Real Wasabi Price
The price of real wasabi varies dependent upon the season, and the growers proximity to the market.
The normal supply and demand cycle also affects the price of real wasabi. It is for this reason that real wasabi is normally priced very high.
The reality is that real wasabi does not travel very well and if the grower is not situated very close to the market such that it can be delivered to the end user within two days, the real wasabi deteriorates unless kept chilled. Even then there is a finite time to keep it – our experience is less than ten days, although others claim it will last a month.
The other thing that affects the price of real wasabi is the demand. Since real wasabi is hand harvested, sorted and packed before being shipped, with very small individual amounts being supplied the price increases quickly. The fact that most people and even shops only want one or two rhizomes, or even only a couple of pounds at any one time drives the price continually upwards.
As far as the grower is concerned, they want to get the maximum return for the 18 month to 3 years that they have put into growing the real Wasabia japonica rhizome. This plant is recognised as being very difficult to grow and for this reason there are only a few growers worldwide able to grow high quality products for the market.
All of these factors together makes the real wasabi price high without even taking into account the transport costs as most Wasabia japonica travels by air from the grower to the end user.
Solution to high Real Wasabi Prices.
From a growers point of view, they want the best price they can get for their real wasabi crop. Since the fresh market is so small and fickle most growers sell their crop to major food producers, thereby reducing the amount of real wasabi available.
An increasing number of growers are now using their crop to produce 100% Pure Wasabi Powder which they then sell on. The problem with this is that the majority of them use the whole plant which increases the volume of the end product, but significantly reduces the value and potency.
There is one grower who processes their crop using only the rhizome of the Wasabia japonica plant. This is the part with the most active ingredients, and is the part normally grated fresh at the tables of the most expensive restaurants.
The product I am talking about is called Namida® 100% Pure Wasabi Powder. It is grown and processed in Clean, Green New Zealand (no radiation contamination here), freeze dried to retain all the active ingredients and is available at reasonable prices