When you buy snow crab online, you may notice that it is more expensive than what you might pay in the grocery store. In fact, the price difference may make you want to switch to buying snow crab at your local Jewel-Osco or Whole Foods. But, price reflects quality when it comes to crab. Knowing more about the snow crab legs price factors could change your mind about online buying options. There are many factors that get the crab from the water to your plate. We will discuss the sourcing, shipping, sustainability, and other influences on snow crab price.
Snow Crab Legs Prices
|Fulton Fish Market
Snow Crab Legs Price Factors
Before you go out to find the best price on snow crab legs, we want to contextualize the price of snow crab legs. Below, we talk about the several components that determine the price.
A clear difference between buying snow crabs in the grocery store versus online is shipping. Many online seafood sites utilize overnight or expedited shipping to ensure the crab legs arrive frozen to your door. Clearly this is an added cost to the crab legs. However, your house is the only destination for the crab. Grocery store snow crab has likely had a lengthy journey, stopping in storage facilities along the way.
The increased transparency online seafood sellers provide might not seem like it would have much impact on snow crab legs price. However, the transparency is a benefit that grocery stores cannot always guarantee. Most online seafood sites tell consumers exactly where their crab is coming from. This practice keeps the fishers accountable to using best methods and fair pricing for the product they supply. Many would pay more, knowing the extra cost means a clearer idea of where their food is coming from.
Crab fishing can only continue if crab fishers do everything they can to protect crab populations and environments. The safest way to catch snow crab is by using crab pots. Unlike some other seafood, snow crab are not cultivated in farming environments. Online seafood sellers that utilize sustainable fishing methods charge a higher price to account for the hard labor required for catching the crab.
Sustainability measures go hand-in-hand with fishing quotas. A key determinant in Alaskan snow crab legs market price is how much crab is available for catching and how much of that supply fishers catch. In other words, fishers can only sell snow crab that they have caught. As of the start of the 2020-21 season in October, the quota for snow crab is set at 45 million pounds. This amount will make for a season where the snow crab legs price is consistent with years higher but might tilt a couple dollars higher.
Additionally, the snow crab season is longer than the king crab season. This means that crab fishers have more time to reach their catch quota than a king crab fisher would. Plus, according to NOAA, snow crab are not overfished and are available with more abundance.
Snow Crab Legs Price Per Pound
Now that we have talked through the story behind the pricing of snow crab legs, we will let you know how much you can expect to pay online. Snow crab legs are often sold as clusters in multi-pound packs. The average snow crab legs price per found falls roughly at $25. The exact price depends on the size of the clusters (jumbo, colossal) and the quantity. Sometimes sites will offer a discounted price per pound for larger amounts of crab legs. For example, 9 pounds of jumbo snow crab clusters could sell for several dollars cheaper than 3 pounds of the same size crab.
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