There are several key factors that influence the cost of wheat free foods. The foods in question are simply those that don’t contain wheat, in any form, as an ingredient. There are several categories of people who show interest in these foods. Among those are people who have the condition known as ‘wheat intolerance.’ Another category of people who show interest in these foods is that of folks who have a disease known as celiac. We also have folks who, for personal reasons, don’t like consuming wheat — even though they may not have been diagnosed with either wheat intolerance or celiac. All these categories of people tend to show keenness on buying and consuming foods that don’t contain wheat (or even traces of it). And as they shop for such foods, they tend to discover that the prices of the foods in question, which don’t contain wheat, vary considerably. That leads to curiosity, as to what exactly influences the cost of these foods. To satisfy that curiosity, we now proceed to examine the key factors that influence the cost of the foods that don’t contain wheat.
Firstly, the cost of wheat free foods is greatly influenced by the nature of ingredients that go into the foods. Some of these turn out to be foods based on corn. Others turn out to be rice-based foods. Others still turn out to be based on ‘roots’ such as cassava and sweet potatoes. Now you come to learn that these things cost different sums of money. In some places, for instance, cassava costs more than corn. In many other places, rice costs more than corn. These cost differentials end up having impacts on the ultimate costs of food products derived from the various sources. There is also an issue of availability. It is noteworthy, for instance, that in some places, rice has to be imported, whereas corn can be obtained locally. In such places, rice tends to be costlier than the locally available corn.
Secondly, the cost of wheat free foods is influenced by the level of processing and other forms of ‘value addition’ done on the foods. Highly processed foods will tend to cost more than unprocessed foods: notwithstanding the fact that the unprocessed foods actually tend to be healthier. The highly processed foods tend to be more ‘delicious’ and more convenient to consume, hence their higher prices. Still in terms of value addition, we have things like packaging – where beautifully packaged foods will tend to cost more than those that are packaged in unimpressive ways. This is in spite of the fact that, in the final analysis, the packaging (by itself) doesn’t really add value to the consumer of the foods.
Thirdly, the cost of wheat free foods is influenced by supply and demand forces. This is a scenario where the prices of the wheat-free foods whose demand is higher than supply tend to be higher than the prices of foods whose supply is greater than demand. To be sure, this phenomenon is not unique to the foods that don’t contain wheat: as the prices of almost all types of foods in the market are influenced by these demand and supply forces.