In supermarket aisles and food markets across America, prices are higher for products that are increasingly niche. Whether this is a natural evolution or predatory pricing seems opaque. Shelves are now stocked with artisanal items bearing cool labels that we never thought we needed, and which can seem, at first, like a joke we’re not in on. The pickle, for instance, has traversed a long and winding path through the culture, from nickel-priced snack at the boardwalk and movie theater to a stand-in for all that’s seen as precious and cliché about craft manufacturing in Brooklyn. Even the most discerning consumer may not know how we get from a $3 jar of Vlasic dill spears to a $10 jar of Brooklyn Brine Maple Bourbon pickles, though many suspect it probably just has something to do with hipsters.