Why Are Nuts So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons Explained)

Nuts are one of the typical snacks we enjoy now and then. Besides their flavor, richness, and texture, nuts are packed with nutrients that offer a variety of health benefits. In short, it’s a healthy snack that is enjoyable all the time. Now, you’ll notice that the price of nuts tends to be steep compared to other goods. So, you may ask:

Why are nuts so expensive? In general, nuts are expensive because they produce only a small yield and take a long time to grow. Another reason is that most nuts are imported and are challenging to grow. However, all these factors come with an array of health benefits. Thus, they give an excellent value to nuts.

Since nuts are a popular snack and ingredients in many recipes, it’s something you’ll usually get at grocery stores now and then. However, it will also make you wonder about the high price to consider if it’s worth buying or not.

In this article, you’ll see our in-depth take on nuts, remarkably their price. This way, you can understand the reason behind the steep price and see if it’s worth your money or not. It will also help you decide if you’ll do best to consider other alternatives or stick to nuts.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Why Are Nuts So ExpensivePin

Are nuts expensive?

Some nuts are expensive, while some are not. Thus, it depends on the type of nut you’re getting. However, nuts are generally expensive compared to other goods or snacks.

Why are nuts so expensive?

Here are some of the reasons why nuts are so expensive. You can look below to understand the factors that add up to the steep price of nuts.

Nuts are healthy.

There’s no doubt that the price of nuts has increased since nuts have become known as healthy foods. Nuts have several health benefits, and here are some of them:

One of the most important things about them is that they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Those fats play several vital roles in keeping your body healthy. First, they maintain the membranes surrounding your cells, one of their most important tasks. When the cell’s membrane is unhealthy, it is more susceptible to infection.

In addition, they benefit your heart and brain. Unfortunately, your body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own. You can only get them from the food you eat. Nuts are one way to get them. You can also keep your skin healthy by eating other nuts.

Now that we recognize nuts are healthy, they are in greater demand. More and more people are looking for foods that will improve their health. Therefore, there’s always a great demand for healthier foods, and nuts are no exception.

In addition to the high price of nuts, the demand for nuts is also high. In other words, nuts are expensive because they are healthy.

Nuts are difficult to grow.

The difficulty of growing nuts is another reason nuts are expensive. The nuts of trees grow in specific climates, just like other plants.

The planting area that is recommended for nuts are the areas where it’s hot during summer and only mild during winter. Such an area is the ones near and within the equator. 

In general, the ring circles the globe close to the equator. Unfortunately, most of the area around the equator is covered by water, so there are only a few places for tree nuts to grow.

Other places have tried growing tree nuts, but they thrive in this area if they do grow at all. The reduced production of tree nuts is due to the lack of space to grow them.

Unlike potatoes and corn, they are not widely cultivated. This is because a farmer can only plow so much land.

Due to the rise in popularity of equator residences, this problem is further aggravated. In addition, the climate is tropical and warm. As such, many people would like to live in or vacation there.

In response, developers have increased their purchases of farms from farmers. Developers then demolish tree nut farms, and high-rise buildings are built instead.

As a result, tree nut production has been reduced even further. In addition, nuts are expensive due to their difficulty growing and the valuable area in which they grow.

Nuts produce low yields.

Nut trees produce low yields, which is another factor that drives up the cost of nuts. In addition, some nuts produce only a tiny yield when planted in their preferred climate.

There are parts of the nuts that aren’t even usable. Shells, for example, aren’t always digestible. In other words, you might not be able to use the majority of the nut.

For instance, cashews are toxic to humans. They are particularly toxic in their shells. Thus, manufacturers deshell and roast cashews to sell. The nuts are then safe for human consumption. The rest of the nuts are discarded.

It is tough to find nuts due to their small yields. Since there is a high demand for nuts, the limited supply increases their prices. Because nuts do not yield as much as other crops, they are expensive.

Nuts take long to grow.

The growth of some nuts also takes a long time. The Brazil nut is a good example. Brazil nuts are among the most costly nuts on the market. The reason is that they are challenging to obtain.

In South America, these nuts grow deep in the jungles. To germinate, they need trees around them. Therefore, they only grow in places where human development hasn’t yet occurred.

Moreover, they contain many omega-3 fatty acids and are pretty significant. For the nut to fully develop, it takes about 14 months.

Most sellers have to hire workers to pick Brazil nuts manually because Brazil nut farms are difficult, if not impossible, to manage.

Due to the jungle’s abundance of predators, this is dangerous, but they must also wait until the nut stops growing. The nut must grow for one year before it can be harvested. As a result, Brazil nuts have a limited supply.

Due to the high demand for these rare nuts, their price is high. It takes a long time for nuts like the Brazil nut to grow. As a result, there is a limited supply, which increases its price.

Most nuts are imported.

Nuts grown domestically tend to be cheaper than those imported from abroad. You will notice a big difference if they are imported. Since they use fewer shipping routes to reach your location, you save money on shipping.

The price of imported nuts is higher, however. Nuts have to undergo a lengthy and costly process to reach other countries.

It’s always possible that pathogens, parasites, or pests might have made their way into nuts, so they need to go through a thorough inspection.

It is common for countries to be cautious about allowing certain invasive species into their territories. Nuts and other plants can serve as carriers for these species. 

Usually, manufacturers have to pay higher shipping costs because a lot of care has to be taken when shipping products. In addition, the nuts must reach their destination intact. Nuts that are crushed up don’t appeal to anyone.

Manufacturers have to pay more to ship nuts, so you can bet that those selling these nuts will mark them up to cover those costs. As a result, domestic nuts are cheaper than imported nuts.

How much do nuts cost?

The cost depends on the type of nuts you buy. For instance, you can find affordable nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios for less than one dollar to three dollars. However, you can get nuts as expensive as $25 or more, like pine nuts and macadamia nuts.

Are nuts worth the money?

Yes, nuts are worth the money. However, it will depend on why you want to buy nuts and the type of nut you’re getting. For example, Macadamia and Brazil nuts are probably the most expensive. Peanuts, on the other hand, are relatively cheap.

Nuts are nutrient and calorie-dense, so you do not have to consume much. Therefore, the entire package you purchase should last for a few weeks. As a result, whatever the cost is won’t be a weekly expense.

Nuts also add texture and variety to our meals, contributing to our overall satiety. In addition, nuts can drastically alter a dish. As a healthy snack, nuts can also be taken on the go without refrigeration and are quick to eat.

The answer to what you’re asking depends on how you approach it. For example, Macadamia nuts cost $16.00 for a small jar, but peanuts or almonds cost the same for a considerable container.

Many people enjoy nuts, and it’s famous for many reasons. For instance, nuts are tasty and flavorful, and it has a great texture. Further, they are convenient because you can enjoy them in several ways.

Another thing is that many people who follow different kinds of diets can eat nuts. For instance, people on a keto and vegan diet can eat nuts. 

Thus, despite having high amounts of fat, it’s something enjoyable due to its health benefits and all the nutrients it offers.

What is the most expensive nut?

The most expensive nuts are macadamia nuts and pine nuts. Macadamia nuts are usually more expensive at $25 per pound, while pine nuts are $23 per pound. However, some pine nuts are even higher than $25 per pound. Thus, these two are the priciest nuts you can find around.

Which nut is the cheapest?

Hazelnuts and peanuts are the cheapest types of nuts. You can find these nuts and enjoy a pound for less than a dollar or two.

Ranking of nuts by price

Here’s a ranking of nuts, from the most expensive to the most affordable ones. You can look below to see which ones are your expensive and affordable options.

Macadamia Nuts – $25 per lb

Pine Nuts – $23 per lb

Almonds – $14 per lb

Chestnuts – $11 per lb

Cashews – $9 per lb

Walnuts – $8.5 per lb

Brazil Nuts – $7 per lb

Pecans – $7 per lb

Pistachios – $3 per pound

Hazelnuts – less than $1 per pound


In a nutshell, the price of nuts is so high because they are small and take so long to grow. Another reason is that most nuts come from abroad and are challenging to grow. In addition to these factors, health benefits also affect the price. Therefore, nuts have a good value.

Considering nuts are popular snacks and ingredients in many recipes, you can usually find them at your local grocery store. However, you will also wonder if it’s worth purchasing due to the high price. We hope this article helped you understand a bit more about the prices of nuts and helped you learn about their value.


Image credits – Canva

You May Also Like