See's Candies is experiencing more commodities cost pressure from dairy than from cocoa, despite the high prices of cocoa beans and uncertainty in the market, the chief executive of the Berkshire Hathaway
See's, with around 200 shops and plans to add 10 more this year, is one of Berkshire's best-known consumer businesses.
The market's come back pretty well since the recession, CEO Brad Kinstler said in an interview outside the Qwest Center in Omaha, where Berkshire will hold its annual meeting Saturday.
See's raised prices 2.5 percent this year but will not raise them again, Kinstler said, despite a 5.5 percent rise in raw material costs.
While cocoa hit a six-week high Friday, Kinstler said the bigger problem was dairy, with butter and cream prices up 30 percent this year. Sugar prices are also 15 percent higher, he said.
Kinstler added that cocoa availability had never been a problem for See's, even with exports from top global grower Ivory Coast choked off in recent months.
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; editing by Jim Marshall)