There won't be much of a seasonal discount on a New England staple this fall.
Wholesale lobster prices tend to drop into the $8-to-$9 per pound range as fall arrives, according to The Associated Press. But this year, those prices didn't sink under $10.50 per pound, and the consumer price is roughly $15 per pound
That is about a third more than a year ago and twice the price from some previous summers and early falls, according to the AP.
Demand for Maine lobster this year has been "really strong," Marianne LaCroix, the executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, said in an interview.
At retail stores like Free Range Fish and Lobster in Portland, that high demand has been consistent and visible, as have slightly higher prices.
"It's like anything right now, it's kind of trended more expensive than what people anticipated," said Cullen Burke, the store's retail manager.
"Retail food across the board has done fairly well. People are cooking more, they have learned how to cook, they've learned to cook seafood and that's really exciting for us. I don't see it going back," he added.
Asked what people who usually include lobster in their holiday meals later on in 2021 should do this year, if anything, Burke replied that he "would definitely suggest people plan ahead."
He also recommended that customers at fish markets "be patient" because of staffing shortages.
"There might be a little bit of a line," he explained, pointing out that, "whether or not the product is there is not the issue."
As for what lobster might cost per pound by the time December rolls around, Burke replied that it wasn't really possible to guess.