What's up with lobster roll prices right now?

What's up with lobster roll prices right now?

Katrina Crowell

$28. $30. $34... The rising price of the iconic Maine Lobster Roll has been a hot topic in the news and among customers lately. While lobster rolls have always been viewed as an indulgence, prices have increased to unprecedented levels this year.

What's causing the tides to turn so sharply on lobster roll prices? In the simplest terms: supply and demand. Specifically, demand for lobster and seafood is at an all-time high. According to many news outlets such as NPR.org (and from what we've seen here at Get Maine Lobster), when COVID-19 caused restaurant shut-downs last year, consumers started trying new foods and recipes at home. Previously viewed as a novelty food by many, suddenly folks discovered they could receive, prepare and enjoy Maine Lobster at home. This discovery has led to a continued interest in having lobster and seafood delivered at home as a regular treat. 

As we head deeper into summer 2021, our days are literally looking brighter.

The sun is returning, pandemic numbers are turning around, and restrictions are easing across the country. While folks are slowing making their return to restaurants and hospitality outlets as businesses open back up, the demand for at-home lobster and seafood kits has remained strong. This brings us to our current environment, where wholesale customers (restaurants/hospitality) and retail customers are seeking out the same product. Demand for Maine Lobster is rising on all fronts!

On the supply side, Maine's lobster fishery usually gets into its most active season after Memorial Day.

According to Maine news station WGME13 (and what we're hearing from our vendors), pandemic-related issues such as labor shortages and fuel costs, plus some difficult times in the early days of the pandemic, are putting pressure on supply. This becomes especially challenging when supply already can be low this time of year due to weather and the natural ebb/flow of the industry.

Add to all of this, the current inflation of general food costs nationwide, and we have a perfect storm for prices of Maine Lobster to soar. 

So...how can you enjoy a classic Maine Lobster Roll this summer without paying $40 per roll?

Buy Direct
The less hands involved with getting your rolls from port to plate, the better. More touch points equals more markups along the way. When you buy a lobster roll at a restaurant, your roll may have taken a path like this: fishermen>brokers>wholesalers>restaurant>your plate...with each entity adding margin to make profit along the way.

When you buy direct from Get Maine Lobster, your lobster roll path looks more like this: fishermen>Get Maine Lobster>your plate. Less hands. Less markup. More value. ORDER FRESH MAINE LOBSTER ROLLS>

Dine Al Fresco
While it's exciting that our favorite restaurants are opening again, if you're looking to experience Maine Lobster rolls this summer without putting your piggy bank in a pinch, consider enjoying your lobster rolls outside at-home or on the go.

Have Maine Lobster Rolls delivered, and take them with you to the beach, your next family BBQ, or elevate your casual weekend lunch on your deck or patio. You'll save yourself the premium price that comes with dining out, plus save on gas if you dine at home.

At the end of the day...don't dismay! We're watching lobster prices like a (sea)hawk, and will be sure to pass the savings onto you as costs ease up.