Why Is Cheese So Expensive? Top 6 Reasons You Should Know

Cheese is a popular snack, topping, or ingredient from milk. The price of cheese will increase if demand is high, raw material is scarce, or the cost of production is high. Although the milk from cheese is mainly derived from dairy animals, there are other milk sources, especially for plant-based eaters. 

The cost of milk will directly affect the price at which cheese is sold. The demand for milk for cheese and other uses determines the milk available for cheese. Milk insufficiency will lead to a high price, increasing the cheese price. 

Goods or services do not just increase overnight. Some factors are usually responsible for the high prices, and the same goes for cheese. Continue reading this article to find out why cheese is expensive. 

Reasons Why Cheese Are Expensive

The price of cheese has risen, and you are wondering why. The following points will explain why there is an increase in the price of cheese. 

1. The Cost Of Raw Material

The primary raw material used in cheese production is milk. Therefore, the price of milk largely affects the price of cheese. Milk price also depends on a few factors, such as demand, seasons, the cost of mammal feed, and demand. Farmers require a large amount of milk to produce an average size of cheese since it is the primary raw material. 

Milk is mainly obtained from cows, even though it can be obtained from other mammals like goats, buffalos, horses, donkeys, and others. During hot seasons, milk production reduces, leading to a high cost of milk. When the cost of milk is high, the price of cheese will increase. Also, if the demand for milk for other uses is high, the price of milk will increase. 

Furthermore, you should consider the cost of rearing dairy animals. Farmers feed their cows proportionately to be fit for milk production in large quantities. The cost of cow feed and other supplies will determine the cost of milk. Farmers unable to feed their cows for milk production will sell off their cows for consumption, so they will not run at a loss. 

The consumption of dairy animals reduces the numbers available for milk production. Beef and mutton are meats derived from cows and goats. Over time, their consumption has increased, as most families prefer dairy meat to chicken or other protein. The killing of dairy animals for meat leads to insufficient animals for milk production. 

Curfew and holidays can affect the price of milk. When shops do not open, farmers cannot sell their milk for cheese production, resulting in an increased price of cheese. 

2. Demand Of Cheese

The demand for cheese determines the price at which it is sold. Increased demand, with no corresponding supply, will lead to a higher cheese price. When the demand for cheese is high, producers will be pressured to work more. They may have to pay staff overtime to increase productivity. 

Low cheese production due to the unavailability of raw material – milk, with high demand will increase the price of cheese. 

3. Cost Of Production

The high cost of production will lead to increased prices of cheese. Dairy farmers put in the time, resources, and energy to keep their dairy animals healthy for production. After they extract the milk from animals, they sell it to cheese manufacturers to cure, section them into blocks, press, treat, and leave them to ripen.  

The production method also affects the final price. An efficient production process will cost less than an inefficient one. Although large-scale cheese production is more efficient than small-scale, it is more expensive and time-consuming. The time and resources cheesemakers spend in production will affect the price of cheese.

Producing cheese in small batches is an inefficient cheese production method. Small-scale production may not require machines; it will require more production time than large scale.

Cheese goes through a lot of production processes. Cheesemakers must adhere to health standards before continuing with production. Then they can pasteurize it and add other ingredients according to their production system. 

4. Transportation Cost

After production, you must transport the cheese to the sellers to get it to the final consumers. The cost of moving the products to the final consumer will be included in the final price of the commodity. Higher transportation cost implies a high cheese price.

Intermediaries are largely involved in moving the item to the market until it reaches the final consumer. The wholesaler buys at a special price from the cheesemaker, sells it to the retailer at a different price, then the retailer, in turn, sells it to the final consumer at an additional price. All these distribution processes will add to the cheese cost, as the intermediaries must maximize profit. 

5. Special Cheeses

Specially made cheeses are more expensive than regular ones because they are made with special ingredients using different techniques. If any ingredient is not in the region or country, it will be imported. The importation cost of other ingredients will affect the final price of cheese. 

6. Handmade Cheese

Artisans who specialize in making cheese will sell more expensive cheese because it is purely handmade and requires lots of expertise and time. Hand cheesemakers do not use machines but their hands. Every process, testing, and checking is done using hand, and the cheese will be up to standard. 

What Is The Most Expensive Cheese In The World?

There are many expensive kinds of cheese worldwide, but Pule cheese tops them. Pule cheese is costly because it is obtained from a scarce specie of Balkan donkeys. Balkan donkeys are found in Zasavica Nature Reserve in Serbia.

Milk production is low with Balkan Donkeys; a kilogram of Pule cheese requires about 25 liters of their milk. One pound of Pule cheese costs about $600 and can even be up to $1,300 in a free market. Pule cheese is nutritious with a distinctive taste.

Conclusion

Cheese is a common ingredient or topping in foods like macaroni, pizza, salad, fresh onion soup, and many others. The major determinants of the price of cheese are the cost of raw materials, production, and transportation. Prices differ in regions, depending on the demand. 

About The Author

Hi There, I'm Lisa Anderson. I'm a 30-year-old with a passion for cooking, art, and dogs (not always in that order). With a background in both cooking and writing, ShiftyChevre is a collection of my experiences with food, recipes, lifestyle, and other kitchen-related topics.

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