Why is Wagyu so Expensive?
Products called wagyu in any way are priced far above what most people would see in a grocery store. Ground beef in a store will go on sale for around $3.50 per pound these days. Ground wagyu beef will range in price from $10 to more than $250 per pound, depending upon the source.
Real wagyu – the full-bloodline Japanese variety cattle – requires more than 30 months to come to market. Typical beef is harvested in 12 months or less. This time difference is the #1 reason real wagyu beef is more expensive.
But there are other contributing factors. Costs can vary on region. Wagyu raised in the desert or at high altitudes can require greater care in terms of getting them water and to natural grasses, for example.
Real Japanese wagyu from Japan can be as expensive as $900 per pound. Typically, full blood wagyu ranges in price between $50 to $150 per pound depending the source, the cut and breeder of wagyu.
Purebred, Cross-bred, and American Wagyu may be available at lower prices because the market has so much more of it available than full blood wagyu. Additionally, these less-than-100% wagyu cattle come to market in 12 months or less, making their supply more plentiful, their growing costs cheaper and the competition greater.