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Does Trader Joe’s Sell Red Salmon? (Explained)

Does Trader Joe's Sell Red Salmon

Trader Joe’s is a great store. It offers a wonderful shopping experience for those with strict dietary needs like gluten free, sugar free and kosher, among others.

But, when it comes to their fish selection, it’s small and difficult to source online. While they have wonderful salmon options, there is a difference between pink and red salmon.

So, does Trader Joe’s sell red salmon? Trader Joe’s sells Sockeye Salmon in a can, and they also have a few fresh and frozen options as well. Other than that, you will have to check with your nearest location or go elsewhere, especially if you want it fresh. Also, Trader Joe’s doesn’t label their red salmon as “red salmon.” Rather, they use the other common name, “sockeye salmon.”

About Red Salmon

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Red salmon, also known as sockeye, is a type of Pacific fish that obtains its color when during spawning season.

When they return upriver, which is where their reproductive area is, their bodies become a brilliant scarlet hue while their heads become green. They are leaner and smaller than other species of salmon.

To understand the difference between red salmon and other species, it’s important to know the various kinds. There are six different types:

  1. Red/Sockeye Salmon: Bright red flesh with deep salmon flavor
  2. Pink/Humpback Salmon: The most readily available Pacific salmon with an unmistakable hump they develop during the spawning season. This comes canned, frozen, smoked or fresh.
  3. King/Chinook Salmon: The most sought after kind of salmon, this is the best tasting of all the species. It’s high in fat with rich-colored flesh that can be white, pink or a deep red color.
  4. Atlantic Salmon: This is the salmon you find most times at a grocery store, including Trader Joe’s. It can be fresh, frozen, wild-caught, farmed, canned or smoked. Because of it’s frequent availability, this pink salmon often the most inexpensive.
  5. Silver/Coho Salmon: The bright red flesh beneath the silver skin on these salmon is what many people find desirable. It has a taste similar to Chinook but the texture is a little more delicate.
  6. Chum/Silverbrite/Dog/Keta Salmon: This is a smaller salmon than the others and the least consumed. They have pale to medium-colored pink flesh with the lowest fat content out of all the salmons. You often find this frozen or canned.

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Canned Sockeye Salmon, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Red Salmon versus Other Types

Red salmon is the third-most consumed salmon next to king and Atlantic. Due to their rarity and difficulty in procurement, they tend to be more expensive. However, it is the best kind of salmon because of its distinctive, rich flavor and color along with it having a high nutritional value.

You’ll see it sold as high-end salmon burgers, prime filets, smoked or canned. The most desirable kinds are ones that caught from the wild. This is because it has the least amount of mercury than any other kind of fish.

Nutritional Value of Red Salmon

A three-ounce piece of sockeye has nearly 80% of our vitamin B-12 requirement and high in things like niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin A, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. Also red salmon has about:

  • 121 calories
  • 18 grams protein
  • 5 grams fat
  • 45 milligrams cholesterol
  • 26 micrograms selenium

Trader Joe’s Fish & Seafood Product Range

If you look on the website, there are currently seven offerings of seafood and fish at Trader Joe’s. There are more salmon options than anything else available.

They have a few Sockeye Salmon options like, the BBQ Sockeye Salmon, however, you will be able to find a wider selection of Atlantic Salmon. The Atlantic Salmon is usually either wild-caught or farmed. If you want their canned sockeye, you’ll have to buy it from them on Amazon or go to your nearest store.

Even still, what they do have looks amazing and delicious. They have things like salmon filets, an everything bagel seasoned filet, dill-seasoned filet and filets of salmon cut specifically for cooking on the grill. They have other fish and seafood too like Argentinian red shrimp (wild and farmed) as well as European sea bass fillets.

They don’t list everything they have available in-store because these are fresh and change daily, which varies by location. Therefore, if you want something specific you’ll have to go there yourself or call the store.

There is a host of frozen and fresh choices for your dining pleasure. It’s just that not every Trader Joe’s carries the same fish and seafood selections.

Other Salmon Options

If you find Trader Joe’s salmon selection less than desirable, you have several options available. If you have a hankering for real sockeye salmon that’s fresh, there are several places online where you can buy it directly from the fishermen. 

Not only will this guarantee red salmon fresh to your door, but you’re also putting the money directly into the pockets of the people who procure it. Plus, you’ll get the best price possible without the middleman. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

In the event you don’t want to order online, you can go to your local grocery store’s fish department or fishmonger shop.

If they don’t have red salmon in stock, they can order it for you. Be specific in your requirements such as how much, the type of cut and having it wild-caught.

Final Thoughts

Red salmon is a specific type of Pacific fish that develops a bright red body and green head during spawning season.

While other types of salmon can have red flesh, red or sockeye salmon is the specific reference. Trader Joe’s does seem to have a canned version of this, but it’s not listed on their website; just their Amazon seller page.

This is because each Trader Joe’s location has different offerings that change frequently. Therefore, you will have to contact your local Trader Joe’s to see what kind of salmon they have available, both fresh and frozen. Otherwise, you can purchase red salmon online directly from fishermen or visit your local fishmonger.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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