Kim Robinson Written by Kim Robinson

Vanilla Price Rise: Vanilla Ice Cream to meet a Frosty End!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream… that’s certainly the case when the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising.  You would think that ice cream vendors and manufacturers are reaping the rewards of this glorious heat wave, however the truth is far more chilling.

Nowadays there is an abundance of ice cream flavours from liquorice to bubble gum, to strawberry cheesecake to nutty toffee, yet us Brits still seem to love just plain vanilla in our cones.  As customers we don’t bat an eyelid when we hand over £2-3 for a scoop in a cone, but punters could be in for a shock this summer as this cool vanilla treat is about to get more expensive.  Plus it gets worse as ice cream manufacturers, restaurateurs and sellers are now considering taking vanilla ice cream off the menu.

Ragus produce a wide range of Pure Sugar products at its world-leading sugar manufacturing site in the UK, including sugars, refiner’s syrups, treacle and Molasses. Ragus’ manufacturing site produces hundreds of tonnes of sugars and syrups each day, all manufactured to the highest quality to ensure customers’ specifications are met.


Why such chilling price increases? Well, it comes down to the soaring price of vanilla pods which currently stand at between £500-600 per kilo, this now makes it the second most expensive spice in the world, after saffron, and more expensive than silver per kilo!

The rise in price is the combination of an increase in global demand for the spice, food manufacturers, alongside restaurants, perfume makers, household product producers, to name but a few, all want to use natural vanilla flavouring; it’s such a versatile produce. Plus, 80% of the world’s vanilla supplies are grown in Madagascar, but with the drought and crop disease in recent years, added to the aftermath of Cyclone Enawo where around 30% of the crop was damaged, farmers are struggling to keep up with the demand.

It takes up to 5 years for a vanilla vine to mature and the process of drying out the pods is very time consuming, which has resulted in many farmers giving up their businesses, as the return isn’t worth the time spent on harvesting the product. Those farmers who do cultivate the spice are also under constant pressure to protect their harvests from criminal gangs who are now stealing the crops. Add to that the fact that farmers are picking the pods too early, in their immature stages, to keep up the high demand, means the quality of seeds is poor.

Combining all these factors has resulted in this huge surge of prices as food manufacturers are struggling to obtain the spice at economic prices.  Already popular London Ice Cream Parlour, ‘Ruby Violet’ has had to remove vanilla ice cream from its menu due to the increased prices.  Is this the first of many… only the coming months will tell!

Ragus work closely with food manufacturers to supply liquid sugars and invert syrups, which are both used for sweetening and bulking ice cream, while also attracting flavours and increasing the scoopability by depressing the freezing point of ice creams.

Ragus are renowned for our world-class customer services and with over 100 years experience, we are experts in our field. We provide the complete package, from globally sourcing the best and most sustainable sources of beet and pure cane sugar, to manufacturing a huge range of sugar products including liquid sugars and inverts, to delivering on time and in full, supplying in a variety of bulk sizes.  Ragus supply artisan food producers to well-known blue chip global brands.  If you are looking for a tailor-made product, we can formulate sugars and syrups to your exact requirements, just contact our team as