Unit pricing: I suspect this is the most expensive product in the supermarket

I suspect this is the most expensive product in the supermarket, per gram.

Saffron. $1212 per 10g

$1212 per 10 grams makes it $121,200 per kilogram.

Whereas the imitation stuff is one twelve-hundredth the price.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

14 replies on “Unit pricing: I suspect this is the most expensive product in the supermarket”

Heh, wow. Mathematically correct, but I doubt it fits the characteristic of Relevance. Who buys 10 grams of saffron anyway?

it would have to be up there … Wikipedia says this: “A pound (454 grams) of dry saffron requires 50,000–75,000 flowers, the equivalent of a football field’s area of cultivation (110,000-170,000 flowers or two football fields for a kilogram). Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound (US$1,100–11,000/kg)—equivalent to £2,500/€3,500 per pound or £5,500/€7,500 per kilogram. The price in Canada recently rose to CAN$18,000 per kilogram. In Western countries, the average retail price is $1,000/£500/€700 per pound (US$2,200/£1,100/€1,550 per kilogram). A pound comprises between 70,000 and 200,000 threads. Vivid crimson colouring, slight moistness, elasticity, and lack of broken-off thread debris are all traits of fresh saffron.”

It is quite expensive but a little goes a long way. A few threads will color a pot of rice and impart a nice flavor. It is what gives Spanish paella it’s nice yellow color and flavor (if it wasn’t colored with cheaper annatto instead).

I always use turmeric in dishes that just call for the coloring, as saffron is and always has been unaffordable.

You can grow your own. The outlay for the Saffron bulbs is high (~ $20 for 3 bulbs) but they are low maintenance and in a couple of years, they will multiple and you can divide up the bulbs to collect more stamens from the flowers.

Jed is right, Saffron is expensive, but you don’t need much. It’s also usually about half the price from smaller, indian grocery stores and the like.

Big discrepancy between supermarket prices snapped by Daniel and the prices listed by Malcolm in Wikipedia – what kind of mark up are Australian retailers using?

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