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Why Is Wagyu So Expensive? (3 Notable Reasons)

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The phrase Wagyu means “Japanese cow” in English. And it relates to four different species. These cows were developed to have much more subcutaneous fat stores because they were raised for physical conditioning.

Wagyu beef looks pink and tastes sensitive because the fat is fairly distributed throughout the muscles.

Wagyu beef is one of the world’s most costly foods. Elevated Wagyu, produced in Japan and praised for its rich striping and creamy flavor, can cost up to $200 per ounce, with the animals themselves reaching up to $30,000. But what is it in the meat that gets it so costly? Why is Wagyu so expensive?

Wagyu beef is so expensive due to the length of the maturing phase and the high import costs of large amounts of specialized feed. Each cow consumes 5 tons of feed during this time. When a cow is put up for auction, it can fetch as much as $30,000.

Why Is Wagyu So Expensive?

A few of the justifications you might have encountered would be that the Wagyu cattle are given daily rubs and are fed alcohol.

However, except for a few solitary farmers who appear to pamper their cattle royally, such tales are more fiction than actuality.

These are some real explanations for why Wagyu beef is so expensive!

1. Minimal stress surroundings

Any Wagyu farmer will inform you that providing a low-stress atmosphere for their livestock is one of the most critical techniques in Wagyu farming.

The rationale for all this is that even when an animal is stressed or exposed to high-intensity actions, the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in its system rise.

Such hormonal changes cause the beef’s quality to deteriorate, resulting in a harder, less-tasting beef on your menu.

Wagyu ranchers limit the loudness their animals are accustomed to sustaining their cattle strain and avoid them being terrified.

While some breeders outside of Japan have been able to obtain Wagyu DNA, the majority have decided to crossbreed Wagyu with indigenous species.

2. Import Costs

There are several reasons for this, including the fact that interbreeding boosts a herd’s vigor and reduces sickness.

It also improves feed conversion ratio, lowering rearing expenses and ensuring a lower result.

Wagyu cattle were exported from Japan to other countries between 1976 and 1997.

But, in 1997, Japan declared Wagyu a national treasure and banned the shipment of Wagyu cattle to any region.

As a result, the beef produced by these small farms is significantly more expensive than conventional beef.

Wagyu beef is supplied from Japan for selective clients due to a lack of control or regulation of purebred Wagyu cattle by any other nation.

Presently, the United States has a quota on Japanese beef imports of 200,000 kilograms (441,000 pounds).

After that quota is filled, imported Japanese beef is subject to a 26.4 percent import tax, which has a considerable impact on end-user pricing.

3. Reputation

Finally, and maybe most importantly, Wagyu beef is so costly because it is so renowned.

The want for true Wagyu beef has skyrocketed in recent years, resulting in a significant appreciation in the prices of Japanese beef shipments during the last 6 years.

The superb taste and suppleness of this meat are the key reasons for its appeal. Because Wagyu beef fat dissolves at cooler temperatures than ordinary beef fat, it may be eaten raw and still dissolve in your tongue.

Wagyu beef is famous not just because of its exquisite taste but because it is more nutritious than other varieties of red meat.

Wagyu beef includes a significant proportion of monounsaturated to saturated fat, while red meats in principle are recognized for their elevated amounts of saturated fats.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Wagyu beef so remarkable?

Wagyu beef is one of the most expensive and requested meat dishes globally. Its abundant striping offers a luscious, velvety delicacy, unlike any other beef from cattle reared in the United States.

Is Wagyu beef exorbitantly priced?

It is, without a doubt, exaggerated. Sure, it’s usually wonderful, flavorful meat that’s also pretty tender, but the flesh is still meat. Besides, Wagyu isn’t a significant word on its own. What counts is the “terroir.”

Is Wagyu certified organic?

Wagyu originated in Japan in the second century and thus is renowned for its exceptional softness and taste. The beef will be outstanding when bred with Angus herds, which are ethically and responsibly reared.

What gives Wagyu its striped appearance?

Wagyu cows are a breed of domestic that is genetically inclined to have greater proportions of striping than any other species. To create Wagyu browning, certain feeding and raising procedures are needed. When compared to the conventional cattle, rearing Wagyu requires artisan-like attention.


There are around 300 different types of Wagyu, although the most well-known come from ten different locations in Japan. Matsusaka, from Mie prefecture, is among the most valuable cuts, and it is only carved from virgin female cows.

It’s especially tasty when made into shabu-shabu or sukiyaki. Another well-known cut from central Japan’s Kansai region is Kobe beef, created from heifers or mutilated bulls.

When Wagyu is cooked simply, it is at its greatest. Instead of overpowering the flavor of the meat with sauces and marinades, go light on the seasonings and confine yourself to a pinch of salt and pepper.

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