Why Does Organic Almond Butter Cost $18?

I spent $18 on organic almond butter. It wasn’t on purpose. Co-ops, like farmers markets, bring out the reckless shopper in me. I see lots of awesome food. I buy lots of awesome food. And, well, I just forgot to check the price.

At the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op register I thought my total was a bit high, but I picked up quite a few items, and as I don’t frequent the co-op that much, I didn’t think much of it.

I adored that almond butter, both dressing up my oatmeal and slipping it right into my mouth with a spoon. Then I checked the receipt and HOLY SHIT. A 16oz jar of Woodstock Farms’ Organic Almond Butter, crunchy, unsalted cost $18. I thought it was a misprint. I called the store, thinking it may have been $8.

But no. That thing is 18 bucks. I tried to get ahold of someone at the company to find out why this particular nut butter cost so much, but I never got a hold of anyone. Are almonds difficult to grow or pick or process? Is it that much more difficult to grow organic versus conventional almonds? Are almonds that much more valued?

Please, please, please tell me. Why does this particular nut butter cost so much fucking money?

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  • Taylor September 2, 2011  

    My town grows almonds like crazy. It is the primary crop in this area. They grow on trees in orchards. When they are ready for processing, we take machines that shake the tree and drop the nuts to the ground. Then we sweep the rows to gather the nuts. They are then hulled in a processing plant. That’s pretty much it.

    I’m sure that your almond butter is expensive because the co-op marked it up a lot. The online price is $11 (more than I would spend on almond butter, but at least a little more realistic).

  • Nick (Macheesmo) September 2, 2011  

    Dude… tell me about it. That’s extreme.

    I have a feeling they are capitalizing on the organic craze…

    Anyway, similar story. I was looking for a fun flour for a dish recently and through a bag of quinoa flour in my basket. Check-out time comes and that small thing of flour was $11.

    That’s obscene considering you can buy quinoa for like $3/pound.

    Same thing for almonds… just buy them whole and process them in a food processor. Probably cut your costs by 75%.

  • naomi September 2, 2011  

    Whaaat? That’s insane, Gansie. Return it.

    Buy a bottle of whiskey, some peanuts, throw it all in a blender and make some Whiskey Peanut Butter.

    I know-I’m totally helpful, arent’ I?

  • naomi September 2, 2011  

    wait….. sorry I meant buy almonds, not peanuts-although you can do both!

  • BS September 2, 2011  

    ummmmmmm. I am about to make whiskey peanut butter every day for the rest of my life

  • erica September 6, 2011  

    whiskey peanut butter?

  • skier March 16, 2012  

    The same jar cost $20 in VT. Same thing, I thought it was a misprint because we had bought a similar jar 2 weeks before. Turns out we had bout the ALL NATURAL almond butter for $9.67, but this time we had bout the ORGANIC almond butter for $19.67. Easy mistake, right? But not a forgivable one.

  • Laura Cooskey December 17, 2012  

    Looks like a business to get into. I heard a radio news story recently about almond farmers getting less than $2 a lb. for their fresh, raw almonds… yet, i can’t find a pure almond butter (no thanks on the added ingredients, other than salt) for less than $10 ($15 for organic) at my local grocery. It’s frickin’ insane.
    I love almond butter so much though, that i will look into grinding my own. Some stores have a grinder, but i have to make sure it’s not dedicated to peanuts only. I would hope you could buy the nuts there, pay the bulk nut price, and grind away.

  • Josh December 17, 2012  

    Hey guys,

    To grow organically is way more expensive. Conventional production has twice the yield of organic production and to be certified organic is requires organic weed management, pest management and fertilizer. All these things require more time and money. Check out this article: http://oafw.homestead.com/OAFW/January_2011_files/garygliddenjan11.pdf


  • Mike December 31, 2012  

    For the OP of this blog, I feel your pain. Having children who are allergic to peanuts, we are forced to buy items such as this at super markets o co-ops. One local co-op, here in Chicago, was charging $26.50 for a 12 oz jar or organic unsalted almond butter. I fail to see how grocery stores and co-ops can get away with such robbery! Especially when parents of peanut allergy prone children must buy/find alternatives. For what it’s worth, a customer should not be paying over $7 for any jar of almond butter, organic or otherwise. Especially since our local Trader Joe’s sells both organic unsalted & organic salted almond butter for $6 per 16oz jar. Like I said, there is no reason–besides corporate greed–that a grocery story or even co-op should get away with charging more $26 for just 1 jar. They are taking terrible advantage of us parents who have children with peanut allergies.

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