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Astounding price of popular summer fruit

Shock price of popular summer fruit
Shock price of popular summer fruit

The cost of a summer favourite treat has skyrocketed, forcing struggling families to cross it off their shopping lists.

Coles and Woolworths are selling whole watermelons for $36 and $34.32 respectively blaming weather patterns in the Northern Territory as the fruit moves into a new season.

Stay-at-home mum Lauren Price, 30, said the cost spike meant watermelons were unlikely to be a summer treat in her household this year.

“Usually it would be but perhaps not if it’s going to be expensive like that all summer,” Ms Price said.

“We’ve actually been buying more melon because the price of berries and grapes have spiked but now it seems berries have dropped and melons have gone up.”

The Wallaroo resident said the hike in grocery prices meant feeding her sons Charlie, 4, and Billy, 2, was becoming more expensive.

Watermelon Prices
Charlie Price tucks into watermelon while he can. Picture: Matt Turner

“On top of snacks at home, we have to pack lunches as well," she said.

“We’re spending hundreds (of dollars) a week on groceries, even when you go just for a quick top up its at least $80, let alone for our weekly shop.

“I like to think I’m a savvy shopper, but even if you think you’re getting it on sale, the sale price is probably what it should be all the time.”

Ms Price said she was being more selective about what she put in the shopping basket and was foregoing expendable items like cheese and wines.

“Some weeks you buy the necessities for the kids but maybe not so much for my husband and I, because you’ve got put the kids first,” Ms Price said.

“Now, rather than buying what’s available all the time, you look at what’s available but also what’s a little bit cheaper.”

Coles had the most expensive cost for watermelons, at $4.50 per kilo or $36 for a whole melon.
Coles had the most expensive cost for watermelons, at $4.50 per kilo or $36 for a whole melon.
Meanwhile Woolworths was slightly cheaper.
Meanwhile Woolworths was slightly cheaper at $34.32 for a whole fruit.

A Woolworths spokesman said there were “still quality fresh watermelons available”.

”Our farmers have told us that they‘ve got a great crop on the way just in time for summer, so our customers can expect to see an improvement in the coming weeks,” he said.

“We‘re committed to delivering quality Australian fruit and vegetables to our customers at great value, and when in-season produce is in high supply we work hard to pass those savings on to our customers.”

Coles has pointed customers toward its latest crop of specials including “tomatoes, cucumbers, berries and citrus”.

“There is plenty to look forward to as we come into summer, as we expect to see a strong season on quality and abundant volume for Australian stone fruit and mangoes available over the coming months,” a Coles spokesman said.

Peak watermelon growing season occurs from December to May, meaning there will be an influx of new fruit coming over the summer months that is expected to bring prices down.

Australians have been slugged higher costs for groceries across the board, with food inflation up 7.5 per cent in the past year. Picture NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard

While watermelon lovers will have to wait a bit longer, there are a number of other fruit specials in store.

Bumper berry crops have meant that strawberries are selling for as low as $1.80 per punnet while infamously pricey blueberries are down to $2.80 a punnet.