Not the sweet deal it once was.

Fonction NEWS

Chocolate prices are set to rise 15 to 18 per cent, owing to raw material increases in countries producing cocoa, according to the world's largest chocolate manufacturer.

Patrick de Maeseneire, CEO of Zurich-based Barry Callebaut, told the newspaper Handelszeitung in September that the price of chocolate bars is set to rise about 12 per cent.

Producer Lindt & Sprungli, near Zurich, told swissinfo the same story. "The price of milk powder doubled in the second half of 2007, the price of cocoa on the London futures market rose by more than 70 per cent in pounds sterling from early January to June this year and to make matters worse, the economy was faced with continuous increases in energy and transport costs," spokeswoman Silvia Kalin said.

"All these factors have already necessitated a price increase of our products during the first half of this year for both regular and seasonal products."

So what, exactly, is going on?

Kalin said the global supply of cocoa beans and cocoa butter has remained...

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