French macarons are all the rave nowadays because of the macaron’s pleasant texture and taste and because of the macaron’s incredibly pleasing appearance.
If you have ever purchased macarons as a dessert or a special gift, you know that they are expensive. However, do you know why? I looked into it, and here is what I found!
Why Are Macarons So Expensive?
Macarons are costly because of the ingredients and skills required to make them. Simply the use of almond flour drives up macarons’ cost, which is further amplified by other special ingredients and the skilled bakers who have mastered the art of making macarons. Macarons are marketed as an upscale product and targeted at sophisticated consumers.
If you are curious to learn more about the ingredients and methods used to make macarons and the rich history behind this opulent dessert, keep on reading!
1. Macarons Do Not Use Average Ingredients
Macarons are expensive to make. From flour to filling, macarons require ingredients that are used scarcely in other recipes.
Also, considering the price difference between all-purpose flour and almond flour, this alone will explain why macarons are priced three to five times more than average desserts.
Moreover, the lavishness of macaron shells requires equally luxurious fillings, which is where Ghirardelli’s chocolate ganache and Italian meringue buttercream come in.
Fortunately, these unique ingredients make macarons such a delight to eat, and just one bite can prove why the hefty price tag is worth every penny.
2. Technique Is Paramount In Macaron-Making
Macaron shells are tricky to make. First, you have to deal with the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients before combining both at just the right moment.
Further, sooner or later, the whole batch can go to waste. Then, following this are other steps that must be done correctly, like the “figure eight” test, “dropping,” and resting the batter.
Moreover, skipping or overdoing any step can easily yield subpar macarons that cannot be sold.
On account of this, precision and technique are highly valued in the baking of macarons.
3. Skilled Bakers Are Essential
If you want great macarons, you must pay the fees of the best bakers, and those fees are anything but cheap.
After all, It takes experience to develop the technique and a lot of time and effort to put those techniques to good use.
Even then, some expert pastry chefs can still struggle with creating perfect macarons due to the precise and delicate nature of macaron-making.
4. Macaron-Making Is Time-Consuming
Apart from the time-consuming nature of sifting and mixing ingredients, macarons need to rest at several points in the baking process.
Also, each resting period can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes before and after a macaron is baked.
Finally, the macaron needs to rest for at least 24 hours once the filling is added. In business, time is of the essence, and all these resting periods drive up the cost of macarons.
5. Imperfect Macarons Are Discarded
As mentioned before, even the best pastry chefs can produce a subpar batch of macarons from time to time; given the delicacy of macarons, this cannot be avoided.
When a batch of macarons are discarded, it is not only food that goes to waste but the money that went into making that batch of imperfect macarons possible.
Just like in aging whiskey, this inevitable fact of macaron-making gives the perfect batch of macarons an airy rarity.
6. Macarons Need Secure Storage & Transportation
Unfortunately, losses do not end once the macarons are packed and deemed ready to sell. Further, the macarons are at risk of cracking or breaking during the distribution process.
As such, precautions are taken to ensure that the macarons are in the most secure possible environment during transportation to preserve the macaron’s freshness and shape.
Moreover, extra measures like this can mean special equipment or additional staffing, and all of those cost money that are compensated through profit.
7. Consumers Embrace The Cost
Are macarons likely to become cheaper in the future? In all honesty, no. There are even lesser chances of macaron lovers protesting the current prices of macarons.
Whether consumers know the full extent of macaron-making, it is a globally accepted fact that macarons are expensive, which is one reason people indulge in macarons.
8. Macarons Come In Custom Packaging
While macarons are lovely to look at by themselves, rarely will you find macarons that are not sold in gorgeous boxes and decorated with all kinds of ribbons and embossing.
Therefore, since macarons are not your average dessert, bakeries go the extra mile to make macarons worthy of being enjoyed, whether you are buying for yourself or other people.
Also, whenever desserts like macarons come in custom packaging, expect that the cost for that packaging counts towards the selling price of the macarons.
9. Macarons Have Short Shelf-Lives
Macarons have a short shelf-life. In fact, a fully assembled macaron lasts only a maximum of four days in the fridge before deteriorating.
Additionally, macarons are so fragile that leaving macarons out for a few hours can shorten the shelf-life of macarons for nearly two days, therefore adding to the macaron’s air of rarity.
10. Macarons Have A Rich History
Macarons are known as the food of French and Italian royalty, and the long history attached to macarons impacts the way consumers perceive macarons.
Therefore, while macarons are more widespread today than in previous decades, it does not cancel the fact that consumers are eating the food of royalty.
Additionally, bakeries are unlikely to break that spell by selling macarons at a price that contradicts that notion.
11. Macarons Are Designed For The Upper Classes
Ultimately, macarons are targeted at the upper classes. With this demographic in mind, bakeries are not afraid to invest in the most expensive ingredients.
Rightly so, because as macaron sales prove, people are more than willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a box of macarons that will satisfy their cravings.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on why pizza is so expensive, why scotch is so expensive, and why wedding cakes are so expensive.
Macarons are made to be expensive, from their history and ingredients to their packaging and marketing.
Even the macarons’ colorful and delicate appearance are made to look costly.
Fortunately, macarons often give consumers the value expected for their price, and people worldwide have no trouble embracing macarons for being the upscale product.