Florida Vanilla Extract Prices increase by 350 percent , Blamed on Cyclone in Madagascar
The cyclone that hit Madagascar in March 2017 has created uncertainty and speculation in the global market, which has left people wondering: Will there be enough beans? Will the quality suffer as a result of shorter time spent on the vine?
In consequence, vanilla prices have gone through the roof.
Gus Rancatore, owner of Toscanini's Ice Cream, says he first noticed the surge in prices when he was looking through invoices. A gallon of vanilla extract that cost him about $90 last year, now costs $400. That's an increase of almost 350 percent.
“The first thing I thought was, maybe they made a mistake," he says. They hadn't.
“Everybody who I know in the restaurant business is talking about this right now," explains Rancatore, who uses a lot of vanilla in his ice creams. "This sudden surge in the price of a key and common ingredient is something that people talk about.”