If you’re new to the world of microgreens, there should be one question that constantly comes up every time you a look at these under-ripe greens.
Why are microgreens so expensive?
Microgreens are priced much higher for several reasons. They are extremely rich in nutrients which makes them the king of the greens universe. Endorsements from celebrity chefs have also played a good part in the steep pricing of these crunchy micro veggie treats. Moreover, trendy foods have always come with a premium price tag attached to them and microgreens are no exceptions.
Should you stay away from microgreens just because they are expensive? Of course not. Even though microgreens are expensive, they do come with their fair share of benefits.
We will touch on the different reasons for the expensive price tag and let you decide if you should spend your money on these crunchy, delicious, and nutrient-rich greens.
Why Are Microgreens So Expensive?
We have established that microgreens are expensive but how much are they?
On average (spread across different varieties), a pound of microgreens would cost us between $25 and $40.
The following are some of the reasons why these under-developed greens bear such a premium price tag.
Demand And Supply
Microgreens are not the most popular greens on the market. Though this might not look like a big deal, its economics plays a big role in determining the final price of the product.
We can say that microgreens were introduced to the people with the help of some celebrity chefs 20 years ago.
Though it looks like a long time when compared with regular vegetables, microgreens are still in the infant stage.
Right now, we can call microgreens a niche product as not all the consumers are interested in it. A certain section of the entire vegetarian consumer is passionate about it, but that is not enough to bring down the prices.
Thanks to this low demand, the number of microgreen producers is also quite less. This, in turn, leads to less manufacturing, and as a result, you have some premium-priced microgreens on the market shelves.
We mentioned above that the microgreens made into the market 20 years ago.
Even if they did, they did not attract the crowd immediately.
They were mostly used in high-end restaurants as garnished and that was their only use case for a long time. It was only a few years ago that people got personally interested in these cotyledon plants.
The traction microgreens got is not even a fraction of what vegetables and fruits have right now. We can confidently say that microgreens account for less than a few percentages of the total vegetarian consumption.
The premium price of the microgreens is because of the fact that microgreens are still in the introduction stage of a product’s lifecycle. The introduction stage is characterized by fewer sales numbers, higher cost, first moving customers, and fewer producers. Microgreens are still in this stage.
Following the introduction stage is the growth stage where sales increase slowly driving down the cost of the product. This stage also brings more consumers to the product increasing the overall adoption. We can say that microgreens still haven’t reached this stage.
The next stage is the maturity stage where you will see excellent sales numbers and the lowest cost per customer. Adoption for the product is more and competitors are there is every other street. Most vegetables we use regularly are in this stage.
Since microgreens are not that mainstream and still in the introduction stage, the number of people producing them is not going to go up any time soon keeping the price point at a pretty high level.
Rich In Nutrients
Let’s say you are new to the world of microgreens, and a microgreen veteran says that the average microgreen carries from 5 to 40 times more nutrients when compared with its fully grown plant.
Would you believe it? You probably would be skeptical, but that is pretty much the truth when it comes to microgreens.
We are used to knowing what each vegetable has when it comes to nutrients. What’s in that carrot? We know a fair bit. What’s in that beet? You know that. How about those potatoes? You know what you’re getting.
Even with regular vegetables, you will see that a certain section of vegetables will be more expensive than others. Usually, the more expensive ones will have a high quantity of fiber, vitamins, protein, and minerals. The cheap veggies are the ones that are rich in carbs and empty calories.
One of the mains reasons why microgreens are so expensive is because of the sheer amount of nutrients in them.
The amount of nutrients in microgreens can vary from 2 to 40 times the nutrients you will find in the fully grown plant.
If you consume a cup of cilantro or radish microgreens, you will get 40 times higher levels of the vital nutrients present in their fully-grown counterparts. Red cabbage microgreens contain 260 times more beta carotene when compared to its mature counterparts.
The fact that you can get high levels of nutrients in these microgreens makes them a target for premium pricing. Combine it with fewer producers and fewer consumers, you have the perfect price recipe for a super-expensive product.
We have already discussed the low adoption rates for microgreens in the market. Thanks to that, you can’t find them in major supermarket outlets.
They are predominantly stored in specialized stores where the cost of products is usually expensive when compared to your discount supermarkets.
You will start seeing microgreens in regular supermarkets when the demand for them goes up. When that happens, we can be sure that their price will come down as well.
We need microgreens to enter the maturity stage of the product life cycle. Only then, we can get this nutrient microgreens at a price that all of us can afford. Till then, you will find them in specialized locations at a premium price.
Here are some reasons that justify the high pricing of the microgreens.
Small Quantity Is Enough
You don’t need to get microgreens in the same quantity as your regular vegetables.
If you buy pounds of a vegetable, then getting ounces of that vegetable’s microgreen should be more than enough.
The average price per pound of a microgreen is around $25 to $40. But you don’t have to get a pound all the time. When you calculate the price for a few ounces, you will find it more affordable.
If you have problems in feeding your kids greens, then microgreens are a solid alternative. You can use them as garnishes on top of a steak or other meats, sprinkle them in salads, and much more.
As they don’t have to consume a big quantity, they will get more nutrients from a handful of microgreens which is great if you’re a parent.
Even though you are paying a premium price for microgreens, you should also acknowledge the fact that you are getting nutrients that are many folds higher when compared with their mature counterparts.
If you are paying $4 for getting 50gms of Vitamin C, paying $10 for 200gms of Vitamin C isn’t such a bad idea (only for illustrative purpose). We can apply the same comparison for other nutrients like Protein, Vitamins, Fiber, and other nutrients as well and every time you can find that microgreens will give you a better price for the amount of nutrients you get.
The Luxury Aspect
The way we eat vegetable and microgreens are different.
Microgreens were first introduced in restaurants giving it a more luxe feel to it. This was one of the main reasons for its premium price.
Also, most consumers of microgreens use them as garnishes and toppings while some of them prefer microgreens in smoothies and even protein shakes.
You can expect the price to go down when people start using microgreens more of the main ingredient rather than as a simple garnishing element.