Why Is Dragon Fruit So Expensive?

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Whether you’re buying red or yellow dragon fruit, cut or whole, doesn’t matter. They are costly at the grocery store. But why is dragon fruit so expensive?

Dragon fruit is expensive because it is a tropical fruit that is not grown in many parts of the world. The majority of dragon fruit comes from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Mexico. Since it takes a long time for dragon fruit trees to mature and produce fruit, the overall yield is low. This lack of supply drives up the price of dragon fruit.

But let’s look at the price of dragon fruit at the grocery store and then explore more reasons why dragon fruit costs so much.

How Much Does Dragon Fruit Cost?

A single dragon fruit costs about $6, depending on the time of year and the grocery store.

For me, a single fruit can yield about 2 servings if it’s not the main star of the dessert or a snack. And while beautiful to look at, there is quite a bit of waste if you aren’t eating the skin.

whole and cut dragon fruit on a plate

They are usually sold by a single count whole rather than by weight.

The average dragon fruit should weigh between 300 and 400 grams when bought at the grocery store. Sometimes, you’ll find it already cut either as part of a fruit salad or frozen in cubes.

The following prices are from the date of this article.

  • Kroger – 1 whole white or yellow dragon fruit is $5.99
  • Walmart – 1 whole white dragon fruit is $5.98

Costco, Publix, and Whole Foods did not have fresh dragon fruits available. However, Costco had 3 Lbs. of frozen bite-sized cubes for $9.99.

And when buying whole dragon fruit at the grocery store, it’s usually not ready to eat right away. You’ll need to leave it at room temperature for 2 days before cutting into it.

Reasons Why Dragon Fruit Is Expensive

It’s An Exotic Fruit

Looking at this beautiful fruit, you can tell it’s not something commonly found across the USA.

I remember the first time I saw a dragon fruit. I wasn’t sure if you could eat it or if it was just for decoration. It was quite intimating, but I finally picked one up despite its high price just to see what it was like.

Honestly, I was disappointed with its mild flavor and wasn’t sure why people would buy them. But its look is a big part of what draws people to them, just like I was.

After learning more about the types of dragon fruit that could be bought, I realized that the variety  I chose was not the best tasting and that I would need to go on a hunt to find one that was.

So, the point that I’m trying to get across is that dragon fruit is an exotic fruit that not many people have tried. It’s this factor that plays a role in its high price at the grocery store.

Many Health Benefit Claims

It’s true that dragon fruit has many nutritional benefits and may help fight off certain illnesses and diseases. However, these claims are often overblown and quite misleading.

You’re not going to cure your ailments simply by eating dragon fruit.

Regardless, people are driven to purchase products that are good for their health. And since dragon fruit is associated with so many health benefits, it commands a higher price at the grocery store.

Dragon Fruits Are Imported

As with most perishable goods, the time they have from the farm to your kitchen table greatly affects the shelf life of those products. Dragon fruit doesn’t have a long shelf life which means that it can go bad rather quickly.

Dragon fruit is grown in tropical regions and has to be imported to the USA, where the climate is not conducive to growing them. The long-distance they have to travel also drives up the final cost you pay at the grocery store.

Additionally, import taxes and inspections can add to the final overall cost.

High Demand And Low Supply

Dragon fruit has become very popular in recent years as people become more health conscious and are looking for exotic fruits to try.

However, the supply has not been able to keep up with the demand, which has resulted in higher prices.

ripe dragon fruit farm

So what gives? Why isn’t there a larger supply? Well, growing dragon fruit is not easy, and the yield is quite low from a single cactus tree. It’s also a very labor-intensive process which increases the cost of production.

Dragon fruit trees can take up to 2 years before they start bearing fruit. Not to mention, if disease or storms wipe out a region, it will set the industry back a lot.

So, it will be some time before the supply starts to catch up with the demand. Until then, you can expect dragon fruit prices to remain high.

Written By Justin Micheal

Justin is not just the creator but also an author and editor for KitchenSanity. He does the majority of the cooking at home with his wife. His friends and family look forward to eating his delicious creations, which often leads to many questions about how they can replicate his meals at home. In his writing, he shares his passion and knowledge as a home chef from his kitchen to yours.