Half a watermelon for $48 – is this Wānaka delicacy NZ’s most costly? & More Trending News


When an out-of-season watermelon was being bought for $10 a kilogram in Auckland – or $100 for the entire fruit – the outrage made worldwide headlines.

Months later, a grocery store in Wānaka was promoting the New Zealand-grown product for $14.99 per kilogram.

On Thursday a chunk of the fruit was on sale a New World within the vacationer city for $47.94.

At $14.99, it was $6 dearer per kilogram than a central Wellington retailer of the identical grocery store chain.

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By comparability, Countdown supermarkets in Auckland and Wellington on Friday had watermelon at $6.99 per kilogram on Friday. According to Countdown on-line, it was $7.50 a kilogram to ship watermelon to a Queenstown deal with.

Foodstuffs, which owns New World, mentioned the worth of contemporary produce was “extremely dynamic” and will change on a each day foundation in its shops.

Spokesperson Emma Wooster mentioned whereas the worth of watermelon on the New World Three Parks in Wānaka was $14.99 on Thursday, on Friday it had fallen to $11.99, and as New Zealand-grown watermelons come into season they anticipated the worth to proceed to drop.

The worth of contemporary produce could possibly be affected by components equivalent to climate, seasonality, how far produce travels and whether or not it is on particular on the time, Wooster mentioned.

“We’re currently at the start of the NZ watermelon season, so we do expect the prices to come down in-store as the season gets into full swing.

“While the price of produce may fluctuate from store to store on a daily basis, the price of NZ grown watermelons are very similar across New Worlds in the South Island at the moment.”

STUFF / Connor Scott

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commerce Minister David Clark talk about grocery store reforms (First printed August 24, 2022).

Supermarkets got here beneath hearth final yr after it emerged they had been taking greater than $1 million in extra income every single day, in keeping with the Commerce Commission.

Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark additionally took a swipe at supermarkets’ competitiveness final month when he introduced guidelines to drive them to prominently show the “price per weight” to make it simpler for buyers to check costs, saying that they had been “fleecing hard-working Kiwis for too long”.

Wānaka holidaymaker Jan Swann wasn’t the one to identify the $14.99 per kilogram watermelon, however wasn’t stunned by the distinction in costs across the nation.

She mentioned folks at all times anticipated to pay extra once they went on vacation to vacationer hotspots.

“They can charge what they like, I’ve accepted it. We went in on Christmas Eve first thing at 7am for berries and the shelves were empty,” she mentioned.

“We stock up on essentials in Dunedin before we go, we know the prices will be disgusting, but you don’t have a choice.

“It’s not fair on the locals, the prices are aimed at rich people … it’s total money grabbing. When my daughter lived here she said she had to live on noodles.”

But Wooster refuted the declare, saying it’s “simply not true” that costs are intentionally elevated in vacationer cities.

“Wherever they are in New Zealand, our locally owned and operated stores are working extremely hard to provide the very best value they can, for all their customers, every single day.

”Despite the inflationary challenges, shops within the Foodstuffs co-operatives have held worth will increase to prospects under inflation, and under provider price will increase, for seven months in a row.

“We’ll continue to fight against inflation to help ease pressure on household budgets throughout 2023.”

Horticulture firm LeaderBrand,​ which goals to supply 3000 tonnes of watermelon this season, mentioned that whereas the fruit was technically in season, harvesting had been delayed by dangerous climate.

A $102 watermelon in Auckland – around $10 a kilo – caused a stir in June. Prices in Wānaka have exceeded that.


A $102 watermelon in Auckland – round $10 a kilo – triggered a stir in June. Prices in Wānaka have exceeded that.

Gordon McPhail, normal supervisor of farming, mentioned “Gizzy [Gisborne] normally has a long, dry summer and we tend to worry about not having enough water. This year, it’s the opposite – we’ve had double the amount of rain we normally have at this time.

“We’ve also had very low sunshine hours. Like everyone, we’re all really disappointed with this weather, it’s a really tough season.”

He mentioned the workforce was watching the watermelon patch each day. They anticipated the primary harvest to start mid to late January and to be out there till the top of March.

According to Stats NZ’s meals worth index, the price of fruit had risen by 17.8% for the yr ending November 2022.

Half a watermelon for $48 – is this Wānaka delicacy NZ’s most costly?

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