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How $400 pineapples sold out in days

Over the course of the weekend, 25 RubyGlow pineapples selling for $395.99 each sold out. This followed mainstream press coverage late last week about the price tag attached to the high-end Del Monte pineapple from Costa Rica that shipper Melissa's Produce/World Variety Produce, sold out of.

"The buyers of these are unique," says Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Melissa's/World Variety Produce, noting the RubyGlow is an almost $400 pineapple in a $6 market. One thing that is known is that these weren't necessarily in retail outlets. "One buyer bought two of them. I didn't recognize any celebrity names but it was foodies who are very interested in the rare and exciting."

Celebrity Chef Jet Tila trying the Rubyglow Pineapple in a TikTok video.

This also follows shipping samples to foodservice buyers who are into higher-end produce and are located in larger urban areas, including New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Melissa's began shipping the super sweet RubyGlow pineapples, which are red-skinned on the outside and gold on the inside, in December and it has only carried 50 since it first started offering them. However, it's not new for Melissa's to ship high-end fruit. "We supply the Crown melons for example that are $120 each and those go largely to Las Vegas hotels. We also have product go to Dubai," says Schueller.

Cars and fruit
Schueller likens the interest in high-end fruit similar to the interest in buying a high-end car. "You can buy a regular Toyota Camry for an average cost. Or you can buy a Ferrari. It's no different in produce," he says, adding that the RubyGlow isn't the most expensive produce item to ship. That title belongs to truffles which sell for as much as $2,500 a lb.

RubyGlow is sold crownless and comes packaged in this unique box.

In fact, Melissa's has seen a high-end pineapple gain this kind of interest before. This was back in 2019 when the company began shipping the Pinkglow Pineapple. It was then selling for $50/each and is a variety that only makes up approximately one percent of the pineapples available in the U.S. It's also an item that has since gained more mainstream distribution and now sells for $16-$30 each, depending on size.

So will the RubyGlow, that is sold crownless like the Pinkglow Pineapple, follow the same trajectory? Del Monte says there is a global wait list to access the fruit commercially in the coming year at a starting price of $200. In the meantime, Melissa's is awaiting the fruit's next pick which will be in August.

For more information:
Robert Schueller
Melissa's Produce
Tel: +1-800-588-1281
[email protected]