It’s an old argument that saffron is cheaper in Spain. It depends on where you buy it, but saffron is not as cost-effective as most people think. And it seems counter-intuitive.
We often hear that saffron costs less in Spain because of tax breaks like the one that was granted in 2010. Some Spanish critics point to other countries that haven’t granted such tax breaks – like Italy and Brazil, where prices are usually higher. Others think the claim is simply a myth cooked up out of thin air.
The reality is more complicated.
The government grants tax breaks to saffron growers. They can charge higher prices to their saffron buyers, but the price they charge ends up being higher than the original price charged. The higher cost of the crop comes from the tax breaks.
How much does a cup of red saffron cost you in Spain?
A cup of red saffron is 4 pesos, or around $2.50. That price is far lower than the prices of similar products sold on the U.S. market, such as oranges, which cost about $6.50 per fruit, or apples, which are around $3.00 to $4.00.
But saffron is not a good value for the money. You’re paying the same price for each cup you buy – whether that is from Spain or France or India.
The difference comes from the price you pay for an extra product in the grocery store, from the taxes you pay to the government, from the cost of shipping the saffron to your house, from the cost to use a saffron soap to clean your home, from how long it takes to produce a cup of saffron, and from the number of cups of saffron you have to buy to reach your desired price point.
For a saffron consumer in Spain, it doesn’t matter so much whether they shop at local supermarkets. You will eventually need to buy more than one cup of saffron per week just to satisfy your needs.
What is a pound of saffron used to cost in Spain?
Let’s get the question straight.
In general, buying saffron in Spain will require you to buy a pound of the plant to get the full value of the product.
The average customer buys four pounds worth of saffron, so that means
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