Dragon fruit is a delicious, healthy and unique looking tropical fruit.
It looks unique with its bright red skin that has pineapple-like leaves that sprout.
Because dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants and probiotics, many people like to eat it for its health benefits.
However, making dragon fruit a regular part of your diet can be expensive.
You may be wondering what it is about dragon fruit that makes it so expensive.
Why is Dragon Fruit so expensive? (10 reasons)
The average price of dragon fruit ranges from $6-$10 each.
Dragon fruit is expensive due to its special requirements to grow, high demand and the cost of growing it.
Let’s consider these and several other factors in more detail.
1. Climate-specific growth
One of the reasons dragon fruit is so expensive is that it requires a specific climate in which to grow.
Dragon fruit needs a warm or warm environment in which to grow.
It does well in tropical areas.
As such, only a few countries are capable of producing it.
Those countries and continents include:
- Central America
- South America
This makes dragon fruit more expensive because it means that other countries cannot grow their own fruit.
They have to rely on imports.
This also means that dragon fruit production is not as high as it could be.
It is not abundant.
If it were a type of fruit that could grow almost anywhere, more countries would be able to grow it and the supply would be greater.
It isn’t, so the supply of dragon fruit isn’t as great as some people might hope.
With a smaller supply, the price of dragon fruit becomes quite expensive.
Dragon fruit is expensive because it requires a certain type of climate in which it grows, which leads to its scarcity.
2. Requires manual harvesting
Dragon fruit is not a type of fruit commonly harvested by machines.
Although its skin is not very delicate, it can be very difficult to tell if the fruit is actually ripe.
As such, most dragon fruit farmers will hire workers to pick their fruit pieces by hand.
Each worker will go to the fields and taste each fruit to determine if it is ripe enough for harvest.
If this is the case, the worker should carefully remove it from the tree.
If it is not so, then the worker leaves it on the tree to grow a little longer.
The machine may not be able to distinguish between ripe fruit and unripe fruit.
They would just pick everyone.
It can be wasted because the farmer cannot sell the unripe ones.
Using human workers, however, is more expensive.
Harvesting dragon fruit takes time, so farmers have to pay their workers for a long time.
That means high labor costs.
Because their labor costs are high, they are going to sell their dragon fruit at high prices.
Dragon fruit is expensive because labor is high.
3. Seasonal fruit
Dragon fruit is also seasonal.
It grows only during a certain part of the year.
It is not a fruit that grows all year round.
This further affects its scarcity.
Because it only grows during a certain part of the year, farmers only have one chance to grow and harvest as much as they can.
They also need to make money on their fruits while they can.
As such, they place a high price on the fruit to ensure they are able to recoup their investment.
This is different from plants that grow regardless of season.
Because they are in constant supply, farmers can continue to pump them out, which helps meet demand.
They are cheaper because they are in bulk.
Dragon fruit does not have that benefit.
Once the farmer harvests the season’s produce, that’s it, until next year.
If the demand for dragon fruit is high, the supply of dragon fruit will not last long.
The price rises to ease the demand.
Dragon fruit is expensive because it only grows once a year.
4. High transportation costs
Dragon fruits are quite expensive to transport.
For one, dragon fruit is a big fruit.
It takes up a lot of space.
A dragon fruit farmer with a high yield will likely need to hire several trucks to secure his full harvest.
They are also quite heavy.
Because they are large and heavy, trucking companies will charge farmers extra.
With higher shipping costs, farmers must charge more for their fruit to cover costs.
Fuel costs are another factor that affects the price of dragon fruit.
When fuel costs are high, shipping dragon fruit becomes more expensive.
It’s not just land travel that’s getting more expensive.
Since many countries need to import their dragon fruit, they also look to pay for sea or air travel.
Then they have more ground transportation costs.
If fuel prices are high, then these costs are even more expensive.
Whether it’s the farmer or the store, someone is going to cover their transportation costs.
That means higher dragon fruit prices.
Dragon fruit is expensive due to the high cost of transportation.
5. High demand
Dragon fruit is in high demand for many reasons.
For one, its unique look makes it a bit of a showstopper when you’re entertaining friends.
Some people just enjoy buying dragon fruit because it’s a great conversation starter.
Others enjoy dragon fruit for its taste.
Some claim that dragon fruit is a bit like kiwi, but with a citrusy bite.
They buy a lot of dragon fruits because they are delicious.
Then there are the health benefits.
First of all, it contains a large amount of vitamin A.
It also contains enough calcium, which is good for bone and tissue health.
Dragon fruit also contains a healthy amount of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help remove free radicals that are floating around in your body.
By removing them, you reduce the risk of cancer.
Dragon fruit can also potentially help lower your blood sugar.
It is ideal for people who need to monitor their blood sugar.
Others enjoy it because it’s full of prebiotics that aid digestion.
Since dragon fruit is healthy, many people want to get their hands on it to enjoy its health benefits.
That increases the demand even more.
Since the demand is high, the price will also be high.
Dragon fruit is expensive because it is in high demand.
6. Yield problems due to pests
There is no shortage of pests that threaten dragon fruit.
Some scale insects and mealybugs tend to feed on the fruit.
They have perforators that allow them to crack the skin of the fruit and drink its juice.
They can damage dragon fruit because they essentially steal all the fruit inside the shell.
They are also a bit difficult to kill because of the waxy coverings on their bodies.
Another pest is aphids.
Aphids can also damage the plant as they also eat the fruit inside.
They are even more of a problem because they secrete honey.
It attracts ants.
The ants will not attack the aphids, they will eat the honey instead.
If anything, ants can keep aphids safe by protecting them from other predators.
Pests can cause yield loss.
That means a shortage of dragon fruit, which increases their price.
Farmers also have to bear the cost of protecting the fruit from pests.
This may include the use of pesticides or more natural means of destroying them.
Those costs also increase the price of dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit is expensive because pests can cause shortages and high costs.
7. Problems with profitability due to illness
Another problem that farmers face in growing dragon fruit is disease.
Many diseases affect dragon fruit.
Some diseases affect the stem of the fruit, while others correspond to the fruit, itself or even the flower.
Nematodes can also cause disease in dragon fruit.
The problem with the disease is that it affects the farmer’s yield.
A farmer can lose a quarter of his entire crop if the disease is widespread.
This could lead to a significant drop in supply.
If there isn’t enough supply to go around, the price of dragon fruit will rise significantly.
This is even more true if many farmers end up dealing with the same disease.
To avoid losing their crops, farmers often buy pesticides or other products that can help protect their trees and fruit from disease.
As they charge more to protect and grow their dragon fruit trees, they are going to sell them at higher prices.
Dragon fruit is expensive because of the shortage that can occur when disease occurs.
8. Import Charges
Although dragon fruit grows in tropical areas, that doesn’t stop other countries from buying it.
Many countries that want to offer a rich diet to their people will import dragon fruit.
In particular, farmers or production companies recognize the marketability of dragon fruit.
They will import dragon fruit and resell it at a much higher price to make a profit.
The problem with importing anything is that it usually comes with import fees or taxes.
This makes it more expensive to buy fruit, so these entities have to sell the fruit at higher prices to cover those costs.
Dragon fruit is expensive because import fees can make them expensive.
9. It rots relatively quickly
The problem with dragon fruit is that it doesn’t last very long.
Dragon fruit only lasts a week or two before you get it home.
If you open the skin and expose the fruit itself to the air, you’re only looking at a few days before it starts to rot.
This makes dragon fruit more expensive, as sellers can sometimes encounter large amounts of waste.
If they can’t sell the products they have fast enough, the dragon fruit may spoil.
It could mean their investment was wasted.
To try and recover, they may place a higher price on dragon fruit that is still marketable.
Its short shelf life also means that those at home will likely need to buy more dragon fruit.
Because it rots quickly, they have to keep buying more to stay stocked.
This increases the demand for dragon fruit, which also affects its price.
Dragon fruit is expensive because it has a short shelf life.
10. Exotic fruit
The last reason dragon fruit is expensive is that it is considered an exotic or unique type of fruit.
It has a strange appearance that other fruits don’t quite have.
The body also looks quite unique.
Its uniqueness gives it a kind of luxurious aesthetic.
That also adds to its price.
Dragon fruit is expensive because it is a strange looking fruit that has a certain value based on its appearance alone.
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