One of the most costly types of beef in the world, if not the costliest, is wagyu. It is the most expensive item on the menu while dining out and is highly sought after globally. Of course, the question still stands: How much would a pound of wagyu beef cost if purchased from a distributor or company? What can you anticipate from wagyu beef purchases? Let’s examine what to anticipate when purchasing Wagyu beef and the cost per pound of Wagyu in 2024.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Let’s start by talking about what Wagyu beef actually is. Japan refers to its beef cattle as wagyu beef, which translates to “Japanese cattle.” Wagyu beef is a hybrid breed of Japanese cattle that was created through crossbreeding Japanese cattle with imported European cattle in the early 1900s. That being said, there is a 3,500-year-old purebred Japanese Wagyu strain. The richness and tenderness of Wagyu beef come from its marbling, or the fat entwined with the red meat. It’s crucial to understand that Wagyu beef is comprised of all Japanese cattle breeds, including Yonezawa, Matsusaka, Kobe, and Omi beef.
Types of Wagyu Beef
Wagyu beef comes in a variety of varieties. Though it has been exported to other nations, the majority of the meat comes from Japan. Let’s examine the various varieties of modern international meat as well as Japanese Wagyu beef.
Nowadays, there are four breeds of Wagyu beef in existence. 90% Japanese beef cattle with a variety of regional breeds make up Japanese Black Wagyu. One of the major breeds that originates mostly in southern Japan is the Japanese Brown, often known as the Japanese Red. Additionally, there is Japanese Polled Wagyu, which is mostly bred in Yamaguchi Prefecture. And lastly, the Japanese Shorthorn Wagyu, which is mostly found in the country’s north. Just 1% of this beef is Wagyu beef.
In addition, Japanese Wagyu cattle have never engaged in crossbreeding with any other foreign breeds. The term “pure Japanese breed” refers to these Wagyu cattle, which are indigenous to Japan. Just two pure breeds of cattle remain in existence today: Kuchinoshima and Mishima cattle.
Even so, nowadays, practically anywhere can produce Wagyu beef. There are four primary nations where more robust breeding is conducted.The largest nation where international Wagyu breeding occurs is Australia. Though it is cross-bred with American Angus, the United States also produces Wagyu. That beef is typically referred to as Kobe beef when it is sold in the United States. Another major producer of Wagyu, which has been produced there since 1991, is Canada. Last but not least, the UK is a major player in Wagyu breeding, with North Yorkshire and Scotland serving as the breeding grounds.
Wagyu Prices Per Pound
It appears that the price per pound is roughly $200 worldwide. You did really hear correctly. It is $200, not $20. You should be prepared to spend that amount if you purchase it from a vendor rather than a restaurant. Having said that, Wagyu beef is among the priciest meats available worldwide. You can also spend a good deal of money on the Japanese cows. It is said that the cows will cost you at least $30,000. Per cow, that is!
Why is Wagyu Beef Expensive?
So why, is the question. Why does Wagyu beef cost so much? The first step in this procedure is that each prefecture in Japan raises cows individually. The cows are subsequently sold to a farmer that raises cattle for meat. Throughout the course of two years, the cows are fed multiple times a day. For cows to be deemed ideal for Wagyu beef, they must have 50% fat on them. The price increases as a result of this expensive fattening process. Wagyu beef must pass a rigorous certification process since this fat must be of the highest caliber. Wagyu beef cannot be sold until it has received an A3 or A5 grade, under orders from the Japanese government. It is expensive because it is of a high grade.
There you have it: the prices per pound for Wagyu in 2024. You now know that you will know roughly how much to pay if you go to a restaurant. Pricing is, of course, entirely subjective because a fancy restaurant will always have higher prices. When going through the various businesses and websites, you know what to expect if you are wanting to get Wagyu beef from a vendor. After you buy, don’t forget to enjoy that mouthwatering Wagyu meat with a fine Cabernet.