Ritz crackers are a perfect ingredient for tons of different snacks.
While you can certainly eat them on their own, they’re even better with a slathering of peanut butter or cheese.
They’re also great for dunking into your favorite bowl of soup.
Ritz crackers are a simple and enjoyable snack.
Despite that, you may have noticed that they have become quite expensive.
Why Are Ritz Crackers So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of Ritz crackers tends to be just under $4.
However, you can also find boxes that sell for $15.
Certain factors like labor problems, issues growing wheat, and the type of Ritz crackers you buy can all influence the price.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Worker’s Strike
Ritz recently underwent a series of labor strikes.
The employees were striking for a variety of reasons like benefits and wages.
Ritz wanted to reduce pensions, but the employees wanted to hold onto them.
Receiving a pension was one of the reasons why many employees started working there in the first place.
Another was health benefits.
Ritz had agreed to pay certain benefits to help ease the burden of healthcare costs.
They then changed their tone and started reducing how much help they offered.
As a result, workers had to pay more out of pocket.
Finally, the employees wanted better wages.
If they were going to take cuts elsewhere, it only made sense that they received higher wages in turn.
When Ritz disagreed, the employees went on strike.
A strike hurts Ritz because it keeps them from being able to produce as many crackers as they would otherwise.
If they’re not producing as much, they’re not making as much money.
To help their sales, Ritz had to increase its prices.
Ritz crackers are expensive because the company’s workers went on strike.
2. Labor Shortages
Even before there was a strike, Ritz was facing problems with labor.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a large part of that.
The company had to shut down the factory or reduce its production to limit the spread of the virus.
In some cases, it had to let employees go.
When production levels returned to normal, Ritz found itself in need of more employees.
Only workers were less thrilled about joining or rejoining a company that let them go when they needed money the most.
Conditions at the factory also kept workers from rejoining.
Ritz still offered the same basic pay as they had before the pandemic.
The problem with that is that workers now knew their value.
They were responsible for helping to feed the United States.
More importantly, Ritz couldn’t make money without them.
As such, some workers decided to wait until the company chose to raise wages.
Others are waiting still for better conditions at the factory.
This impacts their sales because it means Ritz isn’t producing as many crackers as before.
With a lower supply, they have to raise prices to earn the same kind of money that they were earning before.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of the labor shortages they’re experiencing.
3. High Demand
Supply problems wouldn’t be such a big deal if there wasn’t a big demand for Ritz crackers.
As it happens, Ritz crackers are very popular.
They have a pleasant flavor that makes eating Ritz crackers on their own an enjoyable experience.
However, most people buy and eat Ritz crackers with other types of food.
For example, some people will spread peanut butter on the crackers to create cracker sandwiches.
Others will put some cheese and meat between their crackers to make a more savory sandwich.
Some will even crumble their crackers and use the crumbs as a base for other desserts or dishes.
Essentially, you can use Ritz crackers in a variety of ways.
That means a lot of different people have an interest in buying crackers.
There are those who eat them as snacks and those who treat them as an ingredient for larger dishes.
Whenever something impacts the supply of Ritz crackers, the price increases because there’s such a huge demand for them.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of the huge demand.
One of the benefits of Ritz crackers is that they last a long time.
That’s because they come from the same group of food that soldiers used to eat on the move.
The idea came from hardtack.
Hardtack is a dense biscuit made of flour, water, and some salt.
Because it’s so basic, it lasts a long time.
The fact that it’s dense also means that it fills the body quite well.
For soldiers on the march, hardtack was essential for their survival.
Even if it didn’t provide all the nutrients they needed, it kept them from starving.
That’s especially true when soldiers had to march through conditions that would make their standard rations spoil quickly.
Hot temperatures, for example, could make some rations turn rancid.
Ritz decided to make a cracker version of hardtack and refined the recipe until they started producing the cracker everyone knows today.
Ritz crackers last for a long time no matter what temperatures they’re exposed to.
Because they last a long time, people can store them on their shelves.
They don’t have to worry about it going bad.
This means that they can hold onto their Ritz crackers for several months without having to worry about eating them.
Since they can take their time with them, they’re less likely to eat through an entire box fast.
That reduces how many boxes they need to buy in a month.
Since people don’t have to buy as many Ritz boxes, Ritz isn’t making as much money on repeat sales.
To ensure they get their money’s worth, they sell at higher prices.
Ritz crackers are expensive because they last a long time.
5. Box Size
The size of the box you buy can also determine how expensive your Ritz crackers are.
Much like other types of cookies and crackers, Ritz crackers have different sizes to fit its customer’s needs.
You can buy small boxes with one or two rolls of crackers in them.
You can also buy Party Size boxes that have several rolls of crackers in them.
Obviously, the bigger the box that you buy, the more expensive the box is going to be.
That’s simply because it contains more crackers.
Since it costs more money to make more crackers, you’re covering the larger costs of filling that box with a lot of crackers.
An easy way to make Ritz crackers a bit cheaper is to buy smaller boxes.
That said, if you want to buy bulk, then you might want to go for bulk pricing.
It may be expensive initially, but you might end up saving money in the long run.
Either way, Ritz crackers are expensive when you buy bigger boxes.
6. Drought And Wheat
Like other crackers, Ritz uses wheat to make its crackers.
The problem with using wheat is that there have been problems growing it.
In particular, farmers have been struggling with the type of wheat used to make crackers.
There are different varieties of wheat.
Some make cakes.
Others make bread.
There are also those that make crackers and cookies.
The wheat that makes crackers has been suffering from drought conditions.
It grows in the part of the United States where drought is severe.
Drought affects wheat because it inhibits its growth.
Just like any other living thing, wheat needs water to grow and stay healthy.
When it’s parched, it can’t grow or sprout.
To make their wheat grow, farmers may need to buy water.
Since wheat fields are sizable, the amount of water they’d need to buy is astronomical.
Financially, it isn’t feasible.
As such, farmers can only sell the wheat that makes it through the drought.
With a lower supply of wheat available, Ritz has to compete with all the other companies that want that wheat.
They might have to pay top dollar for it.
Since their costs increase, they sell their crackers for higher prices.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of drought affecting wheat used to make crackers.
7. Extreme Temperatures And Wheat
It isn’t just water that’s impacting the supply of wheat either.
Extreme temperatures have also killed wheat fields.
Hot temperatures are driving drought.
However, it’s cold temperatures that are also killing wheat fields before farmers can harvest them.
Places like Texas and other southwestern states are experiencing colder temperatures than they’re used to.
Some places are even receiving snowfall when they’re not used to it.
This has made harvesting wheat tricky because farmers have a limited time available to harvest the wheat.
As soon as temperatures drop too low, it can kill the wheat and make harvesting it a waste of time.
Since it impacts the supply of wheat, it means Ritz has to pay expensive prices to get their share of wheat to make their crackers.
To offset their costs, they sell their crackers at higher prices.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of extreme temperatures destroying wheat fields.
8. High Sugar Prices
It isn’t just wheat that’s facing problems either.
Sugar prices have also increased which has impacted the cost of making Ritz crackers.
Ritz uses just a bit of sugar in its crackers, but it needs sugar all the same.
Sugar prices have increased for a variety of reasons.
In Brazil, sugar farmers are facing problems with drought.
Fertilizer costs are also making sugar beet production more expensive than it used to be.
Since sugar is becoming more expensive to farm, farmers are selling it at higher prices.
Even if Ritz crackers don’t use that much sugar, they’re still taking on the cost to get what they do use.
To make up for it, they’re selling their crackers at more expensive prices.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of sugar prices.
9. Advertising Costs
Much like other cookie companies, Ritz has to advertise a great deal.
There’s a lot of competition in the cracker industry.
To keep people buying their crackers, Ritz has to constantly bombard the general public with ads.
If people remember that Ritz crackers exist, they’re less likely to go off and buy another brand of crackers.
Advertising doesn’t come cheap, however.
If Ritz wants to upscale its advertising, it’s going to need enough revenue.
Having higher prices on their crackers allows them to do that.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of advertising costs.
A final, major, reason why Ritz crackers are expensive is inflation.
Inflation causes prices everywhere to go up.
That’s because it makes things more expensive to make or raise.
It all starts at the bottom.
When farmers or suppliers face higher costs, they sell at higher prices.
Manufacturers then have to take on more costs and sell at higher prices.
The problem snowballs further and further until the product reaches the consumer at a high price.
Ritz crackers are expensive because of inflation.
Ritz crackers are tasty crackers that are excellent on their own or as part of a larger dish.
However, problems with labor, wheat supplies, and sugar supplies have made Ritz crackers more expensive.NEXT: Why Is Macaroni And Cheese So Expensive? (10 Reasons)