Bad Vanilla Crops in Mexico, India Won't Affect Pricing

After a flurry of panicked news reports last week that poor harvests of Mexican and Indian vanilla would drive up costs—perhaps enough for the consumer to feel it—Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors has stepped forward to say that all is well. The company, acting as somewhat of a spokesperson for the whole vanilla industry, explains to consumers that Mexico and India combined produce only 100 tonnes, or 5% of the world vanilla supply. Madagascar, which had a normal yield, produces 65% of the world supply.

In response to reports that several large shipments of vanilla had left Madagascar recently, implying that people may be stockpiling, Nielsen-Massey said that these were just normal shipments based on vanilla's harvest and curing times.

Finally, the company assured consumers that even if vanilla prices rose, it's used in such small quantity that ice cream prices would be unlikely to go up. A 10% price increase in vanilla would lead to less than $0.003 cost increase per pint of ice cream.

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