JAPAN - It’s great when Japan’s summer auction opens in the summer and wows the produce industry with a new record for fruit prices, but what about the rest of the year?
As we have previously reported, fruit is a luxury in the country akin to a good wine or caviar in U.S. culture. And according to the Wall Street Journal’s Lisa Du, a company called Ichigo Co. in Japan is using farming technology to cater to that luxury demand with strawberries of incredible size.
“Fruit is commonly sold as a luxury item in Japan, with farmers devoting time, care and selective breeding to create large and sweet varieties,” Du wrote, explaining in her report that these strawberries are priced even higher than usual because they are grown under LED lights in temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms.
To read the full Wall Street Journal report, click here.
Ichigo Co. began selling premium-sized strawberries at premium prices last week online. Weighing in at about 40 grams (approximately an ounce and a half), each berry is being sold at a fixed ¥1000 (about $8.00). That is almost twice the size of your typical “extra-large strawberry” which weighs on average about 27 grams, according to the report.
This is the first time the company has produced berries of this size, though it has been selling smaller-sized strawberries in packages of four and twelve at ¥700 (about $6.00) each since December.
Though they are the pride of Ichigo, the company said that it is still too early to gauge how well the strawberries are selling, according to the WSJ report, but said it has received positive reactions from customers.
Right now the super-sized strawberries can only be purchased online in packages of six individually wrapped berries, going for ¥6000 (nearly $50.00) apiece.