The One Grocery Item Experts Warn Is About to Become Very Hard to Find

Economic experts are warning that hazelnuts will be the next target of supply chain issues, and they're warning that hazelnut products will soon be more expensive, and/or harder to find. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, economic policies in Turkey are having ripple effects that will soon reach our grocery store shelves. That means if you enjoy Nutella spread or hazelnut coffee, you may want to fill your cabinets now.

This past autumn, Turkish president Recept Tayyip Erdogan ordered his central bank to cut interest rates at least twice — most recently on Nov. 18. This caused the Turkish currency (lira) to begin losing value in huge leaps. The Turkish lira dropped by 30% in November compared to the U.S. dollar, and it was still falling in December. Erdogan reportedly blamed foreign governments for this crash, even claiming that other countries positioned agents in Turkey to "sabotage" his administration, but protesters in the country are holding him accountable.

Either way, you don't have to follow the cause-and-effect chain very far to predict a hazelnut shortage. Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world, and major companies like Nutella's parent company Ferrero source materials from there. The WSJ report notes that hazelnut farmers are already having difficulty buying the supplies they need to grow crops.

Turkish farmers reportedly rely on fertilizer and seeds from outside the country to produce their hazelnuts. Now that their lira is suddenly worth almost a third less, they are growing accordingly fewer hazelnuts in their upcoming crop. It won't be long before the downstream effects of these lean times impact store shelves everywhere.

"The world is on the verge of a hazelnut shortage. If you are a Nutella fan, you better stock up at your next food-shopping visit," said Turgan Zülfikar. He reportedly works in the U.S. as a consultant for Turkish companies trying to find a foothold in the American market.

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So far, Ferrero has not commented on the impending shortage or warned about its impact. The company did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Hazelnuts are also a key ingredient in the company's Kinder Bueno chocolates and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

The sliver of hope comes from Italy, where Ferrero is centrally located. The company has reportedly been trying to source its hazelnuts from its home country anyway as a way of saving money. This crisis may be the push needed to get that operation on track, though it reportedly has a long way to go. It's not clear if any investment could feasibly allow Ferrero's supply to catch up with demand.