Why Is Lobster So Expensive? Demystifying the Mystery of the Luxury Crustacean

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lobster fishing cages by the ocean
Photo by Ted Van Pelt licensed under CC BY 2.0

There’s nothing not to love about lobster. Its flavors mimic the salty coast. It can be cooked and served in numerous ways. And, its melt-in-your-mouth texture is something we can only dream of with other seafood favorites.

But, wait. What about its cost? It’s true – lobster is pricey, sometimes to the point that it makes us wonder why? Even though we’re prepared to spend top-dollar for authentic Maine lobster because it’s just. that. good. So, it’s time to delve into the cost of lobsters so you can understand what’s behind the price you pay per pound.

1. Lobster Farming Is Tough

Every good lobster you eat comes from lobster farming. Lobster farming is the process people have to go through to raise and catch the lobsters we eat. It’s not an easy one.

Not only are lobster eggs challenging to raise, but it’s incredibly easy for lobsters of any age (especially babies) to catch a disease that renders them unable to eat. Along with the lobsters, we can eat are several that aren’t safe to eat. Lobsters also take a long time to grow – around 7 years, usually – to a size that makes catching them legally. To reach about 2 pounds, it can take closer to 10 years, so it’s crucial that farming creates enough of a continuous stock to keep replenishing lobsters year after year.

2. Lobster Season is Only a Few Months

In some states (like Maine), lobsters are caught all year, but their actual season only lasts a few months. In Maine, the peak season is from July through November. During this time is when lobsters are most active and easier to catch, offering farmers a significant return.

During the off-season is when you’ll find that prices tend to skyrocket for lobster because it’s no longer as easy to catch them. While May and June tend to see the lowest lobster costs, the price per pound tends to rise in late winter to early spring.

3. It’s Expensive to Ship

The best way to buy lobsters is to live because the crustaceans are so susceptible to bacterial contamination and diseases. Keeping them alive until you’re ready to cook them can eliminate much of the risk.

Unfortunately, comes at high costs, no matter how far away you are from Maine. They need a specific type of shipping container that helps keep their water at the right temperature, plus offer the perfect amount of humidity. It’s not uncommon to spend at least $25 on shipping costs alone for a bulk live lobster order.

4. Processed Lobster Requires a Lot of Hands

Some companies have technology that can separate meat from the shells of lobsters and then ship out the lobster meat instead of live lobster. The shipping costs are usually much lower for processed lobster, but the lobster itself could be even more expensive than buying live animals.

That’s because the technology itself is costly and requires a lot of human hands to complete it. The more workers you have, the more people who need to get paid, therefore boosting the cost to the consumer.

Save Money Ordering from Maine Lobster House

Lobster is expensive. There’s no denying that you’ll spend more on lobster than you would be buying shrimp, crab, and other seafood. However, it’s worth its cost for many, which is why it continues to be one of the most popular seafood eaten around the globe.

We’re sure you want to save money on your next lobster order. To do that, you just need to shop with Maine Lobster House. Sign up for our emails to get deals and exclusive promotions delivered right to your inbox!