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Copper River Salmon

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Does anyone have any insight why QFC is charging only $24.99/lb for the CR King while Whole Foods: $37.99; Central Market:$34.99: Metropolitan Market : $34.99?

I sure wouldn't mind saving $10/lb if it's the real thing!

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  1. QFC as part of the Kroger supermarket chain has enormous buying power. They have probably purchased ten fold more that Whole Foods, Central and Met Market combined. Kroger can then pass the savings onto the consumer and maintain similar profit margins to the other retailers listed

    1 Reply
    1. re: urika

      But on a limited product like this, I'm not sure how much buying power can play into it. The volume's not there from a supply side to create such a difference in price.

      Also, QFC runs on much slimmer margins than Whole Foods, so that's part of it.

      Additionally, QFC may be using this as a loss-leader. That is selling it at, or below cost, to entice customers into the store to buy other items.

      From a more speculative end, I have think buyers from places like Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market offer higher prices to suppliers (knowing their customers will pay more) for the best of the catch and are able to get the best specimens of fish. (but again, this is much more speculative than the above points)

      Metropolitan Market
      1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

    2. Is it previously-frozen rather than fresh?

      1 Reply
      1. re: lavaca

        Unless you are eating fish within a few hours of the catch, the quality is better if it is frozen.
        Fish flash-frozen at sea is far superior to fish that has been sitting in the hold for any length of time.

      2. It could be the difference between Sockeye and King (Chinook), which is generally more expensive. At my local Thriftway Copper River Sockeye was going for $24.99 today.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LemonyRoux

          I had a CR Sockeye last night that I bought at Pike Place but grilled at home in Brooklyn. It may have been the only Copper River salmon in Brooklyn last night and it was great. It is much more flavorful than the usual farmed fish we get in the east. It wasn't cheap even buying it in Seattle.

        2. There's always Costco, if you don't mind filleting your own. Got a nice sockeye today, for $8.99/lb

          1. Wow. I paid $29.99/lb yesterday at my Whole Foods in Minneapolis for some excellent Copper River Salmon. Funny it should be cheaper here considering the distance it needs to travel.

            1. QFC has CR Sockeye for $6.99 a pound this week if you buy the whole fish. They will steak or filet for free.

              2 Replies
              1. re: seattleviking

                Hank's Market in Twisp, WA used to sell Copper River Salmon for half what it cost in Seattle, Their former meat/fish manager had some deal to buy a thousand pounds of fish at a time to truck up the Methow Valley. That suggests to me that the reason for the big price differences here in Seattle is just the sellers taking advantage of the CR hype to jack up prices.

                I haven't been in Twisp since the CR started swimming to Washington, but I'll be there this weekend to check it out.

                1. re: seattleviking

                  Thanks for the tip! I'm heading there today; the sale ends at midnight. Hope they still have some!

                2. Whole Food = Whole Wallet

                  I rarely go in there, but when I do I'm astonished at how they overprice their produce, particularly the conventionally grown stuff. I can't believe people pay what they ask. I imagine that's what's going on with the CR salmon.

                  Support your local grocers and fishmongers instead! I don't know who they are in Seattle, but in Portland we have the wonderful New Seasons and also locally owned Thriftways.

                  Sorry if this is going off topic.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Chatsworth

                    CR king fillets were $35/lb yesterday at Whole Foods, $30 for sockeye. CR sockeye fillets are $15/lb in Twisp and much less for whole fish.

                    If you need a lot of salmon, it would pay to drive out there.

                    1. re: RandyB

                      If you are a Costco member they have sockeye fillets for $12.99 or whole fish for $8.99... of course the fillets are basically a whole fish that has been filleted.

                      1. re: seattleviking

                        Don't know where all these $8.99 and 6.99 prices come from but Costco does not have CR for that price, only farm raised. QFC's CR are previously frozen and very limited availability may be six or seven fish at a time per the seafood guy and at $9.99

                        1. re: tedfood

                          tedfood - are you sure? Costco usually has a special on whole CR salmon during the run.

                          1. re: Lauren

                            I was there yesterday and no CR

                            1. re: tedfood

                              The QFC price was one week only and they ran out quickly. I bought the last fish at the Uptown QFC on the first day of the sale. [May 26]

                              The Costco price was most likely offered until they ran out of fish.

                              I'll admit that I'm at Costco frequently and read grocery store ads for entertainment so I often see limited time prices or get lucky on some items.

                          2. re: tedfood

                            Not so fast tedfood. I saw CR in Costco in Tacoma.

                            1. re: libstewart

                              On Monday i was told by the fishmongers at Wild Salmon that there is a hold on CR for a week or so. We got sockeye from another river (Taka?) that was tasty. These guys usually know what they are talking about. So, you prob won't find fresh copper river this week.

                              1. re: libstewart

                                So I thought this is a board relating to the Seattle area, not Northwest which would include Tacoma. Thus I am only writing with the Seattle in mind.

                                1. re: tedfood

                                  You've got me there - but since I commute daily, I must say that I haven't seen a lot of difference in the offerings in the Costcos in Seattle and T-town.

                      2. So, where is the CR salmon and what are the prices this week? We are here for several days.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tom Hall

                          At Wild Salmon the king was down to $30/lb and the sockeye to $24, i think.