The Cost of Nothing
My cost estimates, which I think err toward the more expensive:
Mashgiach for flour and water $25 (This is the cost to the hechsher)
Baker capable of mixing same $25
Matzah rollers $80 (10 of them)
Equipment & premises $25
Operating expenses (everything is manual) $10 (maybe some fans and light)
Let's round it up to $200 an hour
(Of course, factoring in the cost of nothing, if you want to participate in the rolling and what not, you may pay more for it.)
Estimate of production given said expenses, very conservatively: 600 matzahs (10 rollers, rolling average 1 per minute)
Cost per matzah 33c. Approx $4 per pound.
Let's give a profit margin of 50% befitting a seasonal product. $6 per pound.
Add transportation and distribution, $7.50 a pound.
Average price: $15 per pound
It's half flour and water, ... and half "nothing else".
Now for esrogim - the $80 lemon variant (Yes, I know you can pay 10 times that if you like, but let's be kind for a moment).
They sell them in the markets for about a dollar (exotic fruit and all). Let's pasul 3 out of four and add a mashgiach. What the heck, let's just go $10 per kosher esrog. Add in a 50% seasonal profit margin, $15. But the esrog must be spotless, with NOTHING on it. Ouch! $65 for nothing.
So the next time you try to get more for your money, remember less is more, ... and nothing is even more.