The Shocking Price Range of Spices

It seems to me that very few things in this world range in price as much as spices do. Yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy some fennel seeds because I am planning to make my own sausage in the near future. (Stay tuned for a blog post on that.) I walked down the spice aisle of my store and compared prices.
There were about three different brands of fennel seeds to choose from. A typical 1.8 oz bottle ranged from $4.89-$5.99. That’s $43.50-$53 a pound for fennel seeds.
Reluctantly, I took the cheapest bottle off the shelf and wandered over to bulk foods. This particular store also has bulk spices as well as cheaper spices in the Mexican food section. The Mexican food section didn’t have fennel seeds but the bulk food did. It cost $10 a pound, or $.63/oz. That means the same 1.8 oz of fennel seeds cost $1.13.
So, simply by walking to a different section of my store, I saved $3.76 for the same thing. And while that’s good, it still doesn’t explain to me why the spice companies are charging so much for fennel seeds in the first place.

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  1. Pingback: Savvy Housekeeping » Bulk Is Not Always Cheaper

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