Vanilla prices reach record highs amid shortage
The last peak was in 2003 when it reached $300 per kg, and it is now sitting about $700 per kg.
Vanilla is a tricky product to grow: the flowers only open once a year and have to be hand pollinated within four hours of opening.
Heilala Vanilla chief executive and co-founder Jennifer Boggiss said vanilla, as a commodity, went through cycles, and at the moment it had record high pricing and short supply.
"It's a combination I think of climatic conditions - Madagascar is the main producer of vanilla in the world, over 80 percent... and they had a cyclone.
"Even prior to the cyclone in March we were facing supply shortages. In Tonga where we grow our vanilla we've had a couple of light seasons, this last season we had really light yield." ■