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The Cost of Wagyu: Why Is Wagyu Beef So Expensive?

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Rarity, scarcity, grading and time commitment contribute to Wagyu beef's cost. When discussing what is widely considered to be the best steak in the world, you truly get what you pay for. While shopping with suppliers like Imperia Caviar can ensure you access the best prices for your steak, How much you pay for this rich, buttery delicacy directly impacts its quality.

Learn more about this product so you can appreciate everything that goes into that decadent first bite.

How Much Does Wagyu Cost?

How expensive is Wagyu beef? Certified, Grade A Wagyu beef can cost as much as $200 per pound, and just one cow raised for Wagyu beef can sell for as much as $30,000 at auction. Several factors can drive these costs:

  • Rarity: To qualify as certified Wagyu beef, the cut must come from one of four species of Japanese cows — Kuroge Washu (Black), Akage Washu (Brown), Nihon Tankaku Washu (Shorthorn) or Mukaku Washu (Polled). Each cow must be genetically tested and have a certain DNA rating for certification.
  • Scarcity: Furthermore, all Waygu cows must live in Japan to be authentic, and there is limited land to raise them. For example, Kobe beef, one of the most sought-after types of Wagyu, can only be grown and slaughtered within the city of Kobe to receive its designation. The land can only sustain a certain number of cows, and production is limited, so as demand rises, pure Wagyu is increasingly challenging for many suppliers to obtain.
  • Grading: Each cut of meat is given a rating based on appearance, fat percentage and other characteristics. Grading ranges from A1 to A5, with A5 being the highest quality. The higher the grade, the more you'll likely pay for it.
  • Time commitment: Before Wagyu cows can be harvested, their mass should be at least 50% fat to develop the proper marbling. The cows require a special feed featuring fiber and high-energy nutrients for as many as two years. Farmers must also maintain excellent farm conditions to keep stress levels low, as an influx of cortisol can affect the final meat product.

Find Affordable, High-Quality Wagyu at Imperia Caviar

At Imperia Caviar, we offer a selection of A5-grade Wagyu steaks because we believe in serving only the best. We work with eco-friendly farms committed to sustainability so every product delivers the perfect intersection of quality and affordability. 

Taste the difference in our meat today, wherever you are. We use a specialized shipping process that maximizes freshness even when we ship across the country.

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