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What is the average price of baby back ribs?

Baby back ribs are a popular cut of pork ribs. They are taken from the top of the ribcage between the spine and spare ribs, making them shorter and meatier than spare ribs. Baby back ribs are prized for being tender and flavorful. But with rising costs of meat production, the price of baby back ribs has increased over the years. So what is the average price per pound for baby back ribs today? Let’s take a closer look.

Average Retail Price Per Pound of Baby Back Ribs

The average retail price for baby back ribs varies depending on the retailer and region. However, most retailers nationwide sell baby back ribs for between $7-12 per pound.

According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price per pound for baby back ribs from grocery stores was $8.54. The average price at warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club was slightly lower at $7.99 per pound. Specialty butcher shops charged the most on average at $11.99 per pound.

These national averages can fluctuate year to year based on factors like meat production costs, demand, and seasonal availability. But in most areas today, you can expect to pay around $8-10 per pound for baby back ribs from standard grocery retailers.

Factors Affecting Baby Back Ribs Prices

There are several key factors that influence the retail pricing of baby back ribs over time:

Cost of Production

The cost to raise pigs and process pork has steadily risen due to higher costs for feed, fuel, labor, and regulatory compliance. When production costs go up for meat packers, those price increases get passed onto consumers through higher retail pricing.


As one of the most popular cuts of pork, demand for baby back ribs is consistently high. Seasonal events like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day where grilling is popular drive additional demand. Higher demand leads to higher prices.

Wholesale Prices

Grocery retailers base their pricing on the wholesale prices they pay meat suppliers and distributors. So when wholesale prices for beef rise or fall, retail prices follow.


The supply of baby back ribs fluctuates throughout the year. They are more limited during peak summer grilling season. Limited seasonal availability leads to temporary price hikes at retail.

Geographic Price Differences

Baby back rib prices also differ based on geographic region. Areas with higher costs of living tend to have higher average prices for baby back ribs.

Below are the estimated price ranges for baby back ribs in select major US cities:

City Average Price Range Per Pound
New York City $9-15
Los Angeles $8-14
Chicago $7-12
Houston $7-11
Philadelphia $8-12
Phoenix $7-11
San Antonio $7-10
San Diego $8-12
Dallas $7-11
San Jose $8-14
Austin $7-11
Jacksonville $7-10
Fort Worth $7-11
Columbus $7-11
Charlotte $7-12
Indianapolis $7-11
Seattle $8-12
Denver $7-12
Washington DC $8-13
Boston $8-13
Nashville $7-11
Baltimore $8-12
Oklahoma City $7-10
Louisville $7-11
Portland $8-12
Las Vegas $8-12
Milwaukee $7-11
Albuquerque $7-10
Tucson $7-11
Fresno $7-11
Sacramento $8-12
Kansas City $7-11
Mesa $7-11
Atlanta $7-11
Colorado Springs $7-12
Raleigh $7-11
Omaha $7-10
Miami $8-12

As you can see, baby back rib prices tend to be on the higher end in major coastal cities like Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington DC. The lowest prices are found in southern and midwestern cities like San Antonio, Jacksonville, Tucson, and Omaha. But there is variation even within regions.

Ways to Save on Baby Back Ribs

While baby back rib prices have been increasing over time, here are some tips for saving money:

Buy in bulk quantities

Buying rib slabs in bulk often saves $1-2 per pound compared to just buying a few individual ribs. Shop at warehouse clubs or check your regular grocery store for bulk specials.

Buy from butcher shops or meat markets

Local butcher shops and meat markets tend to have better regular pricing than big box retail. Developing a relationship with a butcher can help access specials.

Check for sales

Grocery stores will often run weekly specials promoting ribs at reduced prices to drive traffic. Check newspaper ads and online circulars for upcoming meat sales.

Buy less popular cuts

Opt for pork spare ribs or country-style ribs when baby backs are too expensive. Other cuts like rib tips also provide value.

Use coupon apps

Digital grocery and shopping apps like Flipp, Groupon, and Checkout 51 routinely offer discounts on ribs and other meats.

Stock up when prices drop

When you see a good sale price, buy a few extra racks to freeze for later rather than paying full price another week.

Outlook for Baby Back Rib Prices

Looking ahead, expect baby back rib prices to continue trending higher in the coming years. Overall demand remains strong while meat production faces ongoing cost increases. However, there will still be periodic dips when seasonal supply is higher. Consumers that are flexible and take advantage of temporary promotions will get the best deals. But average per pound prices between $8-12 will be the norm at most retailers.


Baby back ribs command a premium price compared to other pork cuts due to their popularity and high demand. But actual retail prices vary across different regions and stores. The typical price range nationwide runs from $7-12 per pound, with coastal cities seeing the highest prices. There are ways to save by buying in bulk, choosing less expensive cuts, using coupons, and stocking up during sales. With meat production costs expected to remain high, baby back rib prices will likely stay elevated in the $8-12 per pound range on average. But savvy shoppers can still find opportunities to buy them at a discount.