A mixed local season and restrictions on some imports has meant a tough summer so far for New Zealand watermelon lovers. A shocked user of the social media platform Reddit posted a photo of a watermelon in a supermarket with a $46 price tag, with the caption "Who is buying these watermelons?!"
At 11 kilos, the pictured melon was very large, with the usual size of the fruit usually between three to five kilos. However, head of corporate affairs at Foodstuffs which owns New World, Antoinette Laird said the high price per kilo reflected low supplies of the fruit.
"There has recently been a shortage of watermelon in New Zealand, this is due to dry weather conditions earlier in the season affecting supply," said Laird.
And then there was good news for watermelon lovers ahead. "The shortage has now eased and customers can expect to see this reflected in the price, with an average-sized watermelon priced at $7.99 this week."
The shortage from locally grown watermelon had been made worse by a suspension on melons imported from Queensland, caused by cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) found during a routine border testing on consignment of watermelons last year.