The High Cost of Cut-Fruit

watermelon.jpgOn a recent trip to the supermarket I noticed a plastic container of cut watermelon selling for just over $4.00 or $2.67 per pound. I typically find whole watermelons selling for around $0.40 per pound, though it varies by location and time of year. I thought to myself this is an extremely expensive price to pay for having someone cut my fruit for me.

So I ran some quick numbers. According to the Watermelon Promotion Board 70% of a whole watermelon is edible, the rest is the rind. So to get the equivalent edible price per pound of a whole watermelon you multiply ($0.40 x 1.3) and you get $0.52. So the cost differential between pre-cut and whole watermelon comes to $2.67 – $0.52 = $2.15 per pound. That’s a mark-up of over 400%. You also figure it would only take about 3 minutes to cut up a watermelon. (see video below) so in this case I could pay myself the equivalent hourly rate of ((60/3) * $2.15) = $43 to cut my own fruit.

I must admit that I’ve purchased cut fruit before never really considering the cost. Apparently I’m not the only one, according to an agriculture brief I found on the web just over $1 billion was spent annually on cut fruit from Oct 2005-2006 and sales are growing at a healthy clip.

So pretty much anytime I see cut fruit, packaged salad, or any vegetable wrapped or packaged for presentation I’m assuming there is a pretty healthy mark-up on it. As is almost always the case, convenience is very costly.

Video: How to Cut Fruit

Photo Source: jetalone