This seems an intelligent thesis from Tom from San Francisco:
A couple of episodes back, you discussed why plain nuts are more expensive than salted, dry-roasted or other flavored nuts, even though it seems like they should cost less.
I’m not in the industry, but I do have another theory in addition to the ones you offered: when making salted or seasoned nuts, it’s possible to use lower quality (and thus cheaper) nuts in the process, and the salts and flavours hide the fact that the quality is lower.
Plain nuts, by comparison, need to taste good in order to sell, and they could be using more expensive high-quality nuts for this purpose.
Are any of you readers in the nut industry? Can you confirm Tom’s theory, or reveal the darker secret of the nut pricing disparity? The world deserves to know.