This is devastating news to all the people out there who always choose vanilla over chocolate.
After the devastating Cyclone Enawo hit Africa's east coast in April, 500,000 people were displaced.
Additionally, a staggering 80 percent of the world's vanilla crops were destroyed in Madagascar, which means if you're a fan of basic, classic, good ol' vanilla ice cream, you're not going to be able to purchase it without forking over a pretty penny more than you're used to.
Basically, the vanilla shortage has caused the wholesale prices of the product to skyrocket. For instance, the owner of an ice cream scoop shop, who used to pay around $72 for a bag of vanilla beans, told the Boston Globe that he is now shelling out $320 -- close to five times the amount -- for the same size bag.
"It's made [vanilla] ice cream a loss leader," Raymond Ford, the owner of Christina's Homemade Ice Cream in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which sells 2.5-gallon tubs of vanilla ice cream to local restaurants, told The Boston Globe, per the Daily Mail. "We're losing money, and that's a major problem."
However, raising the prices on the product, which is what ice cream vendors would have to do in order to break even, let alone make a profit off of their tubs of vanilla, doesn't seem to be a viable solution.
Says Aaron Cohen, the owner of Gracie's Ice Cream in Somerville, Massachusetts, to The Boston Globe, per the Daily Mail: "'I just don't think that anyone in Boston could get away with that without making people angry... Vanilla is a euphemism for plain. They'd think it was a joke.'"
The only bright side to all of this is that many vanilla products that people enjoy, such as vanilla flavored cakes, or confectionery products, are likely to remain unaffected by the aftermath of the cyclone, because those products use a synthetically produced vanilla, and don't rely on the actual bean.
Unfortunately, the Financial Times, according to the Daily Mail, predicts that vanilla prices are likely to remain higher than usual for years to come.