Business Musings

Business Musings

Cocoa Butter

I'm glad I'm not in the artisan chocolate business. West African countries produce 70-80% of the world's cocoa supply, and they have had 3 years of drought, creating poor harvests. Not surprisingly, prices have gone up and "out of stock" often appears on the sites where I buy oils. When I did find some in stock, it cost me half again as much as it usually does.


We here at Avital's use cocoa butter in so many things: our body butter, haircare, lip balm, lotion bars, foot cream, and soaps. Cocoa butter is great for giving body and thickness to lotions and balms and it makes our soaps harder and longer lasting. It's one of three ingredients approved by the FDA as a barrier for skin protection (the other two are dimethicone and allantoin; we use both cocoa butter and allantoin in our Fresh Foot Cream because feet need all the protection they can get).

We started testing replacements for cocoa butter in a few of our products: we discovered that shea butter works just as well in our haircare bars and the bars are just as hard and long lasting. In fact, we decided that we like the lather better. Sometimes, change is a good thing. Look for that change on the label ingredients in a month or two. 

In other products, mango butter will work well: it has about the same consistency as cocoa butter, but with a dryer feel because of its natural tannins. This can be a positive thing in creams and lotions (which is why we already use it in our Hand & Body Lotions) since you don't want to be greasy. It will also work well in our soaps to add emollience and hardening. But I'll have to test it in lip balms and lotion bars: will it add unpleasant "drag"? I'm not sure! Test batches on the way. 

Working with natural products has always been risky. Droughts happen. Essential oil prices can fluctuate incredibly. The last few years, though, have been crazy for businesses, especially small ones like Avital's. We've been playing whack-a-mole with ingredient and container shortages and price hikes. 

Will things ever get back to "normal"? I don't know! I guess we'll just keep adapting.



Older post Newer post

Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published