Why Is Milk So Expensive? (7 Reasons Why)

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Maisie Hughes

Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

Milk is one of the most common household staples that many families purchase. Not only do people find milk to be a great drink to have, but it is also a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

If you are a fan of milk, you may be wondering why milk is so expensive nowadays. I looked up the facts, and here is what I found!

Why Is Milk So Expensive?

One of the biggest reasons milk is expensive is global demand and worldwide inflation. However, other factors like cattle feed, fuel prices, and fertilizer can significantly impact how much milk costs to help companies and farmers make up for their expenses to produce the milk.

Are you curious about how and why milk got to be so expensive? I made a list of more explanations and reasons below, so read on!

1. There Is A Global Increase In Price

Firstly, one of the most notable reasons why milk is expensive is because of how the cost of living is rising throughout the world.

That said, our world is going through vast changes economically, so the prices of many daily goods like milk are going up.

Moreover, the global demand for milk remains high despite the growing popularity of non-dairy milk.

Also, amongst the other reasons milk is expensive now, global demand is a huge factor in current milk prices.

In the past, milk and other dairy products were more common in developed countries.

However, dairy products have grown in popularity in developing countries, contributing to the worldwide demand for milk.

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2. Input Costs

Input costs are a farm’s operating costs necessary for the farm to produce its products.

Therefore, input costs for milk are a huge reason why farmers and manufacturing companies have had to increase the prices of their milk products.

For instance, popular dairy companies in India have had to increase their milk prices to make up for their input costs.

Further, input costs like packaging, cattle feed, and more are some examples of what impacts your milk’s price tag.

3. Fertilizer Prices

Surprisingly, the cost of fertilizer can significantly impact how much milk costs.

That said, new environmental rules dictate what farmers should use to ensure safer products, so most environmental regulations recommend expensive fertilizer.

Also, good fertilizers are important because fertilizer encourages grass to grow, and the grass is a massive part of a cow’s diet.

Further, cows need to graze very frequently, so farmers cannot cut costs on fertilizer if the farmers want to keep the cows healthy.

Therefore, the price of milk will go up as the prices of fertilizer rise.

For example, fertilizers can cost four times more than what they did in the previous year, which can make milk more expensive.

4. Fuel Costs

4. Fuel Costs

Fuel is an essential energy source for many farms because farms rely on fuel to run. Whenever we see a spike in fuel prices, we can expect many goods like milk to become more expensive.

Moreover, fuel is crucial for companies and farmers to ship out their products.

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Generally, fuel will be required for gas to ship the milk to packaging companies, testing facilities, grocery stores, etc.

For instance, the cost of fuel spiked during the Russian and Ukraine conflict.

Not only did this impact gas prices for cars, but it can increase milk prices because the manufacturers and farmers need to make up for the high fuel prices.

5. Labor Costs

As mentioned earlier, the cost of living around the world is rising. When this happens, many countries will seek to improve people’s wages to help workers keep up with these changes.

Naturally, dairy farms require labor workers to function since people need to care for the cows and make sure that manufacturing milk goes smoothly.

Therefore, milk often becomes more expensive when labor costsincrease since farmers and companies need to pay workers fairly.

6. Availability Of Milk

How much milk costs often depends on the milk exporters and where they will be able to bring their milk products.

That said, scarcity is often a significant factor in why any product is expensive, so when there is less milk available, the prices will spike.

For instance, the United States relies heavily on Europe and New Zealand for many dairy products.

So, when the ports in the United States are congested, suppliers from New Zealand and Europe may be hesitant to export products, causing a big demand for milk in the United States.

7. Not All Milk Is Made Equal

Not all milk will be of the same quality or have the same properties. That said, higher quality milk from healthy cows tends to cost more than regular milk.

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For example, Nakazawa milk is Japanese cow milk that costs around $43 for a quart.

Further, Nakazawa milk is said to have higher amounts of melatonin, which can help relieve stress, making Nakazawa milk more expensive than other types of milk.

Besides the melatonin content, how Nakazawa milk is procured impacts the price.

Apparently, the farmers only milk their cows once a week at dawn to achieve higher melatonin levels, along with bottling the milk within six hours to ensure freshness.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Red Bull is so expensive, why matcha is so expensive, and why protein powder is so expensive.


While milk is a household must-have for most people, it may be harder for people to purchase milk nowadays.

That said, milk is quickly becoming more expensive throughout the years for various reasons.

Notably, milk is expensive because there is a global demand along with worldwide inflation.

Moreover, the cost of manufacturing, packaging, delivering, etc., milk has made companies and farmers raise their milk prices.


  • Maisie Hughes

    Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

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