Studies have shown that people prefer inexpensive wines in blind taste tests, but that they actually get more pleasure from drinking wine they are told is expensive. If lobster were priced like chicken, we might enjoy it less....
Since most customers don’t know what’s been happening to the wholesale price of lobster, cutting the price could send the wrong signal: people might think your lobster is inferior to that of your competitors.... “A low price creates suspicion.” This helps explain one of the interesting strategies that restaurants have adopted to take advantage of the lower price for lobster: they keep the price of lobster entrées high, but add lower-priced items—lobster bisque, lobster mac-and-cheese, a lobster B.L.T—to the menu. That way, they can generate more business without endangering lobster’s exclusive image.
Lobster has also stayed expensive because it makes other menu items, particularly seafood dishes, look more reasonably priced.... So any restaurant that cuts lobster prices significantly runs the risk of making that sesame-crusted tuna look too pricey.
August 25, 2013
"[T]he wholesale price of lobster has collapsed."