The Best Costco Frozen Salmon (Farm Raised Atlantic vs Wild Caught Sockeye)

If you are trying to figure out which type of frozen salmon to buy at Costco then this guide is going to show you why the frozen Wild Caught Sockeye Filets are the best choice.

This review is going to cover the key differences between the Kirkland Signature Farm raised Atlantic Salmon and the Kirkland Signature Sockeye Salmon and by the end you will see that the Sockeye is the better option.

Types of Frozen Salmon at Costco

Kirkland Atlantic vs Sockeye Salmon

There are a few major differences between the Atlantic and Sockeye salmon that you can spot right off by looking at the packaging.

One of the biggest differences is that the Atlantic salmon is farmed raised in Norway while the Sockeye salmon is wild caught in Alaska.  The difference between Farm Raised and Wild Caught salmon is significant.

Farm raised salmon is fed a controlled diet that is typically derived from plants, grains and fishmeal.

While there is nothing inherently bad about what the fish are being fed, it does result in a bland flavor profile and a fatty fish.  Wild caught salmon eat a natural diet of plankton, algae, small fish even even squid.  As a result, wild caught salmon has more flavor and are a leaner fish.

In the Costco products it is also worth noting that the Wild Caught Sockeye are “skin on” filets which will produce more flavor than the “skin off” Atlantic filets.

If you want salmon that really tastes like salmon then Wild Caught Sockeye is the obvious choice.

Nutritional Differences Between the Two Types of Salmon

The different diets of Farm Raised vs Wild Caught salmon is reflected in the nutritional profiles of the two products.  The serving sizes of the two frozen fish are slightly different (6 ounce for Wild Caught Sockeye, 7 ounces for Farm Raised Atlantic) so we have adjusted the nutritional information of the Sockeye to reflect an equivalent 7 ounce portion.

The nutritional information for a 7 oz portion of each type of frozen salmon are:

  • Calories: Atlantic = 400, Sockeye = 255
  • Fat: Atlantic = 28g, Sockeye =12.8g
  • Cholesterol = 90mg, Sockeye = 98.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: Atlantic = 0mg, Sockeye = 0mg
  • Protein: Atlantic = 35g, Sockeye =  43g

The nutritional comparison is eye opening! The Farm Raised Salmon has 56% more calories and 118% more fat than the Wild Caught Salmon.  Additionally, the Wild Caught Salmon has 22% more protein than the Farm Raised Salmon.

If you are buying salmon because you want to eat healthy the the Wild Caught Sockeye is the obvious choice.

Differences in Frozen Salmon Nutrition

Kirkland Frozen Atlantic Salmon Has Added Ingredients

When you look at the ingredients of the two frozen salmon options you will notice another striking difference.

There are no added ingredients to the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon.  This is because it already tastes and looks like you expect.  In contrast, the Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon has added salt and colors.

They need to add color to the Atlantic salmon as the red color associated with salmon comes from elements in a natural diet that the farm raised fish do not get to eat.

Think about that…they have to add color to make the Farm Raised Salmon look natural.

As far as we are concerned that is another reason to go with the Wild Caught Salmon.

Extra Ingredients in Atlantic Salmon

Price of Frozen Salmon Options at Costco

When it comes to cost the frozen Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon is less expensive than the frozen Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon.

The Farm Raised Salmon currently costs $11 per pound compared to $13 per pound for the Wild Caught Salmon.  While two bucks per pound, an 18% price difference, is not insignificant it also isn’t that big of a deal.

We don’t mid paying a little extra for the salmon that is:

  • Product of the USA
  • Tastes Better
  • Fewer Calories
  • Less Fat
  • More Protein
  • No Added Colors

Price of Frozen Salmon at Costco

More Fish Options at Costco

For more reviews of your frozen fish options at Costco please see the following:

Kirkland Everything Seasoned Cod Review

Trident Beer Battered Cod Review

Furikake Crusted Cod Review

Costco Miso Glazed Cod Review

Costco Frozen Mahi Mahi Review