Maryland crab cake businesses will not escape the impact of the BP oil disaster, which will trickle down to the consumer.
Tom Kanaras, co-owner of Boxhill Crab Cakes, like other seafood restaurant owners, is watching the seafood industry one day at a time. The industry is being challenged not only by the BP oil spill, but by the hurricane forecasts, restrictive harvesting laws, and warm waters preventing harvesting: each challenge in and of itself potentially damaging. Put them together and you have a perfect storm that could drastically impact the seafood industry and seafood restaurants.
U.S. Crabmeat Supply Becoming Limited
Mr. Kanaras states, “Supply and demand is affecting our Maryland crab cake restaurant business. There are fewer sources of U.S. crabmeat but consumer demand is still high. Our big challenge will be where we get our winter crabmeat.”
Since the Gulf Coast crabmeat supply is more limited than ever and east coast crabmeat is not available during the winter, crabmeat will have to come from other areas – such as foreign suppliers. Even though some consumers are leery of foreign seafood, foreign suppliers may end up being a major source of crabmeat and other seafood.
Consumers can expect more foreign seafood being served in restaurants as U.S. suppliers cannot meet the demand. Seafood industry insiders report that Phillips Foods already uses foreign seafood and has a strategy in place to corner the Indonesian crab meat market that will leverage their Indonesia crab processing facilities.
Tom Kanaras believes foreign crabmeat is safe (due to advanced pasteurization processes) and of high quality; especially Indonesian crabmeat. If Kanaras has to use foreign crabmeat, he will gladly inform his customers about the source of the meat.
Expect Maryland Crab Cake Prices to Go Up – But Don’t Settle for Less Quality
Right now, crabmeat prices are $16-$17/pound, which could climb to $20. Some restaurateurs feel that the quality of the crab cakes will have to suffer because of the higher prices.
Tom Kanaras has a different point-of-view: “We will not cut back on the quality of our world-famous crab cakes. Our proprietary recipe has been around too long. We’re doing a lot of praying and crossing our fingers that the prices don’t have to go up but if they do, our customers can always enjoy the same quality that we have delivered for over a quarter of a century.”
About Boxhill Crabcakes
Boxhill Crabcakes is a family-owned and operated restaurant in Abingdon, Maryland. Customers have been enjoying their world-famous, award-winning crab cakes since their doors opened in 1984. Boxhill Crabcakes can also be ordered online at http://boxhillcrabcakes.com