Vanilla Crisis II

Friday, October 7th, 2016

With the 4th quarter upon us, we had hoped for more a favorable vanilla bean market outlook. Given a relatively strong crop year in Madagascar, industry sources expected prices to at least plateau through year-end. However, we’ve been warning for some time that limited competition, overwhelming global demand and poor farming incomes have driven the market to unsustainability. Now, that bill has come due, as speculators and traders aggressively test the market.

Difficult as this is to swallow, wholesale prices for vanilla beans have doubled yet again to $200 lb. Pure Vanilla Extract now exceeds $200 gallon — a level not seen since 2003, the peak of the last Vanilla Crisis. At these prices, the product has simply lost much of its value. We are not expecting relief until well into 2017, and it’s anyone’s guess whether that will in fact be substantial.

Therefore, after careful consideration, Parker Flavors has decided to dedicate scarce and valuable vanilla beans toward the production of high-value, sustainable Natural Vanillas. If you’re still using Pure Vanilla Extract, we strongly urge you convert to one of our Natural Vanillas as soon as possible. No changes in formulation are necessary and you will gain a measure of protection from the seven-fold increase since July, 2015.