Salmon is one of the most popular and nutritious fish on the market. Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon provides an array of health benefits. But with its growing popularity, many consumers wonder – how much does salmon cost? Here’s a closer look at the average price of fresh salmon per pound and the factors that influence the cost.
On average, fresh, farmed Atlantic salmon costs $7.50 to $15 per pound. The price for wild caught salmon is higher, averaging between $15 to $25 per pound. The type of salmon, whether it’s farmed or wild caught, where it’s purchased, and time of year impact the per pound price.
What Impacts the Cost of Salmon?
Several key factors determine the retail price of fresh salmon:
Type of Salmon
There are five species of salmon commonly sold as food:
- Chinook (also called king)
- Coho (also called silver)
- Sockeye (also called red)
- Pink (also called humpback)
The species impacts the color, fat content, texture, and flavor. Sockeye, coho, and king tend to cost more than chum or pink salmon. Within the same species, the price may also depend on factors like the salmon’s origin and diet.
Wild Caught vs Farmed
Wild caught salmon is more expensive than farmed Atlantic salmon. Here’s a comparison of the average per pound price:
|Type||Average Price Per Pound|
|Wild caught salmon||$15 to $25|
|Farmed Atlantic salmon||$7.50 to $15|
There are a few reasons for the price difference:
- Limited supply – Only about 15% of salmon consumed is wild caught.
- Higher production costs for catching wild salmon.
- Consumers perceive wild salmon as higher quality so are willing to pay more.
Where It’s Purchased
Salmon prices will be significantly higher at upscale grocery stores, specialty fish markets, and restaurants compared to big box stores like Costco and Walmart. Here’s a price comparison of different retailers for farmed Atlantic salmon:
|Retailer||Price Per Pound|
|Specialty fish market||$17.99|
|Restaurant||$22 to $30|
Time of Year
Salmon prices fluctuate throughout the year with seasonal supply. Peak salmon season for wild-caught salmon is mid-summer through early fall. Farmed salmon supply is more consistent year-round. Here is how the average price changes monthly:
|Month||Average Price Per Pound|
As wild salmon availability peaks from July to September, the average price for all salmon increases. Outside of peak salmon season, prices are lower.
Average Prices at Popular Grocery Stores
To give more specific price examples, here are the current average prices for fresh salmon fillets at some of the most popular grocery chains in the U.S:
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $7.98/lb
- Wild Sockeye Salmon: $19.98/lb
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $8.99/lb
- Wild King Salmon: $21.99/lb
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $12.99/lb
- Wild Coho Salmon: $17.99/lb
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $13.49/lb
- Wild Sockeye Salmon: $22.99/lb
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $11.49/lb
- Wild King Salmon: $24.99/lb
The farmed Atlantic salmon ranges from $7.98 to $13.49 per pound at the major grocery chains. For wild salmon, the prices range from $17.99 to $24.99 per pound. Keep in mind salmon prices can fluctuate frequently.
Average Prices at Warehouse Clubs
Shopping at warehouse club stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s can be a budget-friendly option for buying fresh salmon. Here are the current average pre-packaged salmon fillet prices:
- 2 lb Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $17.99 ($8.99/lb)
- 4 lb Wild King Salmon: $39.99 ($10/lb)
- 3 lb Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $27.98 ($9.33/lb)
- 2 lb Wild Sockeye Salmon: $39.98 ($20/lb)
- 3 lb Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $29.99 ($10/lb)
- 2.5 lb Wild Coho Salmon: $44.99 ($18/lb)
The larger pack sizes at warehouse clubs can provide some cost savings compared to traditional grocery chains. Keep an eye out for weekly promotions or coupon savings to get the best deal.
Average Prices at Fish Markets
Visiting a local specialty fish market or seafood store is a great option for getting the freshest salmon. However, expect to pay a higher price. Here are average prices at popular fish markets:
Pike Place Fish Market – Seattle
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $18.99/lb
- Wild King Salmon: $29.99/lb
Maine Coast Seafood – Portland
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $16.99/lb
- Wild Sockeye Salmon: $27.99/lb
Fulton Fish Market – New York
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon: $17.99/lb
- Wild Salmon: $26 to $36/lb depending on species
Shopping at specialty seafood stores and fish markets allows you to buy the freshest salmon, but you’ll generally pay $5 to $10 more per pound compared to a regular grocery store.
Average Prices at Restaurants
Ordering salmon from a restaurant often comes with the highest price tag. An average serving size of 6 oz cooked salmon ranges from $16 to $30 depending on the restaurant. Here are some average restaurant salmon prices:
Fine Dining Restaurant
- 6 oz Farmed Grilled Salmon: $26
- 6 oz Wild Baked Salmon: $32
Casual Sit-Down Restaurant
- 6 oz Farmed Salmon Fillet: $18
- 6 oz Wild Salmon Fillet: $22
Fast Casual Restaurant
- 6 oz Teriyaki Salmon Bowl: $16
- Salmon Sandwich: $14
Ordering salmon at a nice restaurant often means paying $20 to $30 or more per pound. Opt for more budget-friendly recipes like salmon burgers or salmon tacos at lower-priced restaurants.
How to Get the Best Deal on Fresh Salmon
Here are some tips to get the most affordable price when buying fresh salmon:
- Buy farmed Atlantic salmon instead of wild caught to save $5 to $10 per pound.
- Purchase salmon at big box stores like Costco or Walmart vs. premium grocery stores.
- Look for markdowns on salmon nearing its sell by date.
- Stock up during peak salmon season in midsummer through early fall.
- Seek out weekly promotions or special discounts.
- Consider buying in bulk quantities or larger fillets to cut down on cost per pound.
- Compare prices between grocery stores and buy where it’s cheapest.
With some strategizing, you can find fresh salmon at $10 per pound or less. Opting for farmed salmon, buying in bulk quantities, and purchasing at warehouse stores offer the most budget-friendly options.
In summary, fresh salmon costs between $7.50 to $15 per pound for farmed Atlantic and $15 to $25 per pound for wild caught. Prices are highest at upscale grocers, fish markets, and restaurants. The cheapest prices are found at big box retailers like Walmart and Costco. Time of year, salmon species, and where it’s purchased also impact the price. With some comparison shopping and buying during peak season, you can get fresh salmon for as low as $8 to $10 per pound. Knowing the average cost can help you find the best salmon deals.