Local businesses are feeling the squeeze as the price of vanilla skyrockets.

Some bakeries are resorting to other natural, local alternatives, such as maple syrup.

But for some businesses, the popularity of the vanilla flavour means substitution is not an option.

Chris Parent, owner of Christopher’s Gelato in Waterloo, sells six times more vanilla than any other flavour. His vanilla recipe, he said, is “locked in solid.”

More than 80 per cent of vanilla orchid is grown on Madagascar.

“That island is very vulnerable due to climate change, hurricanes, typhoons, and crops are very exposed,” said Sylvan Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.

Vanilla prices have climbed so high that, on a per-kilogram basis, the spice is now worth more than silver.