Postum is a great hot, caffeine free drink for those who don’t want to or can’t drink coffee. However in recent years, Postum has risen and fallen in price dramatically. Leading me and many others to wonder, why is Postum so expensive?
The price of second market Postum skyrocketed from it’s original $3.50 price tag to $20 a jar when the caffeine free wheat based coffee alternative was discontinued in 2007 due to lack of demand. The hot drink mix was bought and reintroduced online and on store shelves by Eliza’s Quest Food in 2012, but still costs $10.50-$11.75 per jar of 75 servings.
In this article I’ll cover the history of Postum that’s essential for understanding why the price has changed so much in the past 15 years, and then give you the current price of Postum and cheapest places to buy it. Let’s get started!
What is Postum?
Postum is a powdered hot drink mix made of wheat, bran, and molasses that resembles the taste and color of coffee and is often drunk as a coffee substitute, although it is coffee and caffeine free.
The drink was created by Post Cereal Company in 1895 and was marketed as a cure to the dangerous effects of caffeine in regular coffee. The brand used scare tactic marketing to sell their coffee alternative, claiming that regular coffee and its caffeine stunted growth, caused nerve damage, damaged the kidneys, and made you cranky in the morning.
“Remember, you can recover from any ordinary disease by discontinuing coffee and poor food and using Postum Food Coffee” claimed a 1906 book by the company (MyRecipes).
All of these claims and warnings about the dangers and risks of coffee were of course, scientifically baseless, and in most cases completely wrong. Today, after much research has been done on coffee and caffeine, we know that the two are not only generally safe to drink, but may even help you live longer. (Healthline)
However 100 years ago when Postum first came out, many people believed the claims Post Cereal Company was making about caffeine, so the coffee alternative grew in popularity quickly.
Here's a funny Postum advertisement from 1910 touting the evil effects of caffeine and the magical effects of drinking Postum instead (Wikipedia).
Today Postum is still sold based on avoiding the negative effects of caffeine, but only with the claims that caffeine may cause potential sleeplessness, high blood pressure or digestive problems.
The drink's early and quick success wasn’t completely unwarranted. In the early 1900s Postum was the only way to enjoy a coffee-like beverage without caffeine, as decaf coffee wasn’t invented until 1912 and didn’t become popular until the mid-late 1900s.
Two groups that became known for their love of Postum were Mormons and 7th Day Adventists. Both of which believe caffeine is addictive and unhealthy. Postum was the first and only hot, coffee like, caffeine free beverage that they could enjoy.
In addition, during World War 2 when coffee was rationed Postum became a very popular substitute.
Why is Postum so Expensive?
Despite its early popularity, Postum, which was eventually sold to and owned by Kraft Foods, was discontinued in 2007 due to lack of demand for the drink among a new generation.
After it was discontinued the price of jars of Postum on online marketplaces like Ebay skyrocketed from $3.50 to up to $20 and homemade Postum recipes and petitions to bring the drink back sprung up all over the internet.
Fortunately for Postum lovers, the Postum formula was purchased from Kraft by a company called Eliza's Quest Food in 2012. Eliza's Quest Food was founded by a North Carolina couple for the sole purpose of bring Postum back. And they did just that and began selling Postum again first online, and then eventually back in grocery stores in 2013.
Because it was being manufactured again and the supply of Postum was increasing, prices everywhere dropped. However, because demand for the drink was so low, Eliza's Quest Food had a hard time getting it into many grocery stores outside of the western U.S.
Today a jar of 75 servings of Postum can be bought online for $11.75 on Walmart and Amazon's wesbites, and for $10.50 on Postum's website, although Postum does charge for shipping, which to where I live in Michigan would cost $8.
$11.75 for 75 servings of Postum comes out to only 15 cents per drink. Which is a similar cost to making regular drip coffee at home.
But at the same time, a price tag of $11.75 could be considered an expensive price to pay just for a mixture wheat, bran and molasses, all very cheap grains to grow. This high price for Postum is likely due to the continued lack of demand, which prevents the small company from being able to scale and reduce its cost of production, leading to an expensive product to produce and a high price tag for the customer.
Where to Buy Postum for Cheap
The best and cheapest place to get a jar of Postum is in a grocery store. An 8oz jar can be bought for $10.50 and 42oz jar for $50. However, if you don't live in the western United States, you may have a hard time finding Postum at your local grocery store.
For those without Postum in their state, your best bet is to order it online. As I said earlier, Walmart, Amazon, and Postum themselves all sell 8oz, 75 serving jars.
While the 8oz jars cost $1.25 less on Postum's website than on Amazon, Amazon is the only seller with free shipping, which makes them the cheapest place to buy Postum online.
If you’d like a jar, you can find regular and coffee flavored Postum for $11.75 with free shipping on Amazon here.
However the large, 50oz, $50 jars are only available on Postums website.
Postum is a caffeine and coffee free wheat based hot drink mix that provides a great alternative for those who can’t drink coffee because of religious or caffeine sensitivity reasons.
While Postum was very expensive when it was discontinued from 2007-2012, today you can get it in grocery stores in the western United States and online anywhere for only 15 cents a serving.
I hope this article could help you out! If you’d like to learn more about coffee alternatives, espresso, and pretty much anything else coffee related, be sure to check out the rest of my website!