Juicing remains a popular trend. As consumers search for quick ways to improve their diet, new juice bars continue to appear. For people who don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables, fresh juice offers a variety of vitamins and minerals that will make them feel better. Although drinking juice derived from fruit or vegetables is a healthy option, we need to ask, is juicing expensive?
Juice Bars are Reluctant to Reveal the True Costs of Their Products
The true cost of these juice drinks, however, can be obscured. Juice bars offer an intangible sense of connection to the earth, healthy living, and even social status. Most locations are located in beautiful parts of town, near parks or bike trails. It can be challenging for people new to juicing to separate the real financial costs from the intangible cost of feeling better.
While juice bar owners are eager to promote their products as a health-positive lifestyle choice, it is essential to remember that they are still businesses. Juice bar locations need customers willing to pay for the drinks regularly to survive and grow. Those drinks must outweigh the costs of producing them in terms of ingredients and labor if a profit is to be made and sustained. That’s why most juice bar owners will be reluctant to reveal the actual costs of their products.
Food Cost Basics
To figure out the cost of a juice, we must first understand some basics about food costing. When businesses buy ingredients from their suppliers, they need to keep the average cost under 34% of the menu price. This is to ensure that they have enough margin for their desired profit. This means that for every $100 in sales, they are expected to have approximately $34 in food costs. Some juice bars strive to keep their food costs closer to 25%. For example, a juice bar that offers a 16 oz drink for $10 is expected to have a production cost of approximately $2.50 for the glass, including fruit pulp and other ingredientsUnderstandingg food costs will make it easier to figure out how much it costs to juice.
What is the Cost of Making Juice at Home?
Let’s look at a home juicing scenario. If you buy your fruit and vegetables without paying the additional markup charged by expensive grocery stores, the cost of making a 16-oz juice at home is less expensive than buying one at a juice bar. For example, if you buy the following ingredients:
- Two tbsp fresh ginger $0.5
- Two cucumbers $2.00
- A bunch of kale $2.00
- Two lemons $1.00
- Six whole carrots $1.00
The ingredients above will cost a total of $6.50 and will produce approximately two helpings 16-oz of juice. Therefore this brings the cost of 16-oz of juice to $3.25, depending, of course, on your desired pulp content. If you were to buy this juice at a juice bar, assuming that the production cost is 25% of the menu price, then the 16-oz of juice you prepared at the cost of $3.25 at home should cost $13. It’s easy to see how you could be paying up to 3-times as much for a juice by going through a juice bar. This scenario also does not consider the cost of the equipment necessary to juice at home versus a commercial-grade juicer.
What are the Best Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Homemade Juice?
To get the maximum benefit from the juice, you make at home; the trick is to combine ingredients that will deliver many health benefits to each glass while not being too expensive. For example, kale is quite nutritious, but a bunch will give you only a few ounces of juice. On the other hand, cucumber yields a lot of juice but doesn’t offer as much nutritional value. So, to make the most of these two ingredients, a good suggestion would be to combine them in the juice to get both quantity and quality in one glass. Veggies and fruits that give lots of juice include cucumbers, apples, lemons, and oranges.
Juice bars are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients, but they’re also expensive. If you want the best value for your money, consider juicing at home instead by following these easy steps:
- buy in-season fruits and vegetables from local markets or farmers’ markets;
- make sure to include cucumbers, apples, lemons, oranges when possible;
- combine ingredients that will give lots of juice while still being nutritious (like kale with cucumber).
With this simple step, you can save time and money!