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The Story Behind the Rising Cost of Vanilla

bundle of vanilla beans standing upright in glass vase

Vanilla beans are the ripened fruit of the tropical orchid Vanilla planifolia. This is the only orchid in the world that produces an edible fruit. Over the last year, we have seen prices more than double for this culinary favorite.

Where is Vanilla Produced?

The most prominent vanilla producing regions of the world are Mexico, India, and Madagascar, with each having their own challenges with this delicate plant. The majority of vanilla flowers are actually hand-pollinated, which is labor intensive and not always successful. Mexico is the only place on Earth where there is a native bee that is able to pollinate these plants.

Unfortunately, Madagascar has had multiple tropical storms in the last few years that have devastated the vanilla crops, driving prices up. And the plants tended by our organic farmers in India are producing fewer flowers every year.

Rectangular paper package holding a bundle of vanilla beans lying on counter with fabric


How is Mountain Rose Herbs affected?

In order for us to be able to continue offering this product while still maintaining our standards for sustainable sourcing of organic botanicals, we’ve had to significantly increase prices. Our current pricing is based solely on our cost, with no additional mark-up. We are re-evaluating our pricing with each shipment that arrives at our headquarters in Eugene, Oregon for the organic vanilla beans, organic vanilla powder, and organic vanilla absolute that we offer.

We have also reformulated many of our tea blends that contain vanilla as an ingredient in an effort to decrease our use of this botanical and to maintain the affordable tea prices that our customers expect from us. Don't worry, the tea blends are just as delicious as before!

We understand that fluctuating prices are not ideal. We hope that the market will stabilize soon, as we always do our best to offer customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.


did you know that vanilla is the

second most expensive spice after saffron? 

Learn More About These Amazing Beans!



Topics: Herbalism


Written by Christine on July 21, 2017

As Products Manager, Christine Rice has been working with the botanical goodies at Mountain Rose Herbs for over 14 years. With a Certificate in Aromatherapy from The American College of Healthcare Sciences, she works closely with the essential oils and hydrosols that we offer. She connects with the aromatherapy industry through our National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy business membership and contributes on working committees with The American Herbal Products Association. In addition to her love for aromatics and blending essential oils, Christine can be found gardening and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys canning and preserving food, knitting when she has time, and keeps busy with her energetic daughter.

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