We conducted a poll of 22 lobster companies and discovered that the range was between $35 and $120 per pound. That is all we could discover. There are many lobster businesses that don’t even have websites, but if money were no object, we’d wager that their lobster falls inside this price range.
From our vantage point, we frequently overlook the subpar aspects of things. Because lobster meat must be fresh, prices under $40 per pound make us wonder how long the lobsters have been laying about before being made available at such a low price. In a similar vein, premium options like Sanders Lobster and Winter Harbor Lobster Co-op are simply too expensive to suggest to discerning consumers.
In our opinion, $45 to $80 a pound of lobster is the sensible range. The most expensive lobster meat for sale needs to become more affordable or start providing free shipping. And already, the bottom end is low.
greatest price decline in years for the lobster industry
ME, PORTLAND – Prior to Memorial Day weekend, which marks the unofficial beginning of the crucial summer season for the sector, lobster prices are somewhat declining.
In recent years, the cost of lobster and other seafood has skyrocketed, and last year, the cost to lobstermen at the docks jumped by almost 60%. However, the cost of lobster seems to be leveling off, and some merchants are offering the treasured crustaceans for a few dollars less than in the previous year.
Industry insiders claimed that the cost to fisherman is also dropping at a time when they are dealing with high bait and fuel costs as well as expensive gear discussions aimed at trying to conserve rare whales.
According to Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, “And that’s why it’s hard – if bait was up and fuel was up and the price of lobsters was up, you’d be where you always are.” But with those gone, it’s difficult to defend going in.
According to business publishing company Urner Barry, the wholesale cost of a live, 1.25-pound hard-shell lobster decreased from $12.35 per pound on April 1 to $9.35 per pound on May 1. Between April and May, lobster prices normally decline, but this year’s decrease was the biggest since 2018.
Since over a year, wholesale lobster prices have been unusually high, but this month’s price decrease brings prices closer to historical averages. Live one-pound lobsters are currently being sold by some merchants, like Harbor Fish, a seafood market in Portland, for $12 per pound, which is $2 less than 2021.
It’s discretionary, and whenever you see discretionary expenditure, individuals are making cuts, according to Sackton. “People’s discretionary income is declining.”
When numerous lobsters lose their shells and grow to the appropriate size for harvesting in the summer, the lobster fishing industry often picks up speed. Because of the increased supply, prices for consumers typically decline when that occurs, but they remained rather high last year.
Maine in particular, in New England, is the hub of the American industry. The state’s lobstermen had a successful year in 2021, hauling in more than 108 million pounds of lobster for a record-breaking $730 million.
Big shock: Maine lobster rolls this season bring in record prices with no shell.
Some of the state’s most well-liked summer restaurants will charge more than $40 for a single roll of lobster, so plan accordingly. The typical cost is more like $30.
On Friday, David Mendez, a visitor from Puerto Rico, gets ready to enjoy his lobster roll at South Freeport’s Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster. In reaction to general inflation, the majority of Maine restaurants have increased their lobster roll prices this season. Staff photographer Derek Davis
This season, lobster roll costs are setting new records, but the cost of Maine lobster meat is only one component of a complicated inflationary mix.
Due in part to market uncertainty, lobstermen are receiving lower prices at the pier for their catch than they were at this time last year. Owners of restaurants and lobster shacks claim that although the cost of the lobster is the primary determinant, there are other factors as well.
According to Justin Snyder, dock manager at Southwest Harbor’s Beal’s Lobster Pier, where a 4.5-ounce lobster roll cost $41.99 on Wednesday, the cost of manufacturing Maine’s famous summer dish has significantly increased due to the continually rising price of lobsters on the dock over the past five years.
Maine’s WISCASSET — How well-liked are the lobster rolls at Wiscasset’s Red’s Eats?
She added that it’s also the most well-liked dish on the menu and a key revenue generator for nearby lobster vendors.
According to Gagnon, the take-out restaurant consumed 14.5 tons in six months and 2.5 tons of butter in 2019 before COVID struck.
Summer lobster prices reached a record-high level last year, and they are currently starting at a similar level in 2022.
According to Gagnon, the demand for lobster rolls in 2021 appeared to be unaffected. Customers are still waiting in line to order the well-known sandwiches so far in 2022.
“Anything with a high price always makes me nervous. I won’t make any compromises in order to provide the greatest quality possible “She spoke.
The boat price for whole lobster is now around $7.50 per pound at Atlantic Edge Lobster in Boothbay Harbor, which supplies some of the meat Red’s utilizes, according to Kristin Page, co-owner of the company.
Picked lobster meat, which eateries normally purchase, is considerably more expensive. For one pound of meat, she claimed that four to five lobsters are required. The larger state market and even the federal one determine prices.
Nick Page, the other Atlantic Edge Lobster co-owner, stated, “Supply and demand.”
Both claimed that despite their concerns and those of many restaurants, customers continued to purchase lobster during the previous season despite the high prices.
“Never did business slow down. Nick Page said, “August and July were wild last year. We were unable to meet demand.”
“Not just lobster, either. Everything is seafood, including fresh clams, crab, and haddock. Everything has increased “Gagnon declared.
Even the price of Gagnon’s environmentally friendly takeout boxes increased from 27 cents to 77 cents each.
Gagnon claimed that while she and other patrons of the restaurant are curious about it, no one has an answer.
And they all concurred that even at exorbitant rates, consumers want lobster on the Maine coast in the summer.
Jordan A big lobster roll was being shared by Kelly and a companion at a table on the restaurant’s deck. They made a point to stop at Red’s for lunch, according to Kelly, who claimed they drove up from New Hampshire for the weekend.
$35 for a lobster roll? The Practice of Paying for Lobster Is Not New
The news isn’t just about exorbitant lobster prices from Eastport to Kittery. According to the New York Times, a lack of Maine lobsters has driven up retail prices and led several restaurants to take the mollusk from their menus. The Washingtonian magazine in DC reported similar findings: “Market price is being charged at some establishments, with a two-pound lobster costing $100 (pre-tax) at the DC steakhouse The Prime Rib. Other locations with fewer checkpoints are currently 86-ing lobster.” National concern over Maine’s catch, however, is nothing new; the Times article first published almost exactly 50 years ago, while the Washingtonian item first appeared a few months ago.
Storms in 1972 kept a large portion of the lobstering fleet in their moorings as spring approached. Beyond the established East Coast markets, demand for Maine lobster was growing concurrently, and supply was unable to keep up. The Times said at the time that chicken lobsters, or softshell crustaceans weighing between three-fourths and one pound each, were selling for $3.19 per pound in the Portland retail market. Housewives could still buy the same lobsters for approximately $1.39 per pound as recently as late November.
Due in part to increased demand from home chefs who are broadening their menus, the price of lobster has once again increased during the pandemic. At the docks, lobster prices were up 39% from just two years earlier, and Red’s Eats, the famous lobster shack on Route 1 in Wiscasset, was forced to close last year. The price of lobster increased this year as a result of manpower constraints, a sluggish start to the season, and high diesel prices. The price of a basic lobster roll in Maine might reach $30 at some shacks, and the situation wasn’t any better elsewhere. According to a DC restaurant owner mentioned by Washingtonian, “Lobster rolls just aren’t designed to be that costly.” It’s almost shameful to charge our visitor for that.
The owner of a steak and seafood restaurant in Portland stated to the Times during the previous lobster season in the 1950s: “I’d have to ask $12 for a lobster supper, and I don’t think Maine residents should have to pay that sort of price for a delicacy that’s located right off our beach.” That amounts to around $83 in today’s money; perhaps spending $30 on a lobster roll isn’t that bad after all. Another restaurant owner told the Times in 1972, “You know, when people get it in their minds that they are going to eat lobster, they’ll order it regardless of the price.” While costs may fluctuate, other things never do.