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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: Herbal Education


Written by Christine on July 21, 2017

Christine, Products Manager and Certified Aromatherapist, is super knowledgeable about all our products after having spent more than a decade at Mountain Rose Herbs. When she isn’t overseeing our line of thousands of sustainable offerings, she can be found gardening, running around with her energetic daughter, canning and preserving food, homebrewing, and spending time outdoors.