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Vanilla Bean Shortage Could Lead To Rocky Road For Ice Cream Fans

Vanilla Ice Cream (credit: CBS 2)

Vanilla Ice Cream (credit: CBS 2)

NY Sweet Spots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some people are almost ready to scream when they hear the price of vanilla ice cream may be going up this summer. That’s because a worldwide vanilla bean shortage could lead to increased costs for a cone.

“Why go up on ice cream? Out of all things, ice cream? You serious?” asked one person at Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, Queens, on Wednesday.

1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr Has The Scoop From Forest Hills

But that shortage of vanilla beans could end up leading to a rocky road for fans of the flavor.

The price for a helping of premium vanilla or vanilla-based ice cream could go up by 10 percent in the next few months.

The problem is damaged and poor quality vanilla bean crops in the few countries that produce them. As the prices rise for manufacturers, it could eventually get passed on to consumers.

“It’s just one more thing that’s going up in the economy,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr. “It’s still probably cheaper than gas.”

Ben & Jerry’s franchise owner Sibel Berberoglu said he isn’t concerned.

“Vanilla is our biggest seller,” Berberoglu told CBS 2’s Elise Finch. “We are not aware of any price increases as of yet…we let Ben & Jerry’s handle that part, they absorb some of the cost.”

A vanilla bean shortage wouldn’t impact everyone, because only premium ice cream brands use real vanilla. Many companies use an artificial flavoring.

“That does surprise me and it worries me a little bit because some of my favorite ice creams are vanilla based,” said Justin Mozer of Chicago.

“Regardless of the price going up…I wouldn’t mind paying a little bit knowing that I’m getting the right stuff,” added Abhi Sehli of Hoboken.

If there is an ice cream increase, in most cases, consumers will be counting it in cents, not dollars. The vanilla shortage may also affect the price of perfumes and medicines that contain the bean.

Will a vanilla price increase make you choose another flavor?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…