Vanilla update

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Vanilla bean prices more doubled in July, sending prices to highs not seen since the ebb of the 2000-05 crisis. Much of the current pressure is a consequence of diminished competition. Madagascar, home to 65% of global output the past quarter-century, now produces 90% of the crop. Other would-be competitors, India, Indonesia and Uganda, account for less output due to unsustainably low prices the past several years.

Additionally, several large US bakery, candy and cereal manufacturers announced plans this year to remove artificial flavors, among other ingredients, from their products. This new, permanent demand will only drive vanilla prices higher.

So we are encouraging customers consider a more promising path forward. Our Natural Bourbon Vanillas are a great tasting alternative to Vanilla Extract. Primarily characterized by Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extractives and fortified exclusively with other natural ingredients, these vanillas are equal in strength, practically priced and sustainable long-term.

Ultimately, farmers need a better return for their labor if we are to achieve a more predictable and sustainable vanilla crop. Otherwise, volatility will continue to plague the world’s most popular flavor. At their peak in 2003, wholesale extract prices increased to over $220 gallon, a 10-fold increase in just five years. In the meantime, let’s hope history does not repeat. But if it does, at least you will be protected with Parker Flavors’ Natural Bourbon Vanillas.