A $400 red pineapple? Meet this rare designer fruit from Costa Rica

Fresh Del Monte introduces the Rubyglow, a luxurious $400 red pineapple.

Yes, food prices may be unsustainable for the average consumer, but for those who can still afford to splurge, a new luxury item has hit the market—a $400 pineapple known as the Rubyglow.

Why the Rubyglow pineapple costs $400

Developed by produce giant Fresh Del Monte, the Rubyglow pineapple is not your ordinary fruit. 

It results from 15 years of extensive research and traditional crossbreeding techniques, blending a conventional pineapple with the dark red-purple Morada variety from Venezuela and Colombia. 

This unique hybrid features a red outer skin and a sweet, yellow interior, making it visually striking and appealing.

"Named for the ruby and its rich red color, scarce supply and association with luxury, this exceptional fruit offers a special experience to those who appreciate uniqueness," the Fresh Del Monte website explains.

The unique characteristics of the Rubyglow pineapple

The exceptional allure of the Rubyglow pineapple extends beyond its taste to its unique presentation. Unlike typical pineapples, the Rubyglow is sold without its spiky crown, beautifully encased instead in an exquisite box that unfolds like origami, elevating its luxury appeal. 

With only a few thousand units produced annually for this and the next year, each Rubyglow offers a unique opportunity to own a piece of rare agrarian art. Culturing this fruit is a meticulous process; grown from a limited seed supply, it takes approximately two years to mature, further enhancing its exclusivity.

The scarcity of the Rubyglow is a crucial factor in its high price. With only 5,000 available this year and just 3,000 expected next year, it is one of the most limited-produced items on the market. Grown in Costa Rica, this patented fruit is a hybrid of traditional and Morada pineapples, requiring an extended and complex cultivation process. 

Fresh Del Monte acknowledges the cultivation challenges, noting the process as "complicated." However, it remains unclear if this complexity is due to natural constraints or strategic scarcity to boost the fruit’s novelty and market value. 

Despite these uncertainties, the Rubyglow has been meticulously developed over the past 15 years, ensuring its position as a top-tier luxury item in the produce market.

This "designer" fruit has already captured the high-end market. It was launched in the U.S. this week following exclusivity on a waitlist in China since January. 

Fresh Del Monte has secured a registered plant patent in the United States, ensuring the Rubyglow remains a unique offering in the luxury fruit market.