A $400 Pineapple Is the Latest Entrant in the World of Luxury Fruit

You can buy luxury watches, clothing, jewelry, home goods—the list goes on. And now you can snap up high-end fruit, too.

A $400 pineapple is for sale via the California-based specialty fruit and vegetable seller Melissa’s Produce, CNN reported over the weekend. The Rubyglow pineapple, created by Fresh Del Monte, features a rare red exterior and a sweet flavor. Melissa’s markets the pineapple as “the pinnacle of luxury fruit,” and it’s hoping that gourmands see the item’s appeal.

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“Consumers are willing to pay for something that’s special,” Cindy van Rijswick, a fresh produce strategist for the global research team at Rabobank, told CNN. “There’s always a small market for higher-end restaurants, or foodies, or certain online channels.”

Fresh Del Monte spent more than 15 years developing the Rubyglow pineapple, which finally came to market earlier this year in China. The company has experimented with the tropical fruit in the past, debuting in 2020 the Pinkglow pineapple (named such because of its pink flesh), which initially sold for $50. With the Rubyglow, though, Fresh Del Monte is reaching an even higher echelon when it comes to upscale fruit.

Melissa’s Produce ordered just 50 Rubyglow pineapples, and it’s sold about half of those in one month, Robert Schueller, the company’s PR director, told CNN. Some of those have gone to restaurants in Southern California and Las Vegas, where they’re being used in displays rather than on the menu.

“There’s a market for this,” Schueller said. But he also acknowledged that “this is not something for everybody.”

While $400 may seem steep for a single piece of fruit, high-priced produce has in the past been met with extreme demand in the United States. The most well-known instance may be the Oishii berry, a specialty strawberry that gourmands went crazy for when it became publicly available in 2018. Back then, a pack of eight berries would sell for $50. Now, though, thanks to funding and technological improvements, packs of Oishii berries sell for about $12, CNN noted.

That price point is probably more palatable for the everyday consumer. But for those who want to ball out in the kitchen, the Rubyglow may be the perfect way to do it. For example, one influencer told CNN that the pineapple would make for a good centerpiece on charcuterie boards during the holidays. It sure beats those measly grapes and figs we’ve been seeing—and eating—for years.

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