materials, such as those for Cocoa, sugar, and milk powder, have provided challenges for chocolate makers. The German industry warns that we may see fewer chocolate Easter bunnies lining the shelves this year.

Carsten Bernoth, chief executive of the German confectionery producers association (BDSI) commented, “this could also have an impact on the upcoming Easter business such as the production of chocolate rabbits, because important raw materials, packing materials or transport capacity are lacking.”

Due partly to suboptimal harvests in some global growing regions and heavy demand for commodities from Asian industries, prices are on the rise.

Commodities aren’t the only cost concerns either; Germany has been subject to a recent doubling in energy prices, as well as rising costs in global container shipping. According to BDSI’s executive director, freight costs from Shanghai to Rotterdam have risen from $2,000 in December 2020 to $10,000 just one year later. Bernoth also mentions that disruption to the supply chain has made it difficult for some manufacturers to obtain materials for products to be used in packaging.

Easter isn’t cancelled just yet however, as the industry remains optimistic that there will be some degree of government assistance to aid producers. Nevertheless, Bernoth warns:

The breaking point has been reached. The policy-makers are now called upon to protect medium-sized companies in particular, from further costly and bureaucratic burdens. Otherwise, we risk the loss of the medium-sized economic structure in Germany that was considered to be robust, hitherto.

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