CANDIAC. Quebec lobster has been on sale for almost a month, but grocery tanks remain full and plates empty. Due to the high price, customers reduced consumption, and restaurateurs did not include it in the menu.
At Pasquier, a subsidiary in Delson, the increase in the cost of lobsters began in 2021, when you had to pay $ 2 more per pound to get it. This year, the bill rose by another dollar.
“We are seeing a decline in lobster consumption,” said Chantal Lefebvre, a categorical fishmonger. This is a product that generally causes great euphoria among our customers, because it is seasonal. But we notice shortness of breath.
Instead of buying three or four times during the peak period, customers are limited to one or two cases, says one who has worked at Pasquier for 23 years. She expects the season to end around Father’s Day, June 19.
The independent banner believes that it stands out for the size of its lobsters, about a pound heavier than its competitors. We find them for $ 14.99 for two books in Pasquier fishponds, Ms. Lefebvre said.
“In our opinion, this is a fair deal compared to other supermarkets,” says the manager.
The Metro network has made a bet at the beginning of the season to sell its lobsters at the same price as in 2021, ie $ 8.88 per pound to attract more customers. Fishing in Gaspe was delayed by a snowstorm, but at the same time slowed down supplies, says Jean-François Cardinal, owner of a branch in St. Catherine.
“We received only the third expected,” he said. At this price, we lose money, but this is to bring customers to the store, “he admits.
It has since returned to around $ 12.99 a pound, adds Mr Cardinal, who has promised to be able to offer it to his clients throughout the summer.
Jean-Claude Trotier, co-owner of the culinary cave restaurants Chez Julien and L’Ours at La Prairie, has no lobster on his menu this year, although he generally adapts it to seasonal products.
“When prices are too high, we don’t buy products,” he says. So far, we have had very few customers who have asked us to have lobsters or crabs on our menu.
It was unthinkable for the Piazzetta chain not to offer this product in its pizzas, salads and pastas, says Normand Savard, owner of a restaurant in Candiac.
“Yes, the price of our dishes is higher, but lobster is mandatory,” says the restaurateur. However, for the first time since the opening of the snow crab season 15 years ago, there was no price because of the price. “
“Is it profitable to sell lobsters?” Not much, but we hope that customers buy other products at the same time.
-Chantal Lefebvre, manager of Pasquier
Without a banquet with lobsters
For the first time in six years, the Governors’ Hope Foundation did not hold a traditional lobster feast. The reason for this is the “inflated price” of this product, as well as the snow crab, confirmed in the organization. During the last issue in 2019, participants paid $ 160 to taste a lobster weighing more than 2 pounds and crab legs “everything you can eat”.
“At the end of March, when we had to set a date and decide on the price of tickets, the price was about $ 55 per kilogram, so our costs became exorbitant. We would have to sell our tickets too expensive to make a profit, ”said Sonia Cosentino, communications manager.
She points to the irony of the situation, because the banquet is a fundraiser for an organization that supports the families of children with cancer.
The event, which in 2019 was sold out with 320 guests, has been changed to another evening this year. However, the Governors’ Hope Foundation hopes that the market will be on its side in 2023 to enable it to hold a new edition of its banquet.