MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a vanilla shortage world-wide. Normally, you may not think much about that, but it could mean paying more for ice cream this summer.

Vanilla harvests were way down in many countries due to the weather, leading some experts to predict as much as a 10 percent increase for a scoop of vanilla this summer.

India, Indonesia, Mexico and Madagascar are the major vanilla-producing countries. Vanilla harvests fell more than 90 percent in Mexico and India, leading experts to predict a vanilla monopoly in Madagascar and ultimately a price hike.

However, local ice cream makers don’t plan on raising vanilla prices just yet, because they haven’t felt the effects overseas.

“We don’t anticipate any price increases or having any effect on our price over the next year,” said Greg Hefferan of Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream in Minneapolis.

Hefferan’s business is benefitting from an early spring, putting business six weeks ahead of schedule. And they don’t plan on changing their vanilla prices any time soon.

“Madagascar is the dominant force in the vanilla market and that’s where we get our vanilla. They control up to 60 percent of the market and there haven’t been any issues with the Madagascar market just yet,” said Hefferan.

Izzy’s Ice Cream Shop in St. Paul also said they don’t plan on raising vanilla prices yet.

In 2003, Madagascar was hit by a cyclone that caused vanilla prices to rise 5 times what they are today. They have obviously recovered, and don’t anticipate anything like that this time — at least locally.

John Lauritsen

Comments (11)
  1. Brett says:

    Gee, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get any sleep tonight, knowing this!!

  2. grizzley says:

    Just use vanillin, which is the cheaper, man made vanilla flavoring. Most people would never know the difference.

  3. Marine 0311 says:

    Don’t care, gotta have my ice cream

  4. Sue says:

    WHat a fkn stupid story!!
    Come on CCO

    1. djp says:

      Human interest…and you need more of it!

      1. Brett says:

        Really, seriously?? A “human interest” story? Where did you dig that one up, in some inate college course?

  5. dodo says:

    i will bet most ice cream makers use the cheap chemical made mand stuff anyway, and never told anybody…..ppl are morons….

    1. djp says:

      Speak for yourself…idiot

  6. Brett says:

    djp, take a GOOD LONG LOOK in a mirror. You have GOT to be KIDDING me.

    1. me says:

      I found the story quite interesting…

      1. Brett says:

        So , what will you say when the state, if not the nation, goes into DEFAULT, and economic chaos ensues. Will you be out their protesting over over-priced vanilla, or our nation’s immenent collapse??