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ST. LOUIS ( KTVI) Be on the look out this  Valentine’s Day gift givers, there may be a massive shortage of real chocolate for Valentine’s Day . The chocolate industry may have long-lasting implications on chocolate.  Experts say the chocolate shortage is a growing international issue and  the shortage of available quality cocoa could last for years . “In 2013 and in 2014 cocoa has been in deficit . We are consuming more than farmers in Africa can actually grow and produce,” said Dan Abel  with the  Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company.”

The Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company in St. Louis  can be considered  a “Chocolate Heaven.” The company is preparing for one of their biggest days of the year, Valentine’s Day.    The special holiday  will also hit the company’s pocketbooks too. “We have always used real chocolate. Although prices of chocolate and  strawberries have gone up, we have not raise any of our retail prices, so we are absorbing the cost,”said Abel.

Listen up chocolate lovers, the key word this Valentine’s Day is real chocolate.  “Alot of companies have made the decision to switch to a compound chocolate because real chocolate is harder to get and it’s less expensive. Real chocolate has gone up about thirty percent this year, ” said  Dan Abel.

Dan says several things have contributed to the chocolate shortage, including the lack of rain in the region of Africa where cocoa beans are cultivated. “Chocolate takes three years from the time you plant the beans, to when you can harvest cocoa. So problems that happen this year could have an impact on  us for a while.

Chocolate lovers you can expect  to pay about twenty dollars for a pound of chocolate strawberries. Dan says his company’s prices are the same as last year, however, across the country  some stores are charging ten percent more per box due to the increased shortage.