California’s $395 pineapple highlights spike in luxury fruit market

<span>Del Monte's Rubyglow pineapple goes for $395.</span><span>Photograph: Del Monte</span>
Del Monte's Rubyglow pineapple goes for $395.Photograph: Del Monte

A limited-edition pineapple priced at $395 – a cost many would find exorbitant – is being sold at a southern California produce store as the bustling specialty fruit market expands.

While the average family may not be able to spring for the costly fruit, the expensive pineapple is a visible reminder of the demand among wealthy customers for luxurious produce.

The Rubyglow pineapple is a rarity, with only a few thousand produced each year, the local news station KTLA reported. The fruit is being made available at Melissa’s Produce, a speciality produce shop in Vernon, California.

The rare fruit is known for its ruby color – similar to the precious gemstone – and sweet, yellow interior. It was created in Costa Rica after 16 years of research, according to the fruit wholesaler Del Monte Foods.

“As the leaders of pineapple innovation, we’re excited to debut our latest creation, the Rubyglow pineapple,” Del Monte announced on its website.

“Named for the ruby and its rich red color, scarce supply and association with luxury, this exceptional fruit offers a special experience to those who appreciate uniqueness.”

The pineapple was previously available only in China. But Del Monte decided to introduce the luxury fruit to North America for the first time.

The Rubyglow pineapple is the latest high-end fruit to make a splash in the US.

Oishii strawberries, widely known as the world’s most expensive strawberries, have gone viral across social media for their sweeter taste. A pack of six strawberries can cost more than $10 in some areas.

Other pricy produce, such as Sumo Citrus, has similarly captured hearts and stomachs across the US.

Though many have publicly aired grievances about the rising costs of certain common grocery items, luxury fruits continue to entice some American shoppers.

“Consumers are willing to pay for something that’s special,” Cindy van Rijswick, a global strategist for fruit, vegetable and floriculture sectors with Rabobank, told CNN.

Van Rijswick added that specialty fruit “always [had] a small market for higher-end restaurants, or foodies, or certain online channels”.