A Company Is Selling Strawberries For $780

Ikigai Fruits is exporting its luxury strawberries to US customers for the first time


3 Minutes Read

Photo shows a tray of the luxury white strawberries exported by Ikigai Fruits Would you pay $780 for luxury white strawberries from Japan? - Media Credit: Ikigai Fruits

A Japanese fruit-selling marketplace is now exporting its high-end products to the US, including the notably expensive Pearl White strawberries.

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Ikigai Fruits was founded in 2023 in order to export Japan’s “most precious” fruits to the US. Its stock currently includes oranges, melons, and strawberries, all of which are carefully cultivated by specialty farmers and prized for their exceptional taste and appearance.

Ikigai’s bright red Kotoka strawberries, produced in Nara Prefecture, are the cheapest item available for import and cost USD $89 for just over a pound of fruit.

Kirameki strawberries from Saitama Prefecture are available at $238, while the striking Pearl White strawberries, also from Nara Prefecture, cost $128 per 1.1 pounds (500g). A complete set of 27 white, pink, and red strawberries is $780, plus shipping at around $40.

Ikigai sells a single Crown Melon – famous for its one tree, one fruit growing method – for $128, or three for $384.

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Ikigai’s fruit is a ‘work of art’

Photo shows a plate of the luxury white strawberries exported by Ikigai Fruits
Ikigai Fruits Japan’s luxury fruit – including Pearl White strawberries – are carefully cultivated by expert farmers

In its description of its Crown Melon, Ikigai says: “This level of quality can only be achieved by a handful of experienced farmers who have mastered their craft. For those who have tasted it, the Crown Melon is not just a fruit – it’s a work of art.”
The company, which is named after the Japanese concept of “ikigai,” or “reason for being,” says that purchasing its luxury fruit supports skilled, independent farmers as well as the overall culture of craftsmanship and innovation that defines Japanese fruit production.

Japan’s agriculture industry is dwindling as the current farmers age and younger generations move away from the sector. Overall, studies indicate that national production capacity could drop to 40 percent by 2050, just 26 years away.

Domestic consumption of luxury fruit items is also shrinking in Japan, which has prompted the government to encourage exportation to foreign markets such as the US. But exporting such precisely engineered, grown, and harvested produce is a delicate operation.

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Strawberry or pineberry?

Oishii, the company behind the world’s largest indoor vertical strawberry farm, combines state-of-the-art technology with traditional Japanese farming techniques to grow specialty strawberries (the Omakase Berry) in the US, which sell for around $12 per box.

White authentic Japanese strawberries are relatively new to the US, white strawberries have been available from certain upscale stores and luxury supermarkets for a while now.

The most common variety is known as a “pineberry” – named because of its pineapple-like flavor – and is actually a cross between the traditional Japanese white strawberry and typical strawberries, engineered to grow easily in California and Florida.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Marks & Spencer has introduced its own White Pearl strawberries, which the luxury supermarket describes as sweet like a conventional strawberry but with an “aroma of pineapple and notes of vanilla.” However, they have proven difficult to find in-store.

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