Bristol Bay, Alaska – As consumers continue to look for budget friendly deals on groceries and restaurant meals, there’s one protein source whose price is staying steady, thanks to a surplus from last year’s harvest season. The 2022 harvest from Bristol Bay, Alaska – the source of more than half the world’s sustainable, wild sockeye salmon – was 46% higher than its previous five-year average, bringing in a haul of more than 60 million fish. This means the average price per pound of wild sockeye salmon on sale at grocery stores is down 7% since early 2022, compared to an increase of 12% for farmed Atlantic salmon fillets.1 So, now is a great time for shoppers to find red-hot deals on the delicious, omega-3 rich sockeye salmon at retailers around the country.
The wild sockeye surplus comes at a necessary time to meet increased demand, while seafood consumption in the U.S. remains higher than during the pre-pandemic year 2019 and is expected to grow at a rate of 4.9% in 2023.2 “If you’re seeing sockeye salmon in the grocery store or on menus in 2023, chances are it came from Bristol Bay, Alaska. This is a great opportunity for more people to enjoy delicious wild sockeye salmon, and help make the most of this gift from nature,” says Andy Wink, Executive Director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA). As shoppers may be seeing inflated prices for other sources of protein, wide availability and deals on wild sockeye salmon at retailers like Costco, Whole Foods, Albertson’s, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, QFC and more, lend even more appeal to America’s favorite fish.
Wild sockeye salmon, which predominantly comes from Bristol Bay, Alaska, is known for its brilliant ruby red color, delicious taste and nutrient density. Sockeye is one of the most popular salmon species due to taste and texture, which make it perfect for almost all preparation techniques, including grilling, broiling, sautéing, roasting, poaching, steaming and smoking. Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is also guaranteed to be wild and sustainably caught, with the fishery adhering to strict sustainability standards upheld by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.
With lower wholesale prices on sockeye salmon and high prices for many other protein options, retailers nationwide are offering temporary price reductions. Wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay can be found at the seafood counter, in the freezer case or in can at grocers and retailers nationwide. To find a store, consumers should check out the Fish Finder, or simply ask the fishmonger at their favorite grocery store.
“Now is the time to stock up on Alaska sockeye and consumers can feel good about having this wild, sustainable fish on their tables. In addition to home cooks, we encourage retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, and importers to reach out to us to collaborate on ways to showcase this tremendous protein,” says BBRSDA Marketing Director Lilani Dunn.
Wild sockeye salmon can be found fresh or previously frozen in the seafood case, as well as frozen, canned and smoked year-round. Bristol Bay fishermen often freeze their catch just after it leaves the water, locking in nutrients, maintaining quality and helping to reduce food waste throughout every step of the supply chain. Consumers will appreciate that wild sockeye salmon can be cooked directly from frozen and hold up well to virtually any cooking method, making it easy to get a delicious dinner on the table in minutes. For more information, cooking tips and more visit www.bristolbaysockeye.org.
About Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association:
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is a fishermen-funded group with the mission to increase the value of the Bristol Bay fishery through education, quality outreach, and marketing.
1 Data based on average prices in the Urner Barry Retail Features database for January-February 2023 versus January-February 2022.
2 Statista Consumer Market Insights, Fish & Seafood – United States