Last Word: Vanilla, Ethics, and Market Drivers

"Despite that most natural material prices have gone through the roof in the last several years, vanilla has remained quite stable," says Scott May, VP of sweet goods at Givaudan. This stability has resulted from a recent oversupply of natural product, and a recent lack of natural disasters in growing regions. As a result, says May, vanilla supply has equaled or exceeded market demand. "There’s a lot of inventory out there that people are carrying; I don’t think prices are going to [escalate significantly] unless there’s some sort of natural disaster." Of course May and his colleagues are knocking on wood.

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