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Shortage of luxury items

People stop buying products or give up their favorite products for a variety of reasons. It is quite possible that they found a product that they like better or perhaps made a lifestyle change to more healthy products. Regardless of the reason, it is better to have a choice not to buy a product than to have your favorite product disappear from the shelf or become wildly expensive to purchase. Such may be the case for a few of these perennial favorites.

We begin with perhaps the most cherished beverage in the world … coffee. Due to the drought and disease that struck several South American countries last year, particularly Brazil, 2015 could see the lowest worldwide production of coffee in 50 years. Only the surplus from previous years is carrying us through these tough times. The alarm has sounded, and if increased temperature and low rainfall problems continue to plague the coffee producing countries, it is predicted that Arabica coffee may be gone by the year 2080. Oh, what will our grandchildren do?

If coffee is not the most cherished beverage in the world, then wine most certainly is. There are about 1 million wine producers worldwide, selling approximately 2.8 billion cases of this aged beverage each year. However, the demand for wine is outstripping the supply. In 2014, wine consumption rose by 1 percent but production fell by more than 5 percent, the lowest since the 1960s. While some varietals of wine may become scarce, the biggest concern for the average wine drinker is the price. Wines priced below $9 have seen volume declines largely because prices have increased in response to rising grape costs. Even Trader Joe’s two-buck-Chuck is no longer $2.

Nothing goes better with wine than cheese. However, in 2010, more than 50,000 goats and sheep were culled from their herds and flocks, after a major outbreak of Q-Fever Disease hit the U.K. But, as the sources for goat cheese diminished, the demand has increased resulting in dwindling reserves and an increase in price. Fortunately, the local markets and delis are stocked full of other marvelous cheeses made from cow’s milk and there has been a dramatic increase in the production of Artisanal and Farmstead cheeses that can take your palette on a wonderful journey.

For sweet-tooth cravings there is nothing better than a fine piece of dark rich chocolate,and of course it goes very well with some of that wine that is in short supply. However, a combination of climate change, pests, disease, and civil unrest in coco bean growing areas has caused production to plummet in recent years. And as farmers suffer ever increasing losses, chocolate may just become too expensive to mass produce. According to industry experts, a world-wide shortage of the coco bean could make chocolate even more of a luxury item by the year 2020. Better start rethinking Valentine’s Day, maybe just go with a small diamond instead of chocolate.

From ice cream to mixed drinks and everything in between, bacon has become an obsession. You guessed it, as America’s taste for bacon is booming, the supply is dropping. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers are cutting down on the production of pigs which is leading to a shortage of the beloved bacon. Also, suppliers are still suffering from the porcine academic diarrhea virus and the Midwest drought of 2012. Sorry, but there is just no substitute for bacon. You are on your own with this one.

Picture a nice frosty evening, a fire flickering and a nice slow sip of bourbon with its caramel undercurrents and whiskey spice. Good Bourbon takes about 20 years to mature, faster than some children. Unfortunately, 20 years ago Bourbon was not very popular and many distilleries didn’t begin the long ageing process until recently. Fearing a shortage, most of the best Bourbon has been bought up by the people that can afford the price, ironically causing the shortage they feared. I suggest starting a Bourbon savings account that will mature around the year 2030 when some fine 20-year Bourbon will start coming of age. You can enjoy it while watching those grandchildren.

Blue Agave plants take up to 12 years to produce the fructose necessary to make tequila. So when 20 percent of Mexico’s Blue Agave yield was crippled by disease in 2007, a lot of farms had to be burned. This has led to a massive production setback for the iconic drink. Many Mexican farmers have also switched over to growing corn instead as it is much cheaper. There may be a back stock of Tequila at the moment, but you can expect prices to start rising in the near future as that stock begins to dwindle. Shots anyone?

And finally, water, as we all know, covers 71 percent of the earth, but 96 percent of that is of the salt variety. Therefore it is no surprise to hear that we are running out of humanity’s most precious resource. Along with an ever-increasing population that requires water, increasing dry spells are using up what little supplies of fresh water we have left. The U.N. reports that water shortages are already affecting every continent and nearly 1.2 billion people don’t have any access to fresh water. By 2025, two-thirds of the world may be living with little or no water at all.

It looks like the world is in for a very long dry spell.

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