Why is Saffron Expensive?

Saffron is considered to be the world’s most precious spice. But what is saffron so expensive? How much is premium quality saffron? The main reason behind the price of saffron is its extensive manual labor. The harvesting process is tedious as saffron flowers are extremely sensitive, and they should be gently picked.

The field workers pick saffron flowers and then they are shipped to an assembly line where another team has to examine the handpicked saffron, and once the saffron gets separated based on its quality, the saffron threads then have to be dried. The whole process determines the quality of saffron.

Why is Saffron Expensive?

price of saffron

As mentioned above, saffron has to be harvested by hand, and each saffron flower only produces three red threads that we know as saffron. In addition, Crocus sativus only blooms one week every 12 months, and it must be harvested by hand and during the morning.

Premium quality saffron takes around 1000 flowers just to produce 28 grams of pure saffron that you can buy online or from your local store.

Price of Saffron in 2021

Each year the price of saffron changes, and there are several factors as to why this happens. For instance, since saffron is so sensitive, it can’t be stored for a long time, and they must be packed and distributed as soon as possible. In addition, weather plays a huge role in the production of saffron. As mentioned above, saffron flower only blooms one week every 12 months, and if the weather is bad, it affects the amount of saffron. Also, if the weather is suitable large harvest can cause the price of saffron to drop dramatically.

In 2020, the top importer of saffron was Hong Kong, followed by the UAE and Spain. However, the global pandemic and Covid19 severely impacted the industry. Restaurants and hospitality industries, which are the biggest, weren’t able to use any of the ingredients they purchased or buy premium quality saffron for their customers.

Furthermore, transportation has created its own issues as every country closed its borders due to Covid-19. In some rare cases, national transports only import necessary facilities. Even if some restaurants in small towns could be opened, there are difficulties in importing certain spices, resulting in market depression.

As a result, the price of saffron in 2020 fell to the floor due to Covid-19. However, in 2021, the price of saffron is the lowest; it’s ever been since 1980. Traditional consumers of premium quality saffron like Spain and Italy went into strict lockdowns, and the consumption of saffron and other expensive goods that are of non-necessities have dropped dramatically.

The cost of saffron 2021 is predicted to increase because the borders are starting to be opened and there are a few covid-19 vaccines used around the globe, and fortunately cultivating saffron isn’t a requirement for the use of modern equipment, and it is able to be achieved using manual laborers who adhere to the protocols for covid-19.For 2021, it is our anticipate that the industry will fully recover and suppliers will be able to offer the same level of service as they did prior to the outbreak in 2020.