Vancouver’s favourite meal might be getting more expensive due to drought conditions in California raising the cost of key ingredients.
California’s dry weather isn’t the only factor, however; demand and a growing U.S. dollar all contribute to the cost of sushi. The CBC reported Wednesday morning that seafood has risen in price 10 to 25 per cent due to Japanese and U.S. exchange rates. Even local seafood isn’t immune to the skyrocketing prices as so much of it is exported around the world, particularly salmon and halibut.
Also making your California rolls more costly: California-grown produce often used in sushi, like avocado and cucumbers, are in limited quantity due to the ongoing four-year-long drought that has dried up the state and caused a state of emergency.
Sushi is so popular in Vancouver, partly because of our taste for seafood and also because it is relatively cheap. Vegetarian rolls average around $3 to $4 each and popular items like a Dynamite roll and California roll are also usually under $5.
Regardless, in such a competitive market, raising prices are the last resort for many restaurants. The same CBC article suggested creative alternatives like substituting out expensive ingredients for cheaper ones.
There are an estimated 600 sushi restaurants in Metro Vancouver.