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Why Is Dragon Fruit So Expensive? 5 Reasons You Should Know!

So healthy and delicious, but why is Dragon fruit so expensive? Is there any logical reason for that?

The Food Network reports that a piece of Dragon fruit costs about $10. It is a very expensive fruit in the USA. This is because Dragon fruits are exotic to the U.S. and most other countries of the world. The term exotic means it’s alien to a country and is cultivated outside. This is the main reason why Dragon fruit is expensive and distinctive.

To make the reason more logical to you, we will discuss 5 major reasons why Dragon fruit’s pricing is different from other fruits.

The Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit’s demand outnumbers the supply in most parts of the world. The fruit is grown in Mexico, Central, and South America and shipped worldwide. It’s healthy, comes long distances, and has a small shelf life. This makes it far more valuable and the most expensive of all other tropical fruits.

Have you heard of cactus plants? If yes, you’d be surprised to know that the plant is also called succulent. It stores excess water in its stems, leaves, and roots. This exotic Dragon fruit comes from cactus plants. Normally, the cactus does not produce fruits similar to the typical trees bearing fruits. Their cultivation is also very complicated.

How Much Does Dragon Fruit Cost?

In the U.S., Dragon fruit costs between $5 to $15. Regarding how much a Dragon fruit weighs, an average Dragon fruit weighs 300 to 400 grams; this increases the cost of Dragon fruit per pound. It’s good to know that you can also purchase Dragon fruit on Amazon.

But the price is slightly higher than the fruit store near you. Compare the price at the Tropical Importer store. They sell it for $30 per fruit. Walmart sells each Dragon fruit for $ 6. It is known that red Dragon fruit is more common than yellow Dragon fruit, and their prices vary accordingly. The ones with pink peel and white flesh are seen very often.

Learn more about red Dragon fruit prices in the USA.

Are you still wondering why Dragon fruit is so expensive and how much Dragon fruit costs? Here are the main reasons for the high pricing of Dragon fruit.

Why Is Dragon Fruit So Expensive?

1. Dragon fruit is Exotic

Close-up shot of a young caucasian woman eating exotic dragon fruit on the beach.

Source: iStock

Dragon fruit is non-native or tropical in nature. It is even shorter than a regular mango in size. What could be more surprising?

Dragon fruits are native to South and Central America and Mexico. They are rare and are mostly imported to the U.S frequently. This reason is big enough for the fruit to be expensive, though! It is also a fact that other states like California, Florida, and Hawaii grow their own Dragon fruit. However, they are affected by natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. So the ongoing demand for the fruit continues.

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center states that June to September falls is the harvest times of Dragon fruits. It’s the same time when wildfires and storms hit the Dragon fruit-producing areas. So, importing a stable supply at higher costs is a necessity for Americans. Another name for Dragon fruit is Pitaya.

2. Supply & Demand of the Fruit

Demand and supply, economic model of dragon fruit determination in a capital market concept, US dollar money sign with arm metaphor of balancing the word demand on the right and supply on the left.

Source: iStock

Another strong reason for the Dragon fruit’s pricing is its demand which is higher than the supply. The popular law of supply and demand is active in the case of Dragon fruit, just like seafood.

Therefore, the rise in the price of Dragon fruit is inevitable. It is hard to find Dragon fruit in any grocery store nearby, but it might be available in some unique fruit-selling stores or installs that sell unusual vegetables and fruits.

Dragon fruit sells fast, as there is more demand than supply. I recommend buying it in June, July, August, and September to get it fresh. Due to its amazing health benefits, Dragon fruit has gained popularity throughout the years.

3. Difficult Cultivation of the Plant

Dragon fruit tree with ripe red fruit on the tree for harvest. This is a cool fruit with many minerals that are beneficial for human health

Source: iStock

Dragon fruit cultivation is quite challenging. Look at the background first to get a clear idea. Dragon fruit grows in countries that have a humid climates, including Thailand, Mexico, and Vietnam. Unlike most other fruits, its seeds take a long time to grow as a fruit —five years at least! Yes, you read it right.

Not only that, but also, many plants die in between due to chronic weather conditions like heavy rains, temperature drops, and droughts. Meanwhile, farmers still have to dedicate long years to cultivating the surviving plants to reap the benefits. All workers nurture the plant manually all through. So, I conclude that the fruit passes through severe growing conditions before it reaches the customer.

Dragon fruit-growing countries strategize the whole cycle well. Their cultivation plan covers a large scale for exports, producing over 30 tons of fruit per hectare annually.

The demand keeps rising as the world becomes more aware of its benefits and uniqueness. The wastage also continues to occur due to the wrong shipping and storage practices. This also makes it a contributing factor to the fruit’s high pricing.

4. Challenging Fruit Storage

Pitaya or dragon fruits in the plastic crate, 3D rendering isolated on white background

Source: iStock

The shelf life of Dragon fruit is very short. This makes its storage conditions very challenging. The fruit should be in its best shape when dispersed for sale. The fruit degrades fast after getting mature. It indicates that Dragon fruits must be well-packed and sent at the appropriate temperature for the customers.

When refrigerated, Dragon fruits can only survive for two weeks maximum. When they are brought out of the cold chain and exposed to ambient temperature, full-grown Dragon fruit lasts 4 to 6 weeks. At room temperature, it only survives for a week or so. The sellers ensure it is fresh and undamaged before reaching the consumer.

5. Tremendous Health Benefits

Man hands holding big pink Pitahaya Dragon fruit on a rustic wooden table board

Source: iStock

Coming to Dragon fruit’s health benefits. This all in all wonderful fruit is considered the epitome of health. But why is that so?

Dragon fruits come with numerous amazing health benefits. It’s an organic and sustainable fruit having multiple health benefits. The fruit is right up there with huge numbers of imports for you to benefit from its beneficial effects without having the need to reside in the tropics. It is available to you frozen and fresh in the food stores.

Dragon fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals. It is very low in calories. The healthy nutrients include vitamins C, E, magnesium, and more. These nutrients efficiently boost low levels of iron in the body and the human immune system. It is also rich in dietary fiber. This type of fiber helps in digestion. It also has plant compounds like betacyanins and polyphenols.

Dragon fruit is also an antioxidant bomb! This makes it a powerful tool in fighting against chronic diseases. These diseases include cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular issues. It also improves gut health. This is because it’s also high in prebiotics; this quality prevents diarrhea and reduces the digestive tract’s infection risks.

Click here to know how much a Dragon fruit costs at Starbucks.

The Best Way to Rid the Pricey Cost of Dragon fruit

Watercolor cute dragon fruit cartoon character.

So, your health-conscious self is convinced by the enormous health benefits of the Dragon fruit! But your only concern is the high cost. You can potentially reduce the cost by farming it. Yet, what matters here is your location.

If you own a warm greenhouse or you live in the humid climate of South Florida, you can get rid of the fruit’s high cost by farming your own.

Learn ways to grow your own Dragon fruit.

The Outcome

So, now you know why Dragon fruit is so expensive and how much a Dragon fruit costs.

Dragon fruit’s five long years of yield are worth the wait. Many people are concerned that its price is so high, yet I conclude that there is ‘much’ logic behind it based on evidence. You are good to grab your Dragon fruit as soon as you find it in the local store.