I apologize to my die hard customers who are vegan. All of my costs have gone up over the last 2 years, but olive oil is the most significant. The only solution I have right now is to swap it out for animal fat.
For perspective, 1 lb of lard costs $1.72, whereas 1 lb of olive oil costs $2.76. Purchased in 30 lb increments that's a difference of $51.60 vs. $83.
The price of olive oil is highly unstable. In January of 2022, the price was $9.98 a gallon. As of September 2022, it had gone up to $15.78 per gallon. At that time it was forecasted to rise an additional 20-25% over the next 3-4 months, and as of today (February 2023), the price is up to $17.48 a gallon. I'd like to stay in business, so I have to eliminate most olive oil from my recipes for now so I don't have to increase the price of my soaps.
I used to rely on rice bran oil to balance out the cost of my vegan soaps, but for a variety of reasons, this oil is hard to find in the US right now. Lard is the most affordable oil on the market that still makes a high quality bar of soap - these bars have a lovely creamy lather and a hardness that makes for a long-lasting bar. Using lard helps also helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the meat industry by eliminating waste.
Unfortunately, inflation is affecting sustainable palm oil pricing, too. My usual supplier is passing the savings along when they can, but the price is currently $2.50/lb. Other suppliers are charging outrageously inflated prices. I would still have to raise my prices if I switched all my soap recipes over to use sustainable palm.
I hope you can all understand why I'm making this choice. I will still take custom orders for vegan soaps, just contact me & we can discuss. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask.
A few soaps will have to stay vegan. A few fragrances and ingredients are finicky and thicken the soap really fast. I will keep these soaps olive oil based so they are easier to make. Included are the Cedar Rapids Smells varieties and beer soaps. I'll create a vegan section for these.