There is nothing better than dipping a delicious hunk of crab meat into melted butter, letting the liquid ooze down the sides of your mouth-watering bite. While some restaurants promote their all-you-can-eat crab legs, others consider this dish to be a delicacy.
Crab is so expensive for a variety of reasons, but many of them stem from its perishable nature, supply and demand, and shipping. Additionally, crabs can be difficult to catch, which makes fishing for this dish challenging at times. Crab-catching regulations are also quite tedious, so the market has to make up for these guidelines, too.
No matter the hardship crab catchers have to endure, there are always customers waiting in line for the next shipment. Due to it being expensive, restaurants freeze crab meat as well. Crab may be expensive, but the market isn’t slowing down for this delicious catch anytime soon.
Difficulties in Shipping
Those who live near the shore or visit frequently have constant access to mouthwatering crab meat and crab dishes.
But what about those individuals who live in the middle of the country? The extremely perishable nature of crab makes it difficult and costly to ship to these geographical areas.
Exposure to warm temperatures can cause crab to go bad quickly, so proper packing measures must be implemented. Even when you buy crab from a store in these areas it must be used quickly.
Overall, there is a very short window for cooking and serving crab when it is good. So, meeting these demands from a shipping standpoint is laborious.
Are You Paying for the Shell?
One of the physical attributes that makes crab different from other proteins is the hard shell it is encased in. When you purchase crab from the grocery store you pay per pound. Since separating the crab meat from the shell is impossible before consumption, you are paying for the shell, too.
If you order crab from a restaurant, you may think you are safe. In reality, restaurants simply pass on this cost to diners in the overall price of their dishes.
Is There a Crab Meat Shortage?
There is one common problem many fishermen, restaurants, and grocery stores are facing together, and that is the shortage of crab meat. Some problems that have contributed to crab meat availability include:
- Current labor shortages
- Growing regulations
- Supply and demand issues
Why are Crab Meat Prices Going Up?
Shipping problems and a lack of inventory are creating more demand for crab than the market can keep up with. Customers aren’t slowing down their consumption of crab anytime soon, which makes the demand for this product even higher.
What is the Market Price for Crab?
This largely depends on the type of crab meat in question. King crab is by far the most popular option, and it typically ranges from $42-65 per pound.