Del Monte’s Rubyglow Pineapple Can Set You Back Nearly $400

Have you ever spotted a ripe pineapple at the grocery store and found yourself disappointed by how yellow it was? Probably not — but that hasn’t stopped Fresh Del Monte from innovating unexpected new varieties of tropical fruit to surprise and delight consumers. The global produce giant has announced that the Rubyglow, its rare proprietary pineapple with a red shell and sweet yellow flesh, is now available in the US market.

The new fruit was first unveiled in January of this year and was initially only available in China. Its release there was timed to coincide with the Lunar New Year, a splashy debut as Del Monte made its very first entry into the Chinese market.

Now, the Rubyglow, which Del Monte refers to as its “most exclusive, high-end pineapple,” will be available at select grocery stores nationwide, or online via specialty produce retailers. And they certainly won’t come cheap: The press release further describes the Rubyglow as an “ultra-premium luxury ‘designer’ fruit that appeals to high-end consumers” and has a hefty price tag to match. (The exact prices will be set by the retailers, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted a price of $125 for anyone who joins the global waitlist; while Melissa’s Produce is currently selling it for $396.) The fruit, sold without its spiky crown, is individually packaged in a beautiful box that unfolds almost like origami.

The Rubyglow pineapple is grown in Costa Rica, and the patented variety is a cross-breed of a traditional pineapple and a Morada pineapple.

Del Monte

“This Del Monte exclusive pineapple further cements our global leadership position in the pineapple market,” said Fresh Del Monte CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh in the press release at the time. “Our scientists continue to elevate the bar by creating new pineapple varieties, with varied tastes and colors, that cater to more and more consumers worldwide.”

What makes Rubyglow so expensive? For one thing, it’s scarcer than just about any other produce you eat. The press release notes that there will only be 5,000 Rubyglows available this year, and only 3,000 in 2025. They’re grown in Costa Rica, and the patented variety is a cross-breed of a traditional pineapple and a Morada pineapple; each one takes a long time to cultivate, and Fresh Del Monte notes the process is “complicated.” It’s unclear whether that’s the reason for the limited seed supply, or whether the company has perhaps manufactured this scarcity to drive up prices of the novelty item — maybe some mix of both. Regardless, it’s been in the works for 15 years.

As noted by Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte has been turning out many unique pineapple offerings in recent years. In March, the company debuted the Precious Honeyglow pineapple, a “personal-sized” fruit perfect for single-serving consumption. The product boasts a slightly sweeter taste, but Del Monte also positioned it as a way to reduce household food waste. On the other end of the spectrum, the brand released Grandissimo Gold pineapples in 2022, which are alleged to be twice as sweet as a traditional pineapple and feature large-format sizes to encourage creative cooking applications.

Del Monte has been playing around with color for a while, too. In 2020, Pinkglow pineapples first hit the market, and they’re sort of the opposite of the Rubyglow: While the latter has a red shell and the typical yellow pineapple flesh, Pinkglows have a typical shell and a bright pink interior.

“As with all Del Monte pineapples and other Fresh Del Monte products, Rubyglow pineapples follow sustainable practices for planting, harvesting, and transporting,” the press release notes.

Now the question is… would you spend your hard-earned wages on it?