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Why are summer fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines, etc, so expensive in Japan?


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My guess is because so much care and attention are given into the raising of these fruits, and just plain old capitalism. Limited time products will always fetch a higher price than products that are available all year round.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

As Toshihiro said.

The final production levels are just no so huge for a population of 125million.

The intensive coddling methods means fruit trees are way less productive in quantity than many overseas counterparts.

What the fruit gains in appearance is lost in numbers so farmers and intermediaries need to jack prices to compensate.

Also there is this connection with gift giving and the belief that expensive = high quality.

As everyone knows the general prices of these fruits - esp from "famous" areas - no one wants to be seen as stingy or cheap when giving summer gifts.

And the retailers know that.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Not just summer fruit & pretty much all farm products are expensive here...gotta keep those taxes and tariffs high to protect farmers LDP vote.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

production is lower than market wants and is able to absorb and buy.

another thing-fruits wholesalers who wants sell just nice top quality best looking fruits,as other "not attractive" looking ones/but still fine ones/ending in rubbish.add loos or profit for farmer,comission of wholesaler and profit of supremraket=you get answer to your question.

as market demand is higher as can be produced locally and some popular fruits cant be produced in Japan/say bananas/there is room for imports as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Taki Mata-

Because elsewhere people don't care about quality,

That's a pretty crazy damning statement implying only Japanese care so much about quality.

If you traveled widely, you'd find this is not the general case.

I will concede that many local people here do care about the appearance 1st, somehow equating uniform shape, size and colour with nutritional / taste superiority.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Probably because imports are kept to a minimum due to high tariffs protecting the local growers. Yeah, the fruit tastes great but they're triple in prices to what they cost in the US and many other countries.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Huge demand for a little supply. That's why it's expensive. Law of supply and demand, dear...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Taki Mata

But given the choice I prefer good, local, seasonal produce over cheap imported produce whose only quality is to meet a price point.

I should disagree with you on that.


Absolutely right.

As for the main topic, among other things that were mentioned I dare to suppose its also because the soil in Japan is less fertile in general ( I may be wrong though) and the J culture of 'highest quality' and brand rather than the desire to make all the basic foods more accessible to the general public.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Because elsewhere people don't care about quality

I prefer my fruits with fewer chemicals. Chemical-free fruits and vegetables usually and naturally have defects such as irregular and smaller shape, worm hole, etc. But they are juicier and taste way better than most Japanese fake a** fruits.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There are too many people in the chain from the grower to the buyer. ¥100 peach from the farmer ends up at ¥250-¥300 in the store.

This week from local people I received a large box of figs, huge watermelons, and Korean Melons which is the first time I tried, tasted between a melon and a cucumber. A large number of cucumbers, small tomatoes, and green peppers. Eggplants. All of them are organically grown without chemicals. Different shapes and sizes but all very nice especially on my purse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Taki Mata, utter rubbish. Quality is also important outside of Japan, try taking your head out of the sand.

Lack of competition due to import restrictions so that politicians can buy the farm vote, so consumers are continuously ripped off. Also everywhere else fruit is seen as part of an everyday healthy diet not just for special occasion over priced gifts.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

All growers the world over who put their lives into growing and producing foods all care about their quality. In many developed countries including Japan, the quality and sizes of fruits and vegetables are set by the major stores selling them. The field in our locations has dumped irregular size vegetables. Daikon, carrots.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why are all fruits in Japan generally so pricey? I remember being there on holiday and blanching at the price of one apple, which would have been the price of a bag of apples back home.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Visit a farm or orchard, and the premium cost becomes obvious. The steps throughout the year to produce large, sweet, consistently tasty fruits consume a huge amount of labor. Most farms, unlike in, say, America, aren’t staffed by cheap migrant labor.

Plus, come picking season, a high percentage of ripened fruit is thrown out (sent to a juice factory or given away by farmers to relatives and friends) because of any minor scratch or blemish. Those same fruits would go to the supermarket in other countries, but in Japan they are not top grade, which makes them worth almost nothing.

After witnessing what farmers do, I’m surprised some fruits don’t cost more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan uses more pesticides per hectare than any other country in the world by a huge margin. This stuff isn't cheap so that has to add to the cost. Also the fruit will pass from the farmer to the local association to the wholesaler to the distributor to ...... you get the picture. All adding their profit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Because Japanese peaches are delicious?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because they know that suckers will buy them if they say they are "made in Japan". It's why they get stolen and resold.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I don't know how much they cost in other countries, but I think these fruits need to be taken care of more than other ones, especially peaches, which are easily damaged even by a touch. Also, at the market in Japan, not only fruits but also other foods and vegetables have to be supplied in a perfect condition. Even a slight scratch can be removed from billing, considered as B rank, meaning "not in a good condition". Therefore, producers put their attentions on their crops, adding extra costs on the price of them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I go for B-products if they're available. Who cares if tat cucumber is bent, or those apples have a slight blemish?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I often visit a local fruit shop, selling fruit with bruises at a reasonable price, saying "they are still good to eat, just cut off that part if you mind".

No trouble with my diet and budget.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not just summer fruit & pretty much all farm products are expensive here...gotta keep those taxes and tariffs high to protect farmers LDP vote.

Exactly! Beat me to it!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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