Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood ingredients used around the world. From stir-fries to pastas, tacos, salads, and more, shrimp adds delicious flavor and texture to many dishes.
But before you grab a bag at the grocery store or place an order at your favorite restaurant, you may be wondering – how much does shrimp cost?
The price of shrimp can vary quite a bit based on several factors.
Whether you’re on a budget or simply want the highest quality shrimp, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about shrimp prices per pound.
How Much Does Shrimp Cost?
Shrimp prices can range anywhere from $4 per pound to over $25 per pound depending on the type, size, and quality. At most mainstream grocery stores, expect to pay between $7-15 per pound. At high-end markets or supply stores, specialty varieties like wild-caught Gulf shrimp may cost up to $25 per pound.
Frozen shrimp tends to be on the cheaper side, typically between $4-9 per pound. It is a budget-friendly option, though the texture and flavor are not quite as premium.
For fresh shrimp, expect to pay a slight premium, usually in the range of $10-18 per pound. Though more expensive than frozen, fresh seafood has superior taste and texture.
Wild-caught shrimp is generally the most expensive option, ranging from $15-25+ per pound for species like Gulf shrimp. However, it is considered the highest quality.
Farm-raised shrimp costs a bit less, usually between $10-18 per pound. Though affordable, the quality is not as high as wild-caught.
So in summary, mainstream grocery frozen shrimp runs $4-9/lb, fresh seafood costs $10-18/lb, wild-caught averages $15-25+/lb, and farmed is $10-18/lb. But there are other factors that affect cost as well.
AguaBlancaSeaFood, for example, offers fresh, sustainable shrimp in the USA. The website provides different sizes of shrimp with prices ranging from $78.00 to $16.00 per pound.
BiloxiShrimpCO offers Extra Jumbo 16/20 Headless Wild-Caught USA Shrimp for $20.00/lb. The website provides shipping to any of the 50 states.
TheShrimpNet offers wild-caught fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. The website provides different sizes of shrimp with prices ranging from $9.00 to $60.00 per pound.
Types of Shrimp and Price Variations
There are many different types of shrimp, and the variety you select impacts the price. Here are some of the most common options and their typical price points:
- Tiger shrimp – A popular variety, medium size. $9-15/lb
- White shrimp – Delicate flavor, medium/large. $10-18/lb
- Gulf shrimp – Premium wild-caught. $15-25+/lb
- Rock shrimp – Smaller shrimp product with firm texture. $7-12/lb
- King prawns – Extra large shrimp. More expensive. $15-22/lb
- Pink shrimp – Small, economical option. $4-9/lb
- Black tiger shrimp – Large, striking appearance. $12-20 per lb
The size of shrimp also significantly impacts the price per pound. Here are some typical size classes:
- Colossal – Under 10 shrimp per pound. Most expensive.
- Jumbo – Under 15 per pound.
- Extra large – 16-20 per pound.
- Large – 21-25 per pound.
- Medium – 26-30 per pound.
- Small – Around 41-50 per pound. Least expensive.
In summary, larger shrimp sizes like colossal and jumbo will be $15-25+ per pound, while smaller sizes like medium and small usually range $4-12 per pound.
Factors Influencing Shrimp Cost
Beyond type and size, there are a few other factors that affect the cost of shrimp:
- Wild vs Farm-Raised – Wild-caught shrimp is more expensive since availability is limited. Farm-raised is cheaper since it’s produced in controlled settings.
- Fresh vs Frozen – Fresh shrimp costs more due to quick spoilage. Frozen is cheaper but loses some texture.
- Raw vs Peeled – Peeled, deveined shrimp costs 2-3x more than shrimp sold with shell on. Added processing increases price.
- Seasonality – Prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. Expect higher costs in colder months when shrimp supply is lower.
- Location – Shrimp costs more at high-end grocers or seafood markets vs large supermarket chains.
So when looking at shrimp prices, keep these key factors in mind. Choosing options like frozen, raw, farm-raised when possible will yield the best value.
Seafood on Gourmet Market: Fresh vs. Frozen
One of the most important choices that affects shrimp prices is whether to buy fresh or frozen shrimp. Here is a comparison:
- Higher quality texture and flavor
- Spoils quickly, only lasts 1-3 days
- Sold raw and shell-on to preserve freshness
- More expensive, $10-18 per pound
- Lower quality texture, freezer burn possible
- Lasts 6-12 months frozen
- Often sold peeled, cooked, and deveined
- Cheaper, $4-9 per pound
For budget-friendly meals, opt for frozen shrimp. But for specialty dishes where texture is key, spring for fresh. Also keep in mind fresh shrimp has a very short shelf life. Buy only what you need for 1-2 meals within a couple days. Frozen shrimp can be stored much longer.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Shrimp Options
With concerns over overfishing and environmental impacts, many consumers opt for sustainable shrimp options. These tend to cost a bit more than conventional shrimp:
- MSC certified – Guarantees sustainability practices. $1-5 premium/lb.
- US farmed – Regulations ensure eco-friendly farming. $12-18/lb
- Local wild-caught – Regional fisheries have less impact. $15-25+/lb
While prices are higher for eco-conscious shrimp, many find it worthwhile to support responsible fishing and farming. Look for certification labels like Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) for assurance.
Cooking with Shrimp
To make flavorful shrimp meals while sticking to your budget, focus on recipes that use smaller, inexpensive shrimp. Here are some cost-friendly ideas:
- Shrimp tacos – Use small or medium pink shrimp. Flavor with lime and cilantro.
- Shrimp fried rice – Chop into pieces to stretch a pound across multiple portions.
- Shrimp pasta – Combine with linguine and homemade sauce for a gourmet meal.
- Shrimp skewers – Alternate with veggies for colorful kabobs.
- Shrimp soup – Simmer chopped shrimp in tomato or creamy broths.
Prepare shrimp in a mix of spices and sauces to make a little go a long way. Stretch a pound across 3-4 portions by incorporating rice, pasta, or veggies.
Where to Buy Shrimp
To get the most value when buying shrimp, keep these tips in mind:
- Check sales at major retailers like Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale
- Ask for price quotes from local seafood markets
- Buy in-season varieties whenever possible
- Opt for farm-raised shrimp over wild varieties
- Purchase shell-on, head-on shrimp
- Buy frozen shrimp and defrost as needed
- Avoid pre-cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp
- Purchase shrimp in bulk when on sale, then freeze extra
Grocery store chains tend to have the most affordable everyday pricing on shrimp. Local seafood shops offer specialty varieties and custom orders. Buy raw shrimp and remove shells yourself to save around 30%.
Storing and Preparing Shrimp
Proper storage and preparation is key to preserving freshness and reducing waste:
- Store fresh shrimp on ice or in coldest part of refrigerator. Use within 1-3 days.
- Freeze raw shell-on shrimp in a single layer on a tray before transferring to a bag to prevent sticking.
- Thaw frozen shrimp overnight in the fridge or under cool running water. Never leave at room temp.
- Remove shells just before cooking shrimp for maximum flavor and juiciness.
- Dry shrimp thoroughly to prevent steaming instead of searing. Pat off excess moisture before cooking.
- Don’t overcook shrimp. They turn rubbery and lose flavor when cooked too long. 2-3 minutes until opaque is perfect.
Keep fresh shrimp chilled on ice or refrigerated. Freeze raw shrimp with shells on. Thaw properly and remove shells just before cooking. Avoid overcooking for tender texture.
Spending Less on Shrimp
- Buy frozen instead of fresh to save money
- Purchase raw, shell-on shrimp and remove shells yourself
- Opt for farm-raised over wild-caught
- Buy in bulk and freeze extras when shrimp goes on sale
- Use small or medium shrimp for budget recipes
- Incorporate shrimp into rice, pasta, and veggie dishes
- Shop sales at big box chains and wholesale clubs
- Check pricing at local seafood shops and fish markets
- Cook shrimp properly to avoid overcooking and rubbery texture
While shrimp can be one of the pricier proteins, there are ways to indulge in this succulent seafood while sticking to your budget. Follow these tips to enjoy quality shrimp anytime without overspending. Savor the flavors of shrimp tacos, shrimp pasta, ceviche, and more without breaking the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are shrimp healthy?
Yes, shrimp can be a very healthy food choice as part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the top health benefits of shrimp:
- High in protein – A 3 oz serving provides over 20g of protein. Shrimp is a lean source of this important nutrient.
- Low in calories – With approximately 100 calories in 3 oz, shrimp provides protein without excessive calories.
- Rich in nutrients – Shrimp provides vitamins and minerals like selenium, iodine, copper, and B-vitamins.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Shrimp contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s that are beneficial for heart and brain health.
- Antioxidants – Compounds like astaxanthin in shrimp function as antioxidants to reduce cellular damage.
- May promote heart health – Some research indicates shrimp’s omega-3s and other nutrition may support cardiovascular health.
So in moderation as part of an overall healthy regime, shrimp can be an excellent addition to one’s diet. It provides high-quality nutrition without excess calories or fat. Just be mindful of preparation methods, as deep frying can make shrimp less healthy.
Are shrimps expensive?
Whether or not shrimp is expensive depends on a few factors:
- Type of shrimp – Some varieties like wild-caught and jumbo shrimp can be quite expensive, while smaller farm-raised shrimp are more budget-friendly.
- Where it is purchased – Shrimp prices are often lower at large supermarkets compared to specialty seafood stores.
- Whether it’s fresh or frozen – Fresh shrimp is more perishable so it tends to cost more than frozen.
- Seasonality – Prices typically increase for shrimp in colder months when supply is lower.
- Preparation – Raw shell-on shrimp is cheaper than buying peeled, cooked shrimp.
- Sales and promotions – Buying shrimp in bulk on sale makes it more affordable.
While shrimp is one of the more expensive seafood options per pound compared to fish like tilapia or swai, there are ways to purchase quality shrimp at reasonable prices. Opting for frozen, farm-raised varieties and buying in bulk on sale can yield prices in the range of $4-$9 per pound. So shrimp can be budget-friendly with the right purchasing strategies.
How much shrimp per kilo?
Shrimp are typically sold by the pound, but a rough conversion is:
- 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
So if we estimate an average price of shrimp to be $10 per pound:
- 1 lb shrimp = $10
- 2.2 lbs shrimp (1 kg) = $22
Therefore, on average 1 kg of shrimp would cost about $22 at retail prices. However, this varies based on specific type, size, preparation method, and other factors.
For example, a 1 kg bag of small frozen shrimp may only cost $15 per kilo. But 1 kg of fresh jumbo shrimp could be $40+ per kilo.
To estimate per kilo cost on your own, check the price per pound and multiply by 2.2. This will give you a ballpark price per kilo based on the current retail pricing in your area. But be aware true kilo pricing may differ from the converted pound price.