San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Consumer rights

Coming Holy Week brings huge price spikes in seafood

Prices on some goods popular among Catholic Ticos this time of year have spiked more than 200 percent, Costa Rica’s Economy Ministry (MEIC) found.

Ahead of Holy Week, MEIC released results of a price survey of goods whose consumption usually increases during the religious holiday, such as canned and fresh fish.

The price for a box of Madrigal sardines in some stores is up 253 percent, the survey found.

The Economy Ministry found increases of up to 231 percent in the price of canned calamari, 150 percent in tuna, and 132 percent in palm hearts. Officials recommended consumers compare not only prices, but also pay close attention to served versus drained sizes on labels.

Big price differences are also evident among fresh seafood. The study found prices rose up to 148 percent for tilapia fillets, 100 percent for corvina and 60 percent for shrimp.

“Well-informed consumers will result in more efficient markets where prices will reflect the actual costs of each good,” Economy Minister Welmer Ramos González said, perhaps optimistically, at Monday’s presentation of the study results.

“Our study aims to close a gap in information to help consumers make better purchasing decisions during this season,” he said.

The Economy Ministry’s study was carried out at 40 supermarkets in the provinces of San José, Heredia, Alajuela and Cartago between March 9 and 12. In total MEIC’s inspectors surveyed prices of 29 products whose consumption increases during Holy Week, when Catholics traditionally avoid meat.

Study results, including the full list of supermarkets surveyed, goods, price comparisons and recommendations for consumers, can be found at MEIC’s website (Spanish only).

Contact L. Arias at

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Most of the Seafood companies are owned by US citizens thanks agains Greedy US citizens for stealing from us.

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Once again Ben you prove that you have no idea what you are talking about. The vast majority of seafood sold in Costa Rica are not owned by US citizens. Sardimar is owned by Costa Ricans, Calvo is a Spanish company, and tilapia is produced where??? That’s right… In Costa Rica!!!
Also this article deals with prices paid at the retailer so your comment has absolutely nothing to do with article! If your where to read the study conducted by MEIC you would learn that the lowest prices on average are offered by US owned retailers like Maxi Pali. The highest prices are at Costa Rican owned markets. So in reality it is the Costa Ricans that are ripping off each other.
Instead of blaming the US for all your problems why don’t you take some responsibility???
And next time read the frickin article before posting BS.

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