Coconuts: High Demand, Yet Short Supply

It is always a treat to take a few bites out of a coconut macaroon, especially a fresh one from our retail store, and I think our customers would agree. Anna G. of San Francisco commented on Yelp that, “[The coconut macaroon] was everything I never knew I wanted from a macaroon, and so much more. Another Yelp review from Meghan R. of Santa Cruz stated, “It had this great chewy and crispy edge all around and the inside was cooked perfectly. Only thing that could have made it better would be a quick dip in some dark chocolate.” In fact, we do dip our macaroons in chocolate, and they have become our 2nd most popular cookie, according to the retail store’s manager, Cher.

Unfortunately, coconuts are a bit hard to come by these days. Cara, who handles our ingredients ordering, stated, “in talking with some coconut distributors, one mentioned that they used to place shipping container load orders and receive the product within 6 weeks to 2 months…and now their orders are out anywhere between 4 – 6 months.” The reason, you ask? Within the last year, the Philippines, one of the world’s largest coconut producers, experienced the worst drought they have had in 20 years (believed to be caused by the El Nino Effect) and then subsequently experienced increased rainfall and damaging floods. The effects of these extreme weather conditions on the flow of coconut production (especially with the understanding that “a coconut tree needs about 200 days of sunlight to have a normal production” of coconuts) has been devastating to this industry. You can read more about these growing conditions HERE.

With less coconut on the market, prices have increased about 20% in the last two months, making it more and more difficult to find a distributor with our preferred “size” of coconut shred at a reasonable price. What do I mean when I say “size” of coconut shred?  There are different shreds of coconut, ranging from short and medium (pictured left and right, respectively) to longer shreds.

Right: Short shred; Left: Medium shred

The shorter shred of coconut is less expensive and more available because it is less ideal of a shred. Regardless, we are able to use it in our Almond Joe and Cahootz without much difference in cookie density since coconut is an added ingredient in these two cookies. However, when used in our coconut macaroon, the cookie comes out too dense and our signature style is just not done justice. With the medium shred, we are able to achieve more of the desired effect, but the increased quality costs a bit more. As a result of these conditions, we did, for a short while, stop baking our coconut macaroon. Cher, our retail store manager, informed me that her customers were “extremely bummed” when we were not baking the macaroons. Even Cher herself stated, “I don’t want to see it go!” Although we have found a suitable replacement shred for the time being, it just goes to show how fragile the great things in life can be. Who would have thought that the weather circumstances in the Philippines would have affected our coconut macaroon production?

So if macaroons are your go-to treat, and if you are in the neighborhood and feel like stopping by on the days we dip our cookies, swing by on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to cure that sweet tooth – cookies and chocolate all at once! Hope to see you then!


One thought on “Coconuts: High Demand, Yet Short Supply”

  1. I lived in Santa Cruz 20 yrs. ago & loved all your cookies. I would like to order Coconut Macaroons for my son-in-law’s birthday. He loves Coconut Macaroons. Is it possible to order Coconut Macaroons & have them sent to my son-in-law in Scottsdale, Az. I look forward to hearing from you.

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