May 7, 2024 - Technology

Behold, the $400 red pineapple

A red pineapple sits in an unfolded box.

The Rubyglow pineapple is red on the outside but yellow on the inside. Photo courtesy of Fresh Del Monte

What's red on the outside, yellow on the inside and a $395.99 way to garnish your margarita?

  • The Rubyglow pineapple, which Fresh Del Monte describes as "an ultra-premium luxury 'designer' fruit that appeals to high-end consumers."

Why it matters: Agriculture scientists and produce companies are constantly trying to innovate, to improve their plants and tantalize the public.

  • Fun new fruits have lately included a thornless blackberry (developed in Arkansas), a "Yellow Submarine" tomato that's yellow and shaped like a peanut (born at Cornell University), and the Luna avocado (out of the University of California, Riverside).
At left, yellow peanut-shaped tomatoes; at right, a cut-up pineapple that's red on the outside.
At left, the "Yellow Submarine" is a new type of tomato; at right, the Rubyglow pineapple has yellow flesh. Lefthand photo courtesy of Fruition Seeds; righthand photo courtesy of Fresh Del Monte

🍍 Zoom in: It takes at least a decade to develop a new type of fruit, and the Rubyglow is no exception.

  • "Grown in Costa Rica after a 15-year development period, the Rubyglow pineapple has a registered plant patent in the United States," according to a Fresh Del Monte press release.
  • Its scarcity is key to its price tag: While "only a few thousand" will be produced this year, the Rubyglow will be "available nationwide through select regional grocers" and online retailers.
At left, a pink-fleshed pineapple; at right, a regular-sized pineapple sits next to a miniature one.
At left, the Pinkglow pineapple. At right, a standard pineapple sits alongside the "personal-size" Honeyglow. Images courtesy of Fresh Del Monte

Zoom out: The Rubyglow is the latest newfangled pineapple from Fresh Del Monte β€” and the most expensive.

  • The Mini Honeyglow was introduced this year as a "personal-size" pineapple that's sweeter than most β€” it costs a mere $11.79 (plus about $30 in shipping).
  • The Pinkglow pineapple β€” launched in 2020, with flesh as pink as deli ham β€” costs $29 before shipping.
  • To merit its designer price tag, the Rubyglow "is individually packaged in a beautiful box that unfolds almost like origami," says Food & Wine.

The bottom line: Fruit salad is getting ready for a glow-up.

At left, a thornless blueberry on a vine; at right, a cut-open avocado.
The "SweetArk" thornless blackberry was developed by the Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program, and the Luna avocado at the University of California, Riverside. Lefthand photo: Paden Johnson/University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture; Righthand photo: Stan Lim/University of California, Riverside

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