How Much Does Salmon Cost?

Salmon is prized for being difficult to catch, rich in nutrients, and being part of unique cuisine. It’s rich in omega-3, high in B vitamins, and a great source for preserving heart health. The popularity of this fish choice has created a high demand in the market, making it difficult to know which to choose, what is the best price, and where to find the salmon you’re craving. 

Depending on the type of salmon you choose, and its geographical location its price can range from $6-$80 per pound. Its price per pound is different if it’s wild or farmed and the season.

What’s the average price?

Determining the cost of salmon depends on factors such as:

  • Location
  • Type
  • Farm-Raised or Wild
  • Season 
  • Availability

In short, you can’t truly determine an average price. The price varies depending on location, the season, and even the type of salmon you choose. In order to make clear the price of salmon, you first need to know the difference between wild and farmed salmon. 

Farmed vs. Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is always caught in the wild. In places such as the Pacific ocean, Alaskan rivers, and many lakes. Majority of the salmon you will find in your local grocery store today is farmed salmon. These fish farms use a process called aquaculture that is used to breed fish, which they are then given a different diet than those in the wild. 

Due to the various diets, the nutrient make-up of farmed and wild salmon can be really different. Farmed salmon contains higher amounts of calories, vitamin C, and saturated fat. Wild salmon has more minerals. Wild salmon is also widely known for its heart healthy minerals that provide many health benefits.

Farmed salmon has a 60% to 70% market share, while wild salmon only has a 30% to 40% market share. Wild salmon is harder to find and tends to be more expensive. It can be 3 to 4 times more expensive than farm-raised salmon. This means that the farmed salmon will have a price range of $6 to $35 per pound. 

Wild SalmonFarmed Salmon
Price3-4 times the price of farm-raised salmon. ($16.99 – $79.99 a pound.)1/3rd-1/4th the price of wild salmon. ($5.99 – $34.99 a pound.)
MethodPurse seining, gillnetting.Sea cages.
Market Share30% – 40%.60% – 70%.
Annual ProductionStable/stagnant.Slow growth; rapid growth expected.

In other words, wild salmon is much more expensive than farmed salmon. If you’re looking to try out wild salmon, you’re going to want to be able to find Pacific Salmon. The most common types are: Sockeye, King, Coho, Chum, and Pink. 

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Atlantic salmon is not a bad choice, the reason that you may not find many is because there are now there are not many Atlantic salmon found in the wild today, because of so much overfishing and lots of habitat destruction. Due to this, most of the Atlantic salmon you will find in your local stores are raised in farms. 

King/Chinook

This salmon, which is very simple to remember becuase of its royal name, King salmon (which can also be found as Chinook) has a price range of $30 to $70 per pound. It can reach up to 100 pounds in weight and five feet in its size, you will find it swimming everywhere around the ice cold rivers in northern Alaska to the waters in the Pacific of southern California. 

Sockeye/Red

This chef favorite has a price range of $15 to $30 per pound. Sockeye salmon is well known for its brilliant orange-red flesh and strong scent. It has a richer flavor that comes leaner and smaller than Kings. In addition, it’s much cheaper than Kings. 

Coho/Silver

Silver or Coho salmon got their name due to their extremely bright silver skin. This fish has a price ranging from $15 per pound. Coho is known for having a subtle flavor and is smaller in its size. The flavor can be similar to a King’s flavor but much more delicate in the texture. 

Pink/Humpback

Its noticeable hump on their back that can be seen when they spawn, gives it the name Humpback, or even sometimes “Humpies”. This Pink salmon has a price ranging from $17 per pound. Typically weighing between two to six pounds, it’s mild in flavor and low in fat. You might even find them sold in pouches or cans. 

Chum/Silverbrite/Dog/Keta

Going by many names, this salmon has a flesh color that is light to even medium at times. This Alaskan raised fish has a price ranging around $0.43 to $0.50 per pound. It has something special to it: roe. 

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Roe, or better known as “fish eggs”, are considered a culinary delicacy. Chum’s roe is larger and tastier than other kinds of salmon. It’s commonly used to make Ikura, which is known as “salmon caviar”. 

They can be found fresh and frozen, and can also be found on the coasts of Washington and Oregon. However, it is most commonly sold in cans or pouches.

Atlantic/Salmo Salar

It is the one and only salmon that does originate from the Pacific ocean: Atlantic salmon or Salmo Salar. This mild in flavor salmon has a price range of $10 to $15 per pound. This salmon choice tends to be cheaper than most wild salmon. 

However, all of the Atlantic salmon that you will find in a grocery store today is commercially farmed. The populations that exist in the wild today are smaller and endangered.

Atlantic salmon tend to be larger because of their unique diet. Thankfully, fish farming is beginning to change and many more improvements are being made. These improvements include fisheries moving to more feeds that are plant-based for the farmed salmon. 

How to find the best salmon prices?

Different stores and different markets will all range with different prices for salmon. Finding the right price that suits you will range from many different factors. 

Store

Every store has a different price. Often retail and large commercial stores will indeed have a lower price, but you might not find the selection you’re looking for. The quality might not be the best you were expecting either. More exclusive stores will most likely have a wider selection for you to choose from. You might even find a better price. 

Season

The season you pick matters. The majority of the salmon is caught during spawning season, this means that during this time there is generally more of an abundance. However, for those who live near the coast or even on the coast, it can be provided for longer periods, sometimes for almost the whole year. Keep in mind that if you live far from where salmon is caught, then you should keep track of the season. Typically around spring is when there is the largest amount brought to a grocery store near you. 

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Type

This can be the most confusing aspect for those who are new to purchasing salmon. You might not know which one you will like most, or understand the exact difference between all of them. To understand the basics of how salmon is labeled, remember these keywords:

  • Wild
  • Farmed
  • Fresh
  • Flash-Frozen
  • Organic

The difference between these words is rather simple. We went over Wild and Farmed earlier. 

Wild salmon is fish that is caught in the ocean, rivers, or streams. The price might be higher on these choices since it can be difficult to catch salmon and is rich and different in nutrients. 

Farmed salmon is fish that is raised in bodies of water. They are bred and fed on a based diet, and rich in other nutrients. This kind has an abundance and takes up majority of the market you see in your seafood aisle. 

Fresh salmon has the definition in its name. It’s been freshly caught, and can’t be more than a few days old. 

Flash-Frozen is salmon that has been frozen in a fresh state so that it could be delivered to the store. 

Organic salmon is simple to understand. It is a naturally fed salmon with the feed that they use for farmed salmon. 

The more intricate term you might see around is “Sustainable”. This is a farmed raised salmon, however, this salmon was raised in net pins that are cleaner compared to standard fish farms that typically use existing bodies of water.

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Finding the Right Price

Finding the right price can be difficult and it can be hard to find. With many variables that add to the difference, it can be hard to know where to start and where to look. Shop around your local area, and do some research and where you can find the salmon that seems the most appealing to you. Branch out to different fish stores and markets and find out what you like best. 

When picking out the right salmon for you, it can be difficult and overwhelming. If you would like to find some additional information on learning about how to choose the best salmon at your local grocery store check out this link:

The cost of salmon truly is its quality. Find the best quality for you and you will be more than happy with the choice.