What is happening in the fruit value chain?

01mango_sm

Mangos from Peru
(1,620 yen / one)

It might be a little too late, but let me tell you about this. My mom and I live in Funabashi, about half an hour away by train from the central part of the Tokyo metropolitan area. On January 3rd, my mom went to a restaurant in Tokyo to have lunch with her friend. Across the road from the restaurant, they found a famous fruit shop. They dropped in the fruit shop, and my mom was “beary” surprised to see the prices of the fruit there. Look at the price tag for the mangos. They were imported from Peru. One mango was 1,620 yen! It’s US$14! Those mangos must be “beary” delicious. They must be special mangos!

My mom looked around at the fruit next to the mangos. Her surprise (even “shock”) was growing. One avocado, imported from Mexico, was priced at 540 yen (US$4.6); one orange, imported from California, U.S.A., was also US$4.6. Compared with the prices that my mom is familiar with, they were much higher. Considering the intermediary cost and the shop’s brand, she could understand why those avocados and oranges were sold at such prices. However, the kiwis were from Japan. One was 864 yen (US$7.4). All the fruit must be special and “beary” delicious. My mom did not buy any for me, though.

02avocado_sm

Avocados from Mexico
(540 yen / one)

03orange_sm

Oranges from California, U.S.A.
(540 yen / one)

04kiwi_sm

Kiwis from Kagawa, Japan
(864 yen / one)

Apples were also sold in the shop. These are the Fuji variety. One Fuji apple was 1,620 yen (US$13.8). Incredible! A couple of days later, when my mom went to the supermarket near her apartment, she found Fuji apples priced 98 yen (US$0.8). What a huge difference in price between the two! What on earth is happening in the global fruit value chain? I should study more about the marketing theory and strategies.

 

Fuji Apple from Japan in the famous fruit shop in Tokyo (1,620 yen / one)

Fuji Apple from Japan
in the famous fruit shop in Tokyo
(1,620 yen / one)

Fuji Apple in a supermarket near my apartment in Funabashi (98 yen / one)

Fuji Apple in a supermarket
near my apartment in Funabashi
(98 yen / one)

(*Note: Calculated US$1 for 117 Japanese yen)