Fruits are a delicious and nutritious part of a healthy diet. While most common fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas are relatively affordable, some rare and exotic fruits can be incredibly expensive. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most costly fruits in the world.
The most expensive fruits in the world are rare for a few key reasons:
- Difficult to grow – Many expensive fruits require very specific and complex environments to cultivate.
- Low supply – Due to challenges in cultivation, the global supply of expensive fruits is extremely limited.
- High demand – Luxury fruits are coveted for their unique flavors, textures, and prestige.
- Import costs – Exotic fruits often must be shipped long distances to reach consumer markets.
While ordinary fruits may cost a few dollars per pound, the rarest, most decadent fruits can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single specimen. Expensive fruits have been celebrated throughout history as symbols of wealth, status, and indulgence reserved only for royal tables. Today, affluent fruit connoisseurs still seek out these luxurious delicacies.
The Most Expensive Fruits in the World
Here are seven of the world’s most precious and pricey fruits:
Sembikiya Queen Strawberries – $4,895 per pound
Grown in Japan and sold at high-end department store Sembikiya, these heart-shaped Amaou strawberries are perfectly red and absolutely massive, often weighing over half a pound each. Only 500 boxes are harvested each year. The strawberries are grown in volcanic soil and given a special hormone to promote huge growth. The exceptionally juicy and sweet berries are inspected for flaws and served in luxury packaging. At nearly $5,000 per pound, they are the most expensive strawberries in the world.
Ruby Roman Grapes – $6,000 per bunch
Ruby Roman grapes are the rarest and most coveted grapes in the world. Cultivated exclusively in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture, only a few bunches are harvested each year, and production is extremely limited. The grapes are about the size of a ping pong ball and have a high sugar content above 20%. The skins are a deep ruby color, and the flavor is sweet and complex. At auctions in Japan, these grapes can fetch prices of $3,000 to $6,000 perbunch.
Sekai-ichi Apple – $21,000
A premium breeding club in Japan produced the world’s most expensive apple, the Sekai-ichi. Only two apples were grown, and one was auctioned for a record $21,000 in 2015. The apple is the size of a small grapefruit and has a vibrant pink-red color. It was purchased by a customer who wanted to display it as a work of art.
Densuke Watermelon – $6,100
Melons are a prized delicacy in Japan. The Densuke watermelon is a rare, all-black watermelon cultivated only on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. They average 22 pounds but can reach over 40 pounds. Only around 100 are grown and sold each year. Their black rind and deep red flesh make them highly distinctive. These melons are treasured for their extremely sweet and juicy flesh. Due to the limited quantity, they can sell for exorbitant prices at auction.
Yubari King Melons – $27,000
The Yubari King is a prestigious type of cantaloupe melon grown in greenhouses in Yubari, Hokkaido. They have perfectly smooth, evenly shaped rinds. The odor and extra-sweet orange flesh are signs of a top-grade melon. They typically weigh 5-10 pounds. Only 100 are produced each year, and the first auction of the season usually fetches record prices for these luxury melons. In 2019, two melons sold for $27,000 at auction.
Taiyo no Tamago Mangoes – $3,000 each
Taiyo no Tamago translates to “Egg of the Sun” in Japanese. It refers to a specialty mango cultivated in Miyazaki Prefecture. The mangoes are grown to be perfectly egg-shaped. Each mango takes over a year to grow on the tree and is wrapped in protective foam as it ripens. Only a few hundred are grown annually. The mangoes have bright yellow skin and exceptionally sweet pulp. Luxury fruit shops in Asia sell these mangoes for exorbitant prices given their rarity.
Pepino Melon – $508 per melon
The Pepino melon has a distinctive oblong shape and stripes. It is produced by YOOX Technology Company in Japan in very limited quantities. Only 10 Pepino melons are grown at a time, taking 3-4 months to cultivate. Their unique musky sweetness and soft juicy flesh make them a delicacy. In 2019, a luxury fruit emporium in Tokyo sold one Pepino melon for $508.
Why Are These Fruits So Expensive?
But what exactly makes these fruits so extraordinarily expensive? Here are the main reasons:
- Limited quantities – They are produced in very small, limited amounts, creating scarcity and driving up demand.
- Perfectionism – They are bred and cultivated to achieve picture-perfect specimens with superior flavors.
- Prestige – Rarity and flawlessness bestow an aura of exclusivity and prestige.
- Luxurious packaging & branding – Presentation in boxes and brands cements their status as luxury items.
- Auction frenzy – Bidding wars at high-profile auctions can ratchet prices upwards.
- Status symbols – Purchasing these fruits displays wealth, power, and sophistication.
While most people would balk at the idea of paying thousands for a single fruit, the upper crust buyers fueling these prices are not ordinary shoppers. Only the super rich splurge on these outrageously priced fruits to indulge their egos, flaunt affluence, or gift business partners.
Are Expensive Fruits Worth the Cost?
For the vast majority of consumers, these luxury fruits are far too expensive to justify the cost. While they are likely delicious, fruits available at a normal supermarket offer excellent nutrition and flavors at a fraction of the price.
However, fruit connoisseurs believe that much like fine wines, the nuanced aromas, textures, and tastes of these exclusive fruits deliver an experience unparalleled by conventional produce. Some wealthy individuals are eager to pay premium prices for the privilege of sampling these luxury fruits’ flavors.
Most shoppers, though, agree that fresh, ripe, seasonal fruits from local farms capture the peak of nature’s flavors at reasonable prices. Paying so much for produce seems hard to rationalize. But for the elite buyer clubs fueling the demand, indulging extravagance takes priority over practicality.
|Sembikiya Queen Strawberries||Japan||$4,895 per pound|
|Ruby Roman Grapes||Japan||$6,000 per bunch|
|Sekai-ichi Apple||Japan||$21,000 per apple|
|Densuke Watermelon||Japan||$6,100 per melon|
|Yubari King Melons||Japan||$27,000 per melon|
|Taiyo no Tamago Mangoes||Japan||$3,000 per mango|
|Pepino Melon||Japan||$508 per melon|
While fresh fruit is always a healthy choice, some rare luxury fruits carry price tags in the thousands for a single piece. Cultivated in tiny amounts and sold at exclusive auctions, fruits like the Sembikiya Queen Strawberry, Ruby Roman Grapes, and Yubari King Melon represent the absolute peak of rarity and indulgence.
For everyday nourishment, regular fruits from the grocery store or farmer’s market remain a budget-friendly option overflowing with nutrition. But for the extremely affluent, money is truly no object when pursuing the world’s most exclusive fruits as the ultimate symbols of decadence and prestige.