The weird rise of fancy fruit

Boutique food companies are creating luxury fruit brands and consumers are eating them up.

Luxury tastes can manifest in many forms: sports cars, fancy watches, artwork.

The newest way to flex your purchasing power? Six-dollar strawberries and $50 pineapples.

Per The Wall Street Journal, fancy fruits are the latest, weirdest food trend to hit the produce section.

Purveyors of fancy fruit…

… are using catchy names and marketing tactics to position their varieties as the ultimate shopping cart luxury.

Examples include:

  • Oishii strawberries, which growers say offer an “amazing” taste experience. They retail for $6 per berry and have been marketed as the Tesla of fruit due to limited supply and high demand.
  • Pinkglow pineapples, named for their unique pink flesh. They ship in a pink and yellow box with a card, promise no acidic aftertaste, and retail as high as $50 each.
  • Sumo Citrus mandarins, a cross between a mandarin and California navel orange, is identifiable by a nub on the peel that resembles a sumo wrestler’s topknot. These cost ~$3 a pound.

Given rising inflation, shrinkflation, and skimpflation, it may seem especially absurd to fill your cart with luxury fruit.

But despite premium prices, stores say customers have been attracted to novelty grocery items since the early days of the pandemic — and stores love stocking the items because it shows they care about freshness.

But before you go breeding your own berries…

… not every fancy fruit brand is a hit. Grapery, the company behind Cotton Candy grapes, debuted a pinky-shaped grape called Witch Fingers.

According to Grapery CEO Jim Beagle, “Half of consumers refused to try a grape with the name ‘finger’ in it.”

So if you enter the boutique fruit game, maybe avoid names with body parts.

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