Lobster Shortage Drives Sandwich Prices as High as $49

The luxury crustacean just got a whole lot more luxe.

By Ethan L. Johns
April 24, 2018

Image: rez art/Getty Images

New England has hit peak lobster. The sea-cockroach-turned-luxury-crustacean has gotten so expensive over the past few weeks that restaurants can’t even afford to put it on menus anymore.

As prices on the docks head skyward due to a season of nasty weather and high international demand, some chefs are raising prices to cover costs while others are pulling it altogether, according to the Boston Globe.

Add this to the myriad of musical reasons not to order the diner lobster.

While the average price of whole lobster normally hovers around $8 per pound, that figure has lately been as high as $15 per pound. For extracted meat, the price has been $40 per pound.

This has led to chefs shucking the shelled creatures in-house, which necessitates more man-hours. Some restaurants eat the costs so they don’t have to charge inordinate sums for their lobster rolls, while others have chosen to jack up prices as high as $49 for 8 ounces.

How did it happen? With this year’s elevated amount of Nor’easters, the start of the season for Maine fisherman was delayed. Add to the equation the fact that the Canadian supply of lobster was trapped under a sheet of ice, and you’ve got the explanation for a shortage.

While prices are expected to stabilize with the coming of warmer weather, a changing climate could make the $49 lobster roll the new normal.

There’s no word as to whether Red Lobster’s recent promotion of lobster and waffles had anything to do with the shortage. Nonetheless, we have reason to doubt it.

Still hungry? Follow Genius Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more fresh food news, served daily. Use #GeniusKitchen to let us know what you're sharing!

Got a smokin' hot tip? Contact the GK News Desk at gkeditteam@gmail.com with story ideas.

get the Food.com app.

Watch on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Roku, or Fire TV.

Learn More

About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns