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Why is matzah so expensive?


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#21 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:30 PM

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#22 rvn2590

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:56 AM

Bought what? Shmurah?


No stam Yehuda Matzos. I did eat hand-made shmurah matza throughout the first two days, but as a guest in someone's home.
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#23 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:41 AM

Right. I get that some people are makpid on it for the seder, but you certainly don't need to buy 10 boxes of it and eat it all pesach.

Chassidim consider machine matzos to be "chametz gamur", they would sooner not eat, than eat them on Pesach (probably even if that's all they had for the seder)... So while it is not a necessity, machine matzos are NOT an option for a segment of the population...
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#24 Nooch

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:29 AM

Chassidim consider machine matzos to be "chametz gamur", they would sooner not eat, than eat them on Pesach (probably even if that's all they had for the seder)...


That is patently absurd. Perhaps the ignorant masses do, but then that is an emotional position, not an informed intellectual one.

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#25 TimeRebbe

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:34 AM

manufacturing matzah is also expensive - manishewitz opened a new plant in NJ a few years ago for the express purpose of making matzah. cost was about $4 million. Then there are the udozens of mashgichim who need to supervise the various stages of production, the mashgichim who supervise the wheat and flour harvesting, grinding and shipping, and the incredible number of man-hours of making just one batch of matzah.

Hand matzah is even costlier; if its being produced locally the wheat and flour needs to be supervised, and the satmar matzah bakery is known for making use of every single chumra known to matzah makers as a matter of policy. skip one chumra, and the batch gets tossed. Dozens of people are needed to roll, knead, "poke" and bake the matzahs; then clean all the utensils and start all over again.
making matzah is expensive; based on my obersavations of local stores, selling hand-matzahs for over $20/lb might be pricey, but i dont see it as gouging.

although i got charged $12 for a pound of yehuda matzos (the grocery thought i was buying a 6-pack)
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#26 Psychodad

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:35 AM

I bought it on sale for $3.99 for four boxes.

You overpaid- $1.99 for 5 boxes and got a free bottle of grape juice with it at Shoppers.

#27 Rentsy

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

I had the opportunity to join in the making of matzot by hand, and take some of the results home, and making matza by hand is crazy! It requires lots of manual labor. And the people you have to hire need to be real yirei shamayim, and have yiras cheis.

If something falls on the ground, like a rolling pin, it stays there until the shift is done. You're madly rolling dough for 18 minutes, or kneading the dough, or taking it from the roller and putting into the oven... and then it's over. Everything stops. Everything is cleaned. The wooden poles are sanded down.

And then it starts again...

It was really crazy and fun and educational and demystifying.
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#28 rvn2590

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:55 PM

You overpaid- $1.99 for 5 boxes and got a free bottle of grape juice with it at Shoppers.


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#29 mediabias

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:04 AM

its all supply and demand. its so cheap after pesach
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#30 justbatya

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 09:58 AM

How much is a box of hand Shmura matza after Pesach? Someone told me the price barely goes down because it's good in a year; that seems crazy to me.

My poor SO still thinks that a Batya is a what, and not a who.


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#31 FYI

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:17 AM

Was it always like this? Does the labor of making the matzah really cost as much as people are charging? Or is this just a way to exploit fellow Jews for money, since the matzah makers know that we don't have a choice and will have to pay for it anyway?

No, people used to bake their own matzos. Yes, the labor is expensive as is paying rent for a facility they only use 2 months a year.

And the increase in labor cost of making handmade matzah is equivalent to the increase of its price? I can't imagine so.

I can. I know someone who eventually shut down a matzo factory because the cost was beginning to outweigh the profits (he didn't mind breaking even either as it was a 'labor of love'). And he wasn't charging cheap pries, he was on par.

But machine shmura is also SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than stam matzos and I wonder how much of that is because of the extra labor (they dismantle and clean the machines MUCH more often than the regular) and how much is frum tax....

consider 1 time cost of machine and may 3 workers. (and you can do it yrea round because people use matzo year-round) versus the rent, workers, timers, etc. involved.

How much is a box of hand Shmura matza after Pesach? Someone told me the price barely goes down because it's good in a year; that seems crazy to me.

Shmura rarely goes on sale.
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#32 Snag

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:31 AM

How much is a box of hand Shmura matza after Pesach? Someone told me the price barely goes down because it's good in a year; that seems crazy to me.

i think it depends whether you're alking about the matza bakery themselves or a retailer. retailers usually don't keep pesach stock from year to year, so they'd probably put whatever they have on clearance. otoh, most retailers don't buy too much shmura matza anyways, ime, as people make bigger orders direct from the bakery or a middleman.
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#33 Pinchas

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:43 AM

i think it depends whether you're alking about the matza bakery themselves or a retailer. retailers usually don't keep pesach stock from year to year, so they'd probably put whatever they have on clearance. otoh, most retailers don't buy too much shmura matza anyways, ime, as people make bigger orders direct from the bakery or a middleman.


Plus they could always just save it and sell it for next Pesach...

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#34 Snag

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:48 AM

Plus they could always just save it and sell it for next Pesach...

yeah, that's what i meant to say: the bakeries or large suppliers will likely keep the stock for the following pesach, since they have the storage space anyways.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

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#35 rvn2590

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

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#36 Short

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:12 AM

That is patently absurd. Perhaps the ignorant masses do, but then that is an emotional position, not an informed intellectual one.

That is incorrect. The Divrei Chaim z"tl, for example, said that machine matzoh is "chamutz gamur". Although he may have been basing his psak on the technology of the time, this psak has held up among chassidish society. It certainly wasn't simply an emotional position.

How much is a box of hand Shmura matza after Pesach? Someone told me the price barely goes down because it's good in a year; that seems crazy to me.

It doesn't go bad in the sense of getting moldy, but it does get soggy. Heck, some of my shmura matzoh even got soggy over Pesach due to the very damp weather we were having and the boxes being open.

One more factor in the price of the shmurah matzoh: A LOT of matzoh is given away for free or cost price to needy families. By paying retail, you are in essence subsidizing that. So this answers two questions - how needy families afford it, and why it's so expensive, besides for the costs involved. Although I'm sure there's plenty of profit involved too.
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#37 FYI

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:17 AM

Although I'm sure there's plenty of profit involved too.

Why is that a bad thing? Let's say that the profit they make on the $20/box is $18/box (which I highly doubt) but let's assume it is. They've come up with a good way to make money. Do we complain that Target charges $10 for a pair of underwear that probably costs them 50 cents to make. The idea is to come up with a money maker that MAKES money. I don't see why shmura matzo being $$$ gets a bad rap.

I can minutely understand why stuff like the regular year round yogurt goes up in price pesach time causes a hulabaloo, though.
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#38 Snag

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 12:14 PM

It doesn't go bad in the sense of getting moldy, but it does get soggy. Heck, some of my shmura matzoh even got soggy over Pesach due to the very damp weather we were having and the boxes being open.

boxes that are kept closed, though, particularly if they are stored in an area where the humidity level is controlled, will stay "fresh" indefinitely.

One more factor in the price of the shmurah matzoh: A LOT of matzoh is given away for free or cost price to needy families. By paying retail, you are in essence subsidizing that. So this answers two questions - how needy families afford it, and why it's so expensive, besides for the costs involved. Although I'm sure there's plenty of profit involved too.

i don't know about the chassidishe communities, but in most places i'm familiar with, the matzah given away is paid for by kimcha depischa funds donated by the community. the factories probably give a nice discount, but i don't think their prices are significantly affected by that.

Why is that a bad thing? Let's say that the profit they make on the $20/box is $18/box (which I highly doubt) but let's assume it is. They've come up with a good way to make money. Do we complain that Target charges $10 for a pair of underwear that probably costs them 50 cents to make. The idea is to come up with a money maker that MAKES money. I don't see why shmura matzo being $$$ gets a bad rap.

I can minutely understand why stuff like the regular year round yogurt goes up in price pesach time causes a hulabaloo, though.

i think peoples' complaint is that, with target underwear, you have a choice of buying from a different company which sells them for cheaper. with matza, however, you NEED matza for pesach and there arent many alternatives. they feel the matza bakeries are taking advantage of this and overcharging.

also, the fifty cents it costs target to make them are not their final cost; there is overhead, and the fact that it only costs them so little because they are a huge conglomerate who can get things for cheaper. thus, if a person wanted to make their own underwear, they wouldn;t pay significantly less, and would likely pay more. look at a bakery, otoh; they don't have such a steep markup (relatively speaking) because most people have access to the raw materials and facilities needed to bake their own bread, so the baker is just making a profit for his labr. posters here seem to feel that matza is more or less comparable to that scenario, and were therefore wondering why the markup is so much higher.

ftr, i think those questioning posters are mistaken: as pointed out upthread, there are numerous legitimate reasons why matza should be marked up so much. i was just explaining why i don't feel the analogy to tarfget is valid.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

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#39 FYI

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:45 PM

i think peoples' complaint is that, with target underwear, you have a choice of buying from a different company which sells them for cheaper. with matza, however, you NEED matza for pesach and there arent many alternatives. they feel the matza bakeries are taking advantage of this and overcharging.

Ok, but just like depending on demand depends on amount of choices. It's much more difficult to find organic cy yogurt simply because the demans is lower for that. Same with shmura, handmade, matzo. People need to realize this is a business just like ANY other business.

Supplies are cheap, flour+water+oven and fast, less than 18 min.

Which brings me to another topic, why can't there be OTHER ingredients added in, like why can't it be water+sugar+flour in <18 min?
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#40 comfortingsong

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:14 PM

Which brings me to another topic, why can't there be OTHER ingredients added in, like why can't it be water+sugar+flour in <18 min?

:nea: Bread isn't supposed to be sweet. Yuck.




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