$100 watermelon leaves supermarket shoppers reeling: 'Yikes'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A shopper has been left gobsmacked after spotting a $100 watermelon at her local supermarket.

Auckland woman Megan Robinson was buying groceries at her a Farro store when she noticed the baffling price tags on several watermelons.

$100 dollar watermelon pictured at Auckland's Farro supermarket
A New Zealand shopper has been left gobsmacked after spotting a $100 watermelon at Farro supermarket. Source: Twitter/@threadnz

New Zealand retailer Farro says the hefty price tag on the watermelons is because they are out of season and needed to be shipped in from Australia.

"Was thinking about fruit salad, but changed my mind now that watermelons have broken the $100 mark," wrote Ms Robinson on Twitter.

She also shared a photo of the 10kg watermelon in question, which was advertised at $102.25, or $9.99 per kilogram.

Alongside the mammoth melon sat another 7kg watermelon with an eye-watering $69.98 price tag.

High supply chain costs blamed for rising prices

A Farro spokesperson said the company strives to offer high-quality, fresh produce to shoppers and where possible source products from local suppliers.

"In some instances where we cannot source produce locally due to climate or seasonality, we will selectively import products to provide our customers with specialty items," the spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald.

Farro supermarket has blamed high supply chain costs for the hefty watermelon price. Source: Farro
Farro supermarket has blamed high supply chain costs for the hefty watermelon price. Source: Farro

The spokesperson explained that in this instance, the seedless watermelon was "sourced from Australia as there is no watermelon available in NZ".

"Hence, [the watermelon] was subject to the high supply chain costs being experienced currently," the spokesperson added.

"Both costs and produce quality can be significantly affected depending on whether the produce is shipped via sea or air."

'Full of gold coins?': Shoppers in disbelief at price of watermelon

Unsurprisingly, Ms Robinson's photo sent shockwaves through Twitter, with shoppers sharing her disbelief at the cost of a single watermelon.

"Who the hell would even think of paying that for a watermelon? Yikes!" wrote one person.

"Surely that's a mistake? Good grief!" wrote a second.

While a third suggested that watermelons were the "new avocados" due to their inflated cost.

Watermelon farm at sunset
Shoppers pointed out that we're seeing the "real cost" of buying out-of-season produce. Source: Getty

Others joked that the $100 watermelon must have been filled with something special to earn that price tag.

"Are they full of gold coins?" commented one shopper.

However, not everyone condemned the supermarket chain for the high cost of their watermelons.

Several shoppers pointed out that we are seeing the “real cost” of buying out-of-season produce.

'The cost could be justified'

Consumer New Zealand's Head of Communications and Campaigns, Gemma Rasmussen, urged shoppers to compare competitor's pricing if they're unsure about the price of a product or service.

"$100 seems like a lot to pay for a watermelon, but given they are out of season, and shipping costs have been on the rise, the cost could be justified," Ms Gemma Rasmussen told the New Zealand Herald.

"Ultimately it's up to consumers to set the limit for what they're willing to pay for an item," she concluded.

According to Stats NZ's Food Price Index, fruit and vegetable prices have increased 9.4 per cent in April compared to the same time last year.

Similarly, groceries cost 6.4 per cent more this April than they did in 2021 and have increased 0.6 per cent from March.

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