Why Do Vanilla Beans Cost So Much? (Explaining the Top 5 Reasons)

Rate this post

Vanilla is most likely the most common taste we can discover and enjoy. Vanilla is found in practically every dessert, and it is a common component in many culinary and baking preparations. Although you can purchase vanilla in most grocery shops, you won’t always find the real beans, and when you do, they’re quite pricey. Hence, you could wonder:

Why are vanilla beans so costly? For starters, vanilla beans are costly because they are centralized, and growing them is a labor-intensive and time-consuming procedure. Moreover, their costs are legitimately expensive due to a limited supply and great demand for these pure extracts that provide distinct tastes.

Nothing rivals the vanilla taste of pure vanilla extract, which can only be obtained from vanilla beans. But supposing you’re on a tight budget. You may ask whether purchasing these beans is worthwhile, particularly since imitation vanilla tastes are far less expensive and more widely available.

In this post, we’ll go through the top five reasons vanilla beans are so pricey, as well as any additional queries you may have regarding them. This manner, you can determine the value of these beans and choose if they are worthwhile to purchase based on your budget and preferences.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Are vanilla beans expensive?

Certainly, vanilla beans are pricey for a variety of reasons. Although vanilla beans are pricey, some vanilla flavour is not since it is mostly artificial. Although you may enjoy vanilla tastes at a reasonable cost, you will get the greatest experience when you purchase the beans, which can be costly.

Why are vanilla beans so costly?

These are the top five reasons why vanilla beans are so expensive. You may read on to learn more about the value of these beans and if they are worth purchasing for you.

Vanilla beans are in high demand.

The introduction of artificial vanilla in the 1980s forced farmers to cut output because it was less lucrative. Nevertheless, the all-natural movement gained momentum in 2011 when huge corporations got on board.

Unfortunately, it has taken some time for vanilla producers to improve output and re-enter the market. Additionally, not all of them were eager to start again from the beginning.

Farming centralization

Madagascar produces over 80% of the world’s vanilla beans. As a result, this spice provides a considerable source of income for 70% of Madagascar’s population.

Since vanilla is only farmed in a small region surrounding Madagascar, any economic, climatic, or export problems there would impact the majority of the world’s supply, making it very unstable with no backup.

When something as common as table salt is no longer accessible in one location or nation, it may be simply and swiftly purchased elsewhere.

Yet, if Madagascar’s vanilla supply is affected, the spice will be difficult to source elsewhere. Also, deforestation has substantially limited vanilla’s natural habitat in Mexico.

Farming requires a lot of effort.

Vanilla cultivation is a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. From the time the orchids are planted until the beans are harvested, the whole cultivation process is done by hand. Hands are then employed to plant, harvest, and cure the vines. Such farming requires a high level of expertise and effort. Farmers might adjust for this by incurring additional expenditures.

Protracted procedure

Additionally, hand-pollination is required for each orchid to yield beans on the one day of the year when it blooms. After harvest, the beans are cured for many months. In general, the manufacturing process takes three to four years.

Farmers are unable to react quickly to changes in market demand due to the long procedure. Price variations are inherent whenever supply and demand alternate.

Difficulties with the weather

Thousands of plants have been destroyed by storms that have battered the island of Madagascar in recent years. Moreover, climate change is strengthening and increasing the frequency and severity of storms on the island.

After a major storm, the young plants will not yield beans for two to three years. Farmers face a significant risk since they cannot ensure that more storms will not inflict damage during that period. Moreover, such climatic issues may result in further price rises owing to lower supply.

What is the price of vanilla beans?

The price of vanilla beans varies depending on the brand and where they are purchased. Nonetheless, below is an approximated price that you may use as a reference.

These beans are often offered in packs of 10. It may also be purchased by the kilo or the pound.

A half-pound of vanilla beans costs about $80-$90 on average. This is due to the fact that it includes around 75 vanilla bean fragments.

On the other hand, one ounce of vanilla bean paste that requires nine to ten pieces might cost between $20 and $30.

Are vanilla beans expensive?

Certainly, vanilla beans are expensive, particularly if you want the greatest vanilla flavor. Genuine vanilla beans are one of the world’s most unusual tastes. Also, it has a distinct flavor that you won’t find in imitation vanilla tastes.

If you’re on a tight budget, purchasing these beans may not be the greatest decision. But, if you want the ultimate vanilla taste, these beans are well worth the money.

Vanilla beans are popular due of the taste they provide. Of course, we all know that vanilla is one of the most popular tastes in a variety of meals and foods.

Nevertheless, the vanilla tastes we are used to enjoying are the result of artificial flavoring. Since natural extract allows you to appreciate this taste to its fullest, vanilla beans are quite popular.

What is the source of the high price of Mexican vanilla beans?

Mexico vanilla beans are reasonably priced. These vanilla beans, on the other hand, are less expensive than Madagascar vanilla beans. Most vanilla goods are not made from pure vanilla extracts, which makes them less expensive. As a result, they are less expensive to create, allowing them to offer a cheaper pricing.

What’s the deal with Nielsen-Massey vanilla being so pricey?

The Nielsen-Massey vanilla is so pricey because is a known brand in the vanilla market. This brand is known for its high-quality pure vanilla extracts and tastes.

This firm processes all extracts and maintains high-quality goods in addition to the beans themselves.

These procedures add to the cost, making it more costly. Their expertise in producing vanilla extract boosts demand.

For example, most chefs and bakers favor this brand when they require vanilla extract, enabling them to boost the price since many people are prepared to pay for it.

What is the source of the high price of Madagascar vanilla beans?

Madagascar vanilla beans are so costly because this island produces almost 80% of the vanilla beans eaten globally.

Apart from the expenditures of harvesting these vanilla beans, as well as shipping and processing, the island has lately experienced severe weather.

As a result of this issue, many agricultural harvests failed. As a result, the price of Madagascar vanilla beans has risen to more than 10 times what it was a few years ago.


In a word, they are so costly because they are concentrated and the agricultural process is labor intensive. Moreover, since there is a limited supply and a great demand for these extracts that provide distinct tastes, their costs are exorbitant.

Only vanilla beans can offer the genuine vanilla taste that vanilla extract provides. If you’re on a tight budget, you may ask whether it’s worth it to purchase these beans, particularly because imitation vanilla tastes are much cheaper and simpler to locate.

  • Why Are Quest Chips So Expensive?
  • Why Are Avocados So Expensive?
  • Why Are Honeycrisp Apples So Expensive?
  • Why Are Cherries So Expensive?
  • Why Is Red Bull So Expensive?