Pretzels are tasty snacks that are great on their own but also mixed with other ingredients.
Depending on what type of pretzels you eat, some may even be healthy.
If you rely on a handful of pretzels to satisfy your hunger cravings, then you might be in the habit of buying them often.
You may have noticed that pretzels have become expensive lately.
Considering that they’re a relatively simple snack, you may wonder why pretzels have become as expensive as they are.
Why Are Pretzels So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of pretzels is around $5.
However, some brands also sell their pretzels for $7 or more.
Certain factors like the ingredients used to make the pretzels, the type of pretzel, and the fact that pretzels are a comfort snack all influence their high price.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Comfort Snack
Pretzels are a comfort snack.
While they’re delicious to eat on their own, one of the best aspects of pretzels is that they’re great for dunking in dips.
You can dip your pretzels into some cheese, chocolate, or even peanut butter to make them even tastier.
As such, you can easily transform your pretzels into an even more enjoyable snack.
Comfort snacks are popular because they make you feel good when eating them.
They provide a sense of comfort and even pleasure.
The problem with comfort snacks is that they’re typically in high demand.
When people are dealing with stress, they often turn to comfort snacks as a coping mechanism.
Since a lot of people are feeling stressed about the current state of the economy as well as global politics, comfort snack foods have been in high demand.
Since demand is high for pretzels, the price of pretzels is also high.
Pretzels are expensive because they’re an in-demand comfort snack.
2. Milk Costs
A common ingredient found in pretzels is milk.
The problem with milk is that it’s become an expensive ingredient.
Dairy farmers are facing many problems that are impacting their costs.
One of the biggest problems is the price of feed.
Certain environmental conditions have made planting typical livestock feed difficult.
Drought, in particular, has impacted the supply of wheat and corn.
Both of those crops are often used to make feed for livestock.
Since the supply of wheat and corn is smaller, it means prices to raise livestock have increased.
It costs dairy farmers more money to feed their cows.
If they have tons of cows to feed, then their livestock costs may be pricey.
To offset those costs, they have to sell their milk at higher prices.
Water is another problem some farmers are experiencing trouble with.
While the drought has impacted wheat and corn fields, it has also impacted farmers’ abilities to keep their cows hydrated.
Ensuring there is enough water to keep their cows hydrated also costs additional money.
Since pretzels use milk, they have to buy milk at higher prices.
To offset their own costs, pretzel companies sell their pretzels at higher prices.
Pretzels are expensive because of the high cost of milk.
3. Cacao Bean Costs
One of the most delicious types of pretzels is chocolate pretzels.
There’s just something delectable about having a snack that is both sweet and salty.
If you love chocolate pretzels, then you may have noticed that these types of pretzels are expensive, too.
That’s primarily because the price of cacao beans has increased.
Chocolate is becoming more expensive.
A large part of that is because it’s becoming more difficult to plant and grow cacao beans.
The trees are particularly difficult to grow and care for.
They need warm environments like rainforests to grow to their full potential.
However, they also can’t receive too much sunlight.
As such, only a few places in the world have the right environment in which to grow cacao.
The labor costs of harvesting cacao are also quite high.
As a result, the price of chocolate is high.
Pretzel companies that use chocolate need to pay higher prices to acquire the chocolate they need for their products.
Since they’re taking on more costs, they need to sell their products at higher prices.
Pretzels are expensive because the cost of chocolate is high.
4. Cheese Costs
Another popular flavor of pretzels is cheese.
Whether you dunk your pretzels in cheese or eat cheese-covered or cheese-filled pretzels, you’ll also notice that the price of your pretzels is expensive.
That’s because cheese has also become expensive.
Cheese is a dairy product.
As such, the same problems that affect dairy cows for milk are also affecting the portion of milk used to make cheese.
Cheese is expensive in its own right, however.
For example, it takes a bit of time to make cheese.
The best types of cheese need time to process before arriving at grocery stores.
Since it takes a while, cheese makers have to sell their products at higher prices to make up for that lost time.
When certain factors make the price of dairy products increase, then the price of cheese is going to increase, too.
Pretzels that use cheese are going to be more expensive as a result.
To make sure they earn a profit, pretzel companies must ask for higher prices for their products to offset the cost of cheese.
Pretzels are expensive because of high cheese costs.
5. Chili Pepper Costs
While some staple pretzel flavors are chocolate and cheese, there are also more unique flavors available.
One example is chili pepper pretzels.
These pretzels are spicier than other types of pretzels.
Companies who make this flavor will bake or coat their pretzels with specific ingredients to give them a certain flavor.
One of the rarer and more unique flavors is chili pepper.
Each bite of the pretzel provides a blast of chili pepper spice.
It can quickly clear your sinuses.
While you might enjoy a spicy pretzel, you might not love the higher price.
Chili pepper pretzels are expensive for a number of reasons.
For one, chili peppers are more expensive.
One of the world’s biggest producers of chilis, India, has experienced serious problems.
For one, many of their fields died due to a pest that infested the peppers and destroyed them.
In other parts of India, they experienced a sudden onslaught of rain that doesn’t typically occur.
That also destroyed chili pepper fields.
As a result, India has a smaller supply available to offer to global companies.
With this shortage occurring, it means that those who use chili peppers have to pay higher prices for them.
Pretzel companies are one of those companies paying higher prices for chili peppers.
Since they’re paying higher prices, they’re selling their chili pepper pretzels at higher prices.
Pretzels are expensive because of the high cost of chili peppers.
6. Whole Grain Pretzels
When it comes to buying pretzels, the type of grain used to make the snack can also impact the price.
Some pretzels are made of only wheat.
Other companies use whole grains to make their pretzels.
Whole grains are more expensive because they are made of higher-quality flour.
It’s a bit more expensive to grow and process whole-grain flour.
That’s especially the case if certain farmers are experiencing problems growing whole grains.
Any problems they’re experiencing are going to increase the price of whole grains when whole grains are already more expensive than standard grains.
Whole grain pretzels are more expensive because of the higher costs associated with farming and processing whole grains.
There’s also an understanding that whole grains are healthier than standard grains.
Since they’re healthier, they’re also a bit more expensive.
Pretzels are expensive when they use whole grains.
7. Gluten-Free Pretzels
Another expensive type of pretzel is gluten-free pretzels.
Since pretzels use grains, they contain some level of gluten.
The problem with this is that some people have an allergy to gluten.
Others might also be cutting down on their gluten intake because they want to lose weight or eat healthier.
The problem with gluten-free products, like gluten-free pretzels, is that they tend to be more expensive than their counterparts.
That’s because it takes a few more processing steps to make gluten-free pretzels.
The production process involved in making regular pretzels is quite efficient.
Gluten-free pretzels, on the other hand, need to undergo a process that removes the gluten from the grains.
Since it takes a few more steps, the production costs of gluten-free pretzels are higher.
To offset those costs, the company has to sell its pretzels at higher prices.
There’s also the fact that gluten-free pretzels appear healthier.
Since they appear healthier, it allows pretzel companies to charge a bit more for them.
They know that customers who have an interest in eating healthy are willing to pay higher prices for healthy food.
Pretzels are expensive when they’re gluten-free.
8. Health-Focused Pretzels
There are also pretzels that are health focused.
Whether they are gluten-free, reduced fat, reduced salt, or any other marketing gimmick, some pretzel companies go the extra mile to provide a healthy snack for their consumers.
Pretzels, on their own, are usually quite healthy.
They typically only have a few ingredients.
Some companies, however, might put a few other ingredients in their pretzels like artificial dyes to boost their color.
Other companies rely on spices or other natural means of bringing some color to their pretzels.
Since these means are usually a bit more expensive, the pretzels are a bit more expensive.
Pretzel companies know that they can get away with charging more for their health-focused products.
Healthy food tends to be more expensive.
Pretzels are expensive when they’re health-focused.
9. Wheat Farming Problems
To make a pretzel, you need wheat.
That’s because wheat is what flour comes from and pretzels come from flour.
The problem with wheat is that farmers have been facing some struggles growing it.
Drought is one of their biggest concerns.
Some farmers haven’t gotten enough rainwater to keep their fields nourished.
As a result, their wheat has wilted or failed to sprout.
It’s also impacted their ability to plant fresh wheat seeds for the next harvest.
This means that some farmers haven’t been able to keep up with the demand for their crops.
With less supply available, the price of wheat has increased.
Since wheat is more expensive, pretzel companies have to pay more to make their products.
Pretzels are expensive because of high wheat costs.
10. Almond Butter Pretzels
A final reason pretzels are expensive is that some use alternatives to dairy butter.
Butter is a common ingredient in pretzels.
People who are trying to stay away from dairy-based products are interested in butter alternatives.
One of the best butter alternatives is nut butter—like almond.
However, almond butter is a lot more expensive than dairy butter.
That’s because almonds are expensive to grow and process.
Because companies that produce pretzels that use almond butter spend more money for this ingredient, their prices tend to be higher.
Pretzels are expensive when they use almond butter.
Pretzels are delicious snacks that come in tons of flavors.
However, those flavors can sometimes impact the price of the pretzels.