Why is Almond Milk More Expensive? (Costs Explained)

Written by: Jeana Marie

Among different types of milk and alternative milk available, almond milk tends to be one of the more expensive options. 

Of course, the price of your almond milk depends on where you buy it, what brand you drink, and whether it is organic or non-organic.

The cost of almond milk can also depend on economic factors such as inflation or supply chain issues. 

To help you understand the cost of almond milk, it can be helpful to explore the average price of different types of almond milk and the factors affecting almond milk’s price.

This can aid you in picking the right brand that meets your nutritional preferences and budgetary needs. 

How Much Does Almond Milk Cost?

Before diving into why almond milk is more expensive, let’s look at the average price of almond milk.

The cost of almond milk varies based on multiple factors; the following are estimated prices for different types of almond milk options from lowest to highest:

Almond Milk

Price Per Ounce

Homemade (non-organic)

$0.05 - $0.06

Silk Almond Milk


Almond Breeze


Whole Foods 365 (organic)


Wegmans Almondmilk (organic)




Homemade (organic)

$0.12 - $0.16

Mooala Original Almond Milk


Better Than Milk Organic Almond Milk


Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Almond Milk


Three Trees Organic Almond Milk


New Barn Organics Unsweetened Almond Milk


Malk (organic)


Beber Fresh Almond Milk


As this chart highlights, the difference in cost between almond milk varies widely. 

Fresh store-bought almond milk with no additives can be as high as $0.56 per ounce, but making your own fresh almond milk at home with an almond milk base like JOI is nearly $0.47 cheaper per ounce. 

Commercial brands that use fewer almonds and contain additives that can help thicken an otherwise watery product are cheaper than an option like Three Trees Almondmilk, which uses 4 times the almonds in its product. 

Is Almond Milk Actually More Expensive?

Based on the average prices of almond milk, it may be worth looking at whether they are actually more expensive than other milk, including dairy alternatives. 

Price of Almond Milk Vs. Cow’s Milk

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a breakdown of dairy milk prices across the country.

As of February 24, 2023, the average cost of milk was as follows:


Price Per Gallon

Whole Milk

$4.38 ($0.07/ounce)

2% Milk

$4.34 ($0.07/ounce)

Organic Whole Milk

$4.81 (half gallon) ($0.15 per ounce)

Organic 2% Milk

$4.78 (half gallon) ($0.15 per ounce)

In some places however, these prices were higher or lower.

For example, Kansas City, Missouri, had the highest average at $6.17 per gallon ($0.10 per ounce), while Louisville, Kentucky’s milk prices averaged $2.70/gallon ($0.04 per ounce). 

Comparing these costs to almond milk, it appears that the price of milk has increased to evenly match several commercial almond milk brands.

At $0.07 per ounce for whole milk, several almond milk options are potentially cheaper or within a few cents price difference. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dairy prices increased by 11% from January 2022 to January 2023.

This inflation is responsible for higher milk prices; however, if higher milk prices are here to stay, it may mean that the former idea that almond milk is more expensive is outdated. 

Price of Almond Milk Vs. Other Plant-Based Milk Alternatives

What about the price of almond milk versus other plant-based milk, such as cashew, pea, oat, soy, or rice?

Barring homemade versions, which are typically the cheapest form of these beverages, let’s look at an estimated cost per ounce for these milk options versus almond milk. 

Type of Milk

Price Per Ounce

Silk Cashew Milk


California Farms Oat Milk


Ripple Pea Milk


Milkadamia (Macadamia Nut Milk)


Silk Original Soy Milk


Rice Dream Rice Drink


When compared with almond milk, these plant-based alternatives are very similar.

While some organic, specialty options of these brands are likely higher in cost, they would still match those for fresh, organic almond milk options. 

Like dairy, it seems that while almond milk has the reputation of being an expensive alternative milk, it is no less affordable than many other plant-based alternatives, depending on where and what brand you purchase. 

What Factors Affect the Price of Almond Milk?

The price difference between almond milk and other milk options is not as steep as in the past, especially since the beverage has become more widely available. 

However, it is still worth looking at the factors that affect the price of almond milk so you can understand why some brands cost more or why you may see price fluctuations when purchasing your favorite versions. 


The main ingredient in almond milk is almonds.

Almonds are an expensive commodity and take time and labor to grow and care for.

It can take an almond tree about three to four years to begin flowering and producing almonds, and almond nuts themselves take about seven to eight months to mature. 

Almonds also use environmental resources to produce, which increases the overall cost of almonds and almond milk.

For example, it takes about 371 liters of water to produce one liter of almond milk. While this is almost half of what it takes to produce a liter of cow’s milk, it does play a part in the cost of the final almond milk product.

environmental footprints of dairy and plant based milk

Some almond milk uses small amounts of almonds - for instance, in 2015, Blue Diamond was sued when it was discovered the company only used 2% almonds in their almond milk. That’s why these manufacturers can price their products so low. 

Alternatively, brands that use more almonds, such as Elmhurst 1925, which uses four times the almonds per serving, may cost more because they make a higher quality product. 


The commercial manufacturing process of almond milk factors into the product’s cost.

Big-name manufacturers must price their almond milk to cover the cost of building or renting a factory, hiring workers, and running the machinery necessary to create the beverage. 

Generally, commercial almond milk requires soaking raw almonds in water, then grinding them into tiny particles until it becomes a milky liquid.

The manufacturer then strains the pulp and puts the almond milk through a pasteurization process that homogenizes the mixture.

They may also add fortified nutrients to boost the product’s nutrient value and additives like emulsifiers or stabilizers that will help the product maintain a thick, creamy texture. 

Each part of this process affects the price of almond milk for consumers.

Additives are often a cost-effective way for manufacturers to lower the price of their almond milk.

However, the end product is a beverage with lots of added ingredients that can cause digestive irritation in people with conditions like ulcerative colitis or gastritis and contain a very small percentage of almonds.


Despite oat milk’s rising popularity, almond milk is still the most-sold plant-based milk in the U.S.

Because it is in high demand due to an increased interest in low-calorie, low-carb, and vegan-friendly milk substitutes, its costs are higher than other less in-demand goods. 

This is partly due to manufacturers capitalizing on the trendiness of plant-based milk, but it’s also because an increased demand means more resources.

In California, where most almonds are grown in the U.S., persistent droughts have made it difficult to grow and harvest enough almonds to keep up with demand, increasing the cost of the nuts and the price of almond milk. 


The higher price of almond milk is also partially due to marketing costs. Cow’s milk is an established staple for the American consumer, and the U.S. government has subsidized the dairy industry since the 1930s.

This means that the federal government pays for part of the cost of producing cow’s milk and that milk doesn’t typically require any marketing to sell. 

Not so with almond milk.

Almond milk companies spend millions of dollars on advertising their product to get the word out to people looking for a milk alternative and compete with rival brands.

For instance, Silk Almondmilk will spend around $100 million on digital and TV advertisements in 2022. 

These marketing costs increase the retail price of almond milk in general.

In many cases, they also increase the price of smaller brands that can’t compete with a giant corporation’s marketing spend.

Sometimes smaller, organic brands charge more because they can’t afford high-level marketing that could bring extra profits to lower production prices. 

Is Almond Milk Worth the Extra Cost?

After examining the cost of almond milk and the factors that affect its pricing, you may wonder if almond milk is worth the price. 

Some almond milk costs the same as its dairy and other plant-based milk counterparts. So based solely on budget, you can choose the milk product that best matches your personal preferences. 

However, you may pay extra if you prefer a more costly organic, additive-free almond milk.

Almond milk can be worth it if you are lactose intolerant or have another health condition irritated by dairy or other milk options. It is also a great option if you need low-carb milk for Keto or have stomach issues like ulcers. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to spend a few extra cents per ounce for a delicious, healthy product or make it yourself for the lowest-cost option available. 

About the Author

Jeana Marie is a freelance digital content writer. Her writing focuses on mental health, self-improvement, and healthy living. When she's not writing, Jeana enjoys spending time with her daughters and discovering new coffee and herbal tea flavors.