California almond growers supply most of the world’s almonds. These almond trees depend on bees and ample water. The bee losses + California’s devastating drought + rapid almond sales growth are a recipe for higher prices that food makers should consider when planning product lines and pricing.
Clarine Lim Hardesty has noticed a big change during her 7 years making Clarine’s Florentines: “Almond prices have really gone up. When I started (in 2007) it was about $80/ 25 lb box and now it fluctuates anywhere from $110 to 130.” Almonds make up a big chunk of her cookies. How high can she price and still profit? Almond paste-centric sweets will really feel the impact, as has Kristian Salvesen who makes marzipan bars based on California almonds (as, incidentally, do most marzipan makers globally).
While we can pray for rain, the bee colony collapse remains a mystery. Business Week reports that “this past winter saw U.S. beekeepers lose another 23 percent of their colonies, according to an annual survey by the Bee Informed Partnership and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Plan accordingly, and plant bee-friendly flowers!