When shopping for chopped garlic at my local grocery store, I noticed that although there were several brands there were basically two price points. Looking more closely, I saw that the less-expensive brands were all packed in olive oil while the more-expensive brands were not.

Does the fact that the garlic is packed in oil somehow relate to its quality and therefore price, or is the olive oil just an inexpensive filler that brings down the price per weight?


Brands and ingredients:

Botticelli and Badia:
Garlic, water, extra virgin olive oil, citric acid, sodium benzoate

Garlic, filtered water, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum, natural flavor

Natural garlic, water, phosphoric acid

I didn't see Joe's comment in time to check whether some are imported.

  • 4
    In my experience, for pure convenient garlic, frozen is best and cheapest, if you can find it... unless you actually want the oil.. ( that's why this is a comment, not an answer) Jul 22, 2018 at 23:35
  • what were the other forms packed in? Perhaps you could link to brands
    – Chris H
    Jul 23, 2018 at 8:10
  • More likely, the price is based on where it's packaged, and the non-fresh garlic comes from somewhere other than the country you're living in
    – Joe
    Jul 23, 2018 at 14:49
  • My question is why use preserved garlic when fresh garlic is so easy to get and store in the fridge? It's simple to peel: youtube.com/watch?v=Dc7w_PGSt9Y and then you can smash the cloves with a large knife, then minced the smashed garlic. It's so much better when it's fresh. Aug 23, 2018 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


Olive oil isn't cheap enough to be an inexpensive filler, and the garlic has to be in something -- either another (cheaper) oil or vinegar. Garlic and olive oil is a common combination.

The sort packed in vinegar also has its uses and keeps well. It's the only chopped option I can easily find without added salt. But when the proportion of garlic in the dish is high the vinegar flavour isn't always desirable (so I use fresh then).

  • 1
    In the US I've only seen garlic packed in water (most common) and olive oil. I've never seen it packed in vinegar.
    – Cindy
    Jul 23, 2018 at 11:02

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