Revealed: What could be New Zealand's most expensive watermelon

It's been a mixed season for watermelons.
It's been a mixed season for watermelons. Photo credit: Getty

What could be New Zealand's most expensive watermelon has been uncovered in a supermarket in Whanganui where a shopper spotted one selling for $49.

Kiwi watermelon lovers have had to pay high prices for the summertime fruit, after a mixed local season and restrictions on some imports.

Earlier this month, a shocked user of the social media platform Reddit posted a photo of an 11-kilogram watermelon in a supermarket with a $46 price tag, along with the caption "Who is buying these watermelons?!"

Now a photo of a watermelon with a price of $49.35 has emerged, taken at Pak'nSave supermarket in Whanganui in November.

The melon weighed 9.9 kilos and was priced at $4.98 a kilo.

While the large size of the watermelons has contributed to the high prices, there had been a shortage this season.

A $49 watermelon was spotted at a supermarket in Whanganui.
A $49 watermelon was spotted at a supermarket in Whanganui. Photo credit: Facebook

Head of corporate affairs at Foodstuffs, Antoinette Laird told Newshub the high prices this season had reflected low supplies of the fruit.

"There has recently been a shortage of watermelon in New Zealand, this is due to dry weather conditions earlier in the season affecting supply," said Laird.  

The shortage from locally grown watermelon had been made worse by a suspension on melons imported from Queensland.

Biosecurity NZ detected cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) following routine border testing on consignment of watermelons last year.

Head of produce at Countdown Steve Sexton said that had meant there hadn't been any imported watermelons to help bridge the gap before the New Zealand season started.  

"As a result, the price of watermelons has been higher than it normally would be at this time of year because there's such limited supply," said Sexton.

"The great news is that we're expecting a full local watermelon crop ahead, and customers will be able to enjoy reduced prices and plenty of watermelons when they arrive in-store over the next few weeks."

 

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