No, the real cost of red saffron, in the Spanish context, is much higher. At around €25/kg for 100 kg (250 lbs), this is the equivalent of £4–6/kg at the UK and €6–9/kg at most European markets.
However saffron is a staple item in many African societies, and the African markets for this spice are booming in Spain. Some believe that the rising trend of saffron-worshipping Spaniards may be behind the surge in imports of saffron-scented products into the country this year.
What are the drawbacks?
Saffron is extremely rare on this side of the world, and it requires a long journey to get here and back, which increases the price even further. The journey is sometimes lengthy – from India to Spain can take up to eight months, and the journey back is much longer.
Furthermore the plant has no natural antioxidant power in its leaves, and there is plenty of controversy about the healthfulness of saffron-scented products.
Do people in Spain use the saffron more than other countries?
Yes. According to Spanish and Indian studies, most people in Spain use the spice less than the Indian and African communities who are more traditional users.
How many kilograms of saffron are you buying in Spain this year?
In 2013 we purchased around 5–10 kg, but this number is expected to increase this year. This means that the Spanish market is likely to reach an estimated 600–700 kg this year.
Why are there different prices in Spain compared to the UK and Germany?
It depends where you are doing the price comparison. The UK is the cheapest (around €12/kg for 100 kg (250 lbs)) compared to Spain €25/kg for 100 kg (250 lbs).
But a German shop is worth twice as much (€40/kg for 100 kg (250 lbs)).
A UK shop can usually be bought for €9–10/kg in Turkey (€12/kg for 100 kg (250 lbs)).
The difference between €13 and €18 is due to VAT in Turkey.
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