Vanilla ice-cream to become dearer now and in the coming days to come as the price of vanilla extract soars to astronomical highs. Priced at $600 per kg, the spice price has reached the echelons of silver and gold.
One of the major producers of the spice, Madagascar was struck with a terrible cyclone last year which caused heavy damage to its plantations which resulted in the price shoot-up. The passage of time has however seen no easing of prices, the major reason being its high demand. Uganda, India and Papua New Guinea are other producers of the spice, however; a lot of it is exported to America which has a huge, booming ice-cream business. Vanilla extract in its natural form comes as brown liquor which has a powerful and sweet fragrance. Besides ice-creams it is also used in perfume, cosmetic as well as food and beverage industry. The price of vanilla powder which is also used as a flavoring agent has risen three times.
Ice-cream businesses in the UK are thinking twice before adding vanilla ice-cream to their menu. The Snugburys Ice Cream which has distribution outlets all through North-West England has stocked up large quantities of the extract sufficient to last for another year. This is a family owned business run by three sisters who will never accede to substituting natural vanilla extract with its synthetic counterpart. Nevertheless, they will need to do some detailed planning if they want to survive in the business for the coming years.
Another ice-cream maker, Julie Fisher has taken the easy way out and struck off vanilla ice-cream from her menu. She remarked that it was not possible for her to pay the astronomical amounts for its purchase.
With the prices of natural vanilla reaching to such highs it remains to be seen whether now there will be a greater trend of substituting it with the synthetic vanillin flavoring!