Red Lobster Introduces Crabby Cheese Fries For Crabfest

Red Lobster's Crabfest, the international seafood chain's annual celebration of — you guessed it — all things crab, has returned, the company has announced. Celebrations at Red Lobster have been few and zero between, in the last four years. When it last rolled around in 2019, guests could order such items a Crab Linguini Alfredo, Crab-Topped Salmon, and Crab-Topped Shrimp.

This year's culinary event includes the introduction of special menu items, from appetizers to entrees to desserts, which are available for a limited time. In addition to a signature pound of steamed snow or Bairidi crab legs, which come with the choice of three new flavor options (Roasted Garlic Butter, Honey Sriracha, and Lemon Pepper), customers can enjoy their shellfish in the form of one particularly decadent new appetizer: Crabby Cheese Fries.

The recently debuted dish features crispy seasoned French fries piled high with Red Lobster's cheese sauce and chunks of lump crab drenched in garlic cream. According to the company, the plate is perfect for sharing (although you might not want to). The dish, of course, can also be ordered as an additional side dish to pair with other new "Crabfest Creations" like the Crab and Oscar-Topped Sirloin, which includes a half pound of snow crab paired with a 7 oz. sirloin steak, topped with lump crab and garlic cream.

Crabsfest returns crabs become more affordable

Although Crabfest has served as a highly anticipated, fan-favorite event, Red Lobster had put it on a multi-year hiatus. In fact, the 2023 event marks its return after four years. It's unclear why the company had paused the promotion, but COVID-related supply chain issues over the past few years have resulted in fluctuating food prices, and most seafood, including snow crab, was affected.

Per a recent report from Seafood Source, the market price of the crustacean has gone down from its record-high price of $19 in January 2022 to about $7.50 a pound this year. With a reportedly stable supply of snow crab from Canada, the world's largest supplier of shellfish, and relatively low consumer demand, wholesale prices have stabilized, which is likely the reason Red Lobster has brought Crabfest back.

In a press release, Patty Trevino, chief marketing officer, expressed that the company was "thrilled" to ring in its return and give diners the chance to experience Crabfest with the variety of new offerings.