While there’s no shortage of uses for standard white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is just as popular.
Made from fermented apples, apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in salad dressings and marinades.
If you love to buy apple cider vinegar, then you may be surprised by its expensive price.
You may wonder what it is about apple cider vinegar that makes it so expensive.
Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of apple cider vinegar is around $5.
However, you can also find bottles priced at $15 and more.
Certain factors like the manufacturing process, problems associated with growing apples, and inflation can make apple cider vinegar more expensive.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Long Fermentation Process
Making apple cider vinegar can take some time.
While you can sometimes make it in a week, it’s not always going to be the best quality.
As such, you’ll often find that high-quality apple cider vinegar ends up fermenting for several months.
At the very least, it may take six weeks to ferment to make a decent vinegar.
The longer the vinegar ferments, the stronger it is.
As such, some companies may let their apple cider vinegar solutions ferment for several months.
While this results in an incredible product, it also means that the company spends lots of time waiting around for it to be ready.
In the business world, time is money.
When they are waiting to sell their product, the company isn’t making any money.
Once they’ve created an efficient fermenting process, they will likely begin to make money faster.
Even though it takes a long time to make vinegar, companies still have to pay employees and other costs in the meantime.
To ensure they’re able to cover regular costs, they have to sell their product at a more expensive price.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because of how long it takes to make.
2. Organic Apples
Like with other types of products, you can have different variations of apple cider vinegar as well.
One type is organic apple cider vinegar.
This type of vinegar uses organic apples.
The main difference between organic apples and non-organic apples is that organic apples aren’t exposed to synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Instead, farmers rely on natural means of fertilizing their orchards and keeping them protected from insects and disease.
These methods tend to be more expensive than synthetic methods.
As a result, organic farmers sell their organic products at higher prices.
When apple cider vinegar companies buy the more expensive organic apples, they take on more costs, too.
To cover their costs, they have to sell their organic apple cider vinegar products at higher prices.
In return, customers can enjoy natural apple cider vinegar without worrying about synthetic pesticides or fertilizers lurking within it.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive when it uses organic apples.
Some people prefer to use apple cider vinegar because it’s a healthier type of vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar, as its name might suggest, uses apples.
To make this type of vinegar, apples ferment in a brine solution to produce a strong vinegar.
Because apples contain healthy nutrients, the belief is that apple cider vinegar also offers those nutrients.
Some people will use apple cider vinegar as a dressing for their salad, for example.
Others might use it as a means of weight loss.
Some even use it to clean and kill bacteria.
Since it’s deemed healthy, that also impacts its price.
Healthier things tend to cost more money.
Part of that comes down to a belief that if something is healthy, then it usually isn’t always cheap.
There’s an expectation for a healthy product to have a more expensive price tag.
That allows apple cider vinegar companies to put a higher price tag on their products.
They know that those who have an interest in eating something a bit healthier than standard salad dressings will buy their product.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because it’s considered healthy.
4. Labor Costs
Labor costs associated with making apple cider vinegar are another reason it’s expensive.
There are several steps involved in making apple cider vinegar.
It all starts in an orchard.
To make apple cider vinegar, companies first need to get their hands on apples.
In an apple orchard, farmers and their workers must maintain and grow apple trees.
If anything affects the trees, then they need to fix the problem.
When it comes to harvesting, there’s also a good deal of labor involved.
Even if the farm uses machines, there are still workers who must sort through the apples.
Those workers need payment.
That cost adds to the farmer’s expenses which are then reflected in the price of the apples.
Apple cider vinegar companies pay that cost, then start using the apples to make their vinegar.
That means their employees put the apples in vats and supervise the fermenting process.
Because bacteria can sometimes get into the vats, it’s essential that the employees are properly trained.
Otherwise, the company could lose quite a bit of money on moldy vinegar.
Because apple cider vinegar also takes a while to make, companies must pay their employees long before they’re able to sell their products and cover their expenses.
To ensure the company is able to cover its labor costs, it sells its apple cider vinegar at high price points.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because the process to make it is involved and thus, the labor costs are high.
5. Fertilizer Costs
Problems affecting apples can also impact the price of apple cider vinegar.
One of those problems is fertilizer costs.
Fertilizer is an essential part of farming.
It helps feed the soil which helps feed the crops.
Because farmers can only sell apples that meet a certain standard for human consumption, meeting those standards is important.
Fertilizer helps them meet those standards.
The problem with fertilizer is that it’s faced some recent problems regarding its production.
To make fertilizer, companies need ammonia or nitrogen.
A lot of plants in China, which is a big fertilizer producer, have faced shutdowns due to COVID-19.
Some have also been permanently closed because of China’s focus on green technology.
Plants that were unable to meet their goals were no longer able to continue doing business.
This means that there’s a shortage of ammonia.
With a shortage of ammonia, fertilizer companies have nothing to make fertilizer with.
The lack of fertilizer supply means that fertilizer prices are soaring.
Farmers have to pay a lot of money to get their hands on what little fertilizer remains.
Since they’re taking on more costs, they’re selling their products at higher prices.
Apple cider vinegar companies are, as a result, paying more for apples, so they need to make up for those added costs somehow.
The solution is that apple cider vinegar becomes more expensive.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because of high fertilizer prices.
Inflation has certainly influenced the price of apple cider vinegar as well.
Inflation causes the price of practically everything to rise.
When farmers experience higher costs, they will need to sell their crops at higher prices to cover those costs.
Apple cider vinegar companies facing higher costs also have to sell their products at higher prices.
It isn’t just higher prices on ingredients, either.
Energy costs are higher.
The company has to pay more just to keep its electricity on.
Rental prices are higher as well.
Whether the company rents its factory space or pays a mortgage on a property, they’re likely facing higher interest rates.
Then there are transport costs.
As inflation hits fuel prices, apple cider companies have to pay more to ship their products to the store, too.
All these increased costs require the company to raise their prices in order to cover them.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive when inflation is high.
7. Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures have also been impacting apple farmers.
Apples tend to be a fall crop.
The problem with the fall is that the weather can be quite unstable.
One moment it might be extremely hot, and the next it might be snowing.
As such, it can be difficult for farmers to know when they need to harvest and when they can leave their apples on the tree to grow a bit larger.
Climate change has made temperatures even more extreme and erratic.
Farmers who were once used to having a certain amount of time to harvest are suddenly finding themselves with shorter harvest periods.
Some have had to leave the apples on the trees because an extreme bout of heat caused them to rot.
Others lose apples when the temperatures drop suddenly, and the tree drops the apples to the ground.
Since it’s difficult to find a solution for extreme temperatures, apple farmers can only sell the apples they were able to harvest at higher prices.
Because they have to pay more to acquire their apples, apple cider vinegar companies then charge higher prices for their products.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because sometimes extreme temperatures tamper with harvests.
When extreme temperatures aren’t affecting the growth of apples, drought often is.
Drought typically occurs during hot summer months.
If there isn’t enough rainfall to counteract high temperatures, then apple trees can experience some level of stress.
Apple trees need constant maintenance and care to ensure they’re healthy enough to grow apples.
If a drought occurs, apples can be impacted.
The apples might rot rapidly or they might not sprout at all.
The tree might even die if it doesn’t receive enough water.
Drought has impacted many farmers and reduced their yields.
Farmers have to sell what yields they have at higher prices.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because of droughts that can impact apple yields.
9. Apple Diseases
Apples are also no strangers to diseases.
There are several types of rot that can affect an apple tree.
Sometimes the rot harms the apples, and other types target the tree.
Both can have devastating effects on a farmer’s yield.
Some diseases are also infectious.
A farmer might lose a good portion of their apple trees before they can get a handle on the problem.
Since it impacts how many apples they have to sell, the farmers have to sell what they do have at higher prices.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive when apples are exposed to diseases.
10. High Demand For Apples
A final reason apple cider vinegar is expensive is that there’s a lot of demand for apples.
Apples are great snacks on their own.
They’re also ingredients in certain baked goods and are used in other dishes.
Since people buy apples, it means apple cider vinegar companies are competing with consumers for access to apples.
If anything happens to the supply of apples on the market, then the high demand for apples makes them even more expensive to purchase.
Apple cider vinegar is expensive because of the high demand for apples.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular dressing for salad and has other uses, such as for cleaning.
Because it is made from apples, problems associated with growing apples can make apple cider vinegar quite expensive.