Why Is Vegan Food So Expensive? (& How To Eat Cheap)

When walking into a vegan section of a grocery store or to a vegan restaurant, you will see an increase of all the regular products most people use where the vegan versions are way more expensive than the ones most people are used to.

It would be a wonder if the question why wouldn’t come to the surface and that precisely is the topic of this article and I will do my best to help you understand what are the reasons behind that in addition to many other aspects of vegan food and diet. But before we go into the additional parts of the question, we need to understand why is vegan food so expensive?

There are many reasons why vegan food is so expensive (Why Is Brunch Expensive?) such as supply and demand, big companies supporting animal products, certain expensive ingredients such as avocados, and trend reasons. These all combined will make vegan food as expensive as it is today.

The reasons above are some major ones and individually they won’t make vegan food so expensive as it is but when all the factors are combined that will result in such high prices we see today.

Before moving on, let’s review each of the reasons more in-depth way so we can understand them individually, which will make it so much easier to see the bigger picture about why vegan food costs so much. Let’s get to it.

Why Is Vegan Food So Expensive

There are 4 main factors that affect the cost of certain vegan foods that are highly popular, however, there are cheap ones but we will get to them later. Now, let’s see what supply and demand have to do with the price.

Supply and demand

One of the main reasons why vegan food is so pricey is supply and demand. What that means, in this case, is that vegan the demand for vegan food isn’t that high in terms of the percentage of people that it would be highly beneficial to mass product vegan foods which will understandably raise the prices. There are approximately 9.7 million vegans in the United States, which counts only between 1 – 2% of the total population.

When only 1-2% of the country’s population needs specific foods, it isn’t as profitable and cheap to make them when compared to the 98% that needs milk every day.

Animal products are heavily supported

The next big thing is that there is SO MUCH money in the animal product and food industry that no company will release the ropes on their production in order for vegan foods to get more space, therefore that alone will keep the prices up.

However, people are becoming more acknowledged of the environment and overfishing that have been rising the cost of seafood in recent years among other things. This doesn’t change the fact that huge companies that rely on animal-based products will keep a tight hold on the business which keeps the demand for vegan food low, hence high prices.

Ingredient cost

There are some vegan foods that are actually expensive regardless of the other factors on this list. These include the all mighty avocados and peanuts for example that just aren’t cheap due to the ”rarity” and supply.


The last but lot least reason for the expensiveness of vegan food is the high trend around it. It is highly trendy to be vegan these days and the vegan food companies and manufacturers are very well avare of that which will allow them to keep the prices high on certain food products.

In most cases, a person that is a vegan mainly because of a trend aren’t so familiar with the actual vegan food that is extremely cheap for all, but they try to replace their omnivore diet with various meat substitutes, cheese replacements, and other highly expensive products.

Believe it or not, a vegan diet can be inexpensive which will be the next topic of this article, let’s see how does that happen!

Is it more expensive to be a vegan

Vegan food can be more expensive than other diets, or it can be cheaper as well. This varies greatly between people and what they choose to buy.

If the person purchases mainly meat substitutes, avocados, nuts, and other omnivore diet replicas then yes, it will break your bank there is no question there.

However, if you are an okay chef yourself and you buy lentils, potatoes, pasta, rice, beans, vegetables, bread, and you name it, it will most certainly be more cost-efficient than other diets out there.

And don’t take only my word on it, in fact, a recent study from the sousvideguy.com shows that the average cost for one meal is $6 for the person that eats meat whereas one meal costs $5 for the person that doesn’t eat meat. Therefore this results in a $23 average saving per week which is nearly $100 saved per month. In a conclusion, it certainly isn’t more expensive to be vegan and you can even save money as one.

Why is vegan cheese so expensive

Vegan cheese is so expensive because there aren’t high demands for it, therefore the manufacturers can price them more how they please. In addition, there aren’t so many vegan cheese companies that will give the companies even more free hands to set the price.

How can I eat vegan for cheap

In order to eat vegan with low-cost, you need to know what products aren’t expensive and you need to look past the meat substitutes. Dive more into the actual vegetables, beans, fruits, carbohydrates, and healthy fats and you will quickly see how cheap it really can be!

Cheap vegan ingredients

Besides the popular belief that vegan food is so expensive, I’m in a quest to prove them wrong and I have listed many ingredients that a vegan person can eat, with a LOW COST! Enjoy!


  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Chickpeas


  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potato
  • Bread
  • Egg-free noodles
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits


  • Olive oil
  • Certain nuts
  • Avocado in certain areas
  • Coconut cream
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Certain seeds (Chia for example)

It’s important to monitor the seasonal products because a bell pepper or a tomato can be extremely cheap in the summer but the price in the winter can bounce high. But in general, all the products above are quite cheap and you can construct fully nutritional and filling meals from them.

Lastly, it is extremely important that vegans get enough B12 vitamin these days because it is found mainly in animal products because our vegetables, fruits, and anything that comes off the ground is washed so well, that the B12 that is found originally in our soil, aren’t reaching the vegans anymore.


This article was all about vegan food and I sincerely hope that it was valuable for you and that you got some information that wasn’t already known to you. Vegan food definitely can be expensive but if you look a little more into it, you will quickly notice that it actually is cheaper than any other diet, besides eating rocks from the beach!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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