Organic Romaine lettuce prices have jumped well over 100% between April 2021 and April 2022. The average price per pound went from $2 to $5 in that period. While the 2021 average price was significantly below an April 2018 spike that saw prices climb above $3.50 per pound, the recent surge represents the most significant change in the last four years.
There are several reasons behind this increase. Lettuces, in general, are fertilizer-intensive plants that need rich soil to produce economically viable quantities, so rising fertilizer costs have an acute impact on prices. Also, Truckload Shipping notes that California is one of the highest-producing states for Romaine. As indicated by the Public Policy Institute of California, the drought there is both increasing demand for water due to soaring temperatures and decreasing its availability.