This increase in demand for an ingredient as volatile as vanilla beans will impact the entire food supply chain. Small bakeries could see the price of natural vanilla flavor skyrocket as supplies are bought up by food giants. Vanilla is a fundamental ingredient for many bakers. It adds sweetness and creaminess, covers bitter notes (chocolate), and balances acidity (yogurt).
The other issue surrounding vanilla is how we are defining “all natural” when it comes to the flavor. Purists only want to see “made with vanilla extract,” while options such as “WONFs” (with other natural flavors) exist and may provide more rounded flavor.