Revealed: Why strawberry prices skyrocket at Christmas time

New Zealanders are paying top dollar for their Christmas strawberries.
New Zealanders are paying top dollar for their Christmas strawberries. Photo credit: File

A Waikato strawberry grower has taken to social media to explain why prices for the popular summer berry skyrocket just before Christmas.

The berries are a staple for Christmas celebrations, however, New Zealanders pay top-dollar for them in the days leading up to Christmas Day.

Owner of Ye Olde Berry Farm, near Hamilton, Peter Malloy posted a video on Facebook to explain, saying he didn't want customers to think they were being ripped off.

Malloy said it was a simple case of supply and demand, and growers had to make the most of the Christmas season.

"We only have a certain area of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries at the Christmas period.

"There's a lot of people who want to buy the fruit at that time and we make most of our money in the New Zealand market, supplying Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch," said Malloy. 

Peter Malloy owns the Te Olde Berry Farm near Hamilton.
Peter Malloy owns the Te Olde Berry Farm near Hamilton. Photo credit: Newshub

He said growers had the opportunity to get paid a lot of money for their fruit, which meant consumers paid more, especially for strawberries.

"We don't want customers to think we are trying to rip them off, it's just that there are opportunities to sell that fruit and we only have those opportunities for three or four days a year."

Malloy said the Christmas berry supply was just one part of their business, and they supplied fruit for eight months of the year.

"We have Pick Your own and our Pick Your Own stops as we approach Christmas so that we have enough fruit to provide customers." 

However, it's not all bad news for strawberry lovers, with prices expected to drop after Christmas Day following a few days when the berries are not harvested.

"Those prices, at that time are quite cheap to compensate for the fact that in that period immediately before Christmas prices are high."  

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