A serious global shortage of vanilla has driven up prices tenfold to about $5 for an ounce. The price hike is one of the worst in recent history for the popular flavor and key ingredient in many bakery products. The shortage is due to poor vanilla bean crops in Madagascar where more than half of the world's vanilla is produced.
Unfavorable weather conditions since 2000, including El Nino and La Nina patterns, are the root of problem. Vanilla is the second most expensive flavor in the world after saffron.