Why Are Scallops So Expensive? (Top 3 Reasons Explained)

If you’re a seafood lover, you have probably eaten a scallop before. Or, you may have plans to enjoy some. However, you’ll notice that the price of scallops is relatively higher than other seafood. So, you may ask:

Why are scallops so expensive? Scallops are expensive because they are hard, labor-intensive to farm, have a short shelf life, and offer many health benefits. In short, it takes a lot of effort to make and sustain the supply of scallops while the demand increases due to its health benefits.

While scallops are not the most expensive seafood you can enjoy, they still belong to the list of expensive ones. Thus, if you want to get some scallops but are conscious of your budget, you need to learn the reason behind the price tag.

This article will give you our top three reasons scallops are so expensive. This way, you can learn why scallops have a high value and if it’s worth buying for their price. This information will also help you determine whether you should buy scallops or go for other seafood alternatives.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Why Are Scallops So ExpensivePin

Are scallops expensive?

Yes, scallops are expensive, and while it’s not the most expensive seafood option in the market, they belong on the pricey side. 

Now, you should know that you can find different types of scallops. While most of them are expensive, some are cheaper, and you can consider such if you want to try some scallops.

Why are scallops so expensive?

Here are some of the reasons behind the high price of scallops. You can take a look below to understand the reason behind the high value of scallops.

Hard to Farm

Scallops are expensive because farming them is labor-intensive. In addition, this seafood takes time to grow, so you can understand that this is not an easy food to obtain.

When a food product requires a lot of labor to get to the table, its price will rise. For example, scallop farmers who want to try their hand at growing scallops must first collect the seeds or baby scallops. Then, they must collect the seeds or baby scallops for nine months.

For scallop farmers to ensure they have enough seeds to start their crop, they need to prepare nine months in advance. From there, several steps are involved and constant monitoring of the scallops’ growth.

While scallops are still growing, algae and bacteria need to be cleaned from them. It enhances the flavor of the scallops as well as how they cook. It is not uncommon for people to dislike farmed scallops due to various factors and variables.

According to some, farming scallops seem artificial, and they prefer to catch them in the wild. However, scallops farmed from farms continue to gain popularity due to increased demand.

In general, scallops are suitable for the water they grow in since they keep it clean. In addition, they do not consume any other fish or creatures in their area, so farming scallops do not significantly impact the food chain or ecosystems.

Scallop farmers have very high startup costs and must rotate crops continuously to meet demand. Scallops will undoubtedly become more expensive as a result.

Short Shelf Life

As soon as it leaves the sea, seafood doesn’t last very long. When seafood is taken out of the water, it spoils immediately. 

The scallops aren’t going to last long before they start to spoil. Scallop farmers and those who dive for them have a difficult time.

The scallops need to remain frozen when harvested until purchased at grocery stores or in restaurants. Therefore, transport of refrigerated goods has to be done a lot, which increases the delivery cost.

When scallops arrive at the grocery store, they will only last for a short period due to refrigeration and transportation. Usually, they’re kept on ice for preservation, but they’ll need to be bought within a few days.

Most chefs and individuals who enjoy scallops will agree that fresh scallops taste better than frozen and then reheated.

Fresh scallops usually have a better flavor and a more natural texture. But, unfortunately, you will have to pay for the fresh scallops.

The price of scallops could be lower if you live in an area with much local seafood. However, you will pay more for scallops if you live far away from the sea because of the extra transportation costs.

Healthy Seafood to Eat 

Scallops are so expensive because they offer an array of health benefits. However, the cost of healthy food will increase your grocery bill significantly. This is also true for scallops.

If you can’t decide between hamburgers and scallops, the hamburger will be much cheaper. Scallops are healthier.

Scallops have many health benefits. Generally, seafood has a lot of health benefits. For example, this could lower the risk of a heart attack since scallops lower blood pressure.

Moreover, scallops have the benefit of improving circulation and relaxing blood vessels. Consequently, you may reduce stroke risks.

Even if scallops could somehow cure your health conditions, they wouldn’t be able to do it by themselves. To lose weight, you will need to regularly consume a healthy diet and exercise.

Scallops are not magical food. If you’re trying to make healthier eating choices, it is simply something you can add to your diet.

Despite their low cholesterol content, scallops can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level. So when you cook scallops, pay attention to how you cook them if you are health conscious.

There is a fair amount of natural flavor in these sea creatures, and it is essential to remember that.

Scallops are not a bad addition to your diet if you think about eating them. However, this can make them more expensive.

How much do scallops cost?

The cost of scallops varies depending on the type you’re getting. For instance, you can get bay scallops for a more affordable price than when you get sea scallops. So let’s have a deeper look at the price.

What is a good price for scallops?

The average price for scallops depends on which type you’re getting. For instance, a good price for a bay scallop would be $6 to $9 per pound. So buying a pound of fresh bay scallops is already a good deal.

On the other hand, you can get as expensive as $35 to $40 per pound for the sea scallops. Of course, you’ll have a better deal if you can find sea scallops below this price. First, however, make sure they are fresh.

How much is an order of scallops?

An order of scallops usually weighs a pound, depending on the scallop’s size. You should enjoy around 20 to 30 pieces. You may get around 30-40 pieces per pound if you buy small scallops.

Are scallops worth the money?

Yes, scallops are worth the money. However, scallops are not the most expensive seafood, so you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars if you only want to taste such.

Another thing is that you can find cheaper types of scallops. While they differ in taste and flavor, they are still enjoyable and worth the price. It’s also ideal for enjoying even though you’re on a tight budget.

Scallops are so popular because they have a sweet, creamy, buttery taste, a soft, juicy texture, and are nutritious. Their protein content is high, and their carbohydrate and fat content is low. In short, scallops are packed with health benefits and are ideal for those conscious of what they eat.

Are scallops rich people’s food?

No, scallops are not rich people’s food, though some of the expensive ones can make a fancy meal. While some scallops are affordable, some are expensive. For this reason, this seafood isn’t only accessible to the rich people. Even an average person can enjoy scallops since you don’t need to spend so much on them.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions you may have about scallops. You can look below to see if it answers any of your concerns. 

Why are dried scallops so expensive?

Dried scallops are so expensive because a lot of time and effort has been spent preserving and processing them. Another reason is that they shrink when dried. 

In general, water takes up a considerable portion of scallops. Thus, when dried, this seafood shrinks to small sizes. For this reason, a pound of dried scallops would be three to four times higher than the price of regular scallops. 

Why are Nantucket scallops so expensive?

Nantucket scallops are so expensive since these seafood are limited to the shores of Nantucket. Scallops don’t thrive well when captive, making it challenging for scallops to grow. While some people try to grow and take care of scallops, only a few get success. Nantucket scallops are expensive because it’s the best place for scallops to thrive.


In a nutshell, scallops are so expensive because they require a lot of labor to grow, have a short shelf life, and are filled with health benefits. Scallops are made and supplied with a lot of work, yet their demand increases due to their health benefits.

Even though scallops are not the most expensive seafood available, they still fall into expensive seafood. Therefore, if you want to get scallops but are concerned about your budget, you must understand why the price tag is high. We hope this information gave you an idea of why the value of scallops is high.

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Image credits – Canva

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