Dragon fruit is considered expensive due to several factors. Firstly, it’s a tropical fruit primarily grown in countries like Mexico, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. International shipping increases the cost. Additionally, dragon fruit is a relatively niche product, and demand is limited, which keeps the price higher. Finally, dragon fruit requires specific growing conditions, such as high heat and humidity, which can result in higher production costs.
What You'll Learn Today
- Why Are Dragon Fruit So Expensive To Buy?
- What Is So Special About Dragon Fruit?
- What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
- Are Dragon Fruits Difficult To Grow In Your Yard? What Are The Advantages?
Why Are Dragon Fruit So Expensive To Buy?
Let’s look at the reasons why dragon fruit is so expensive to buy in more detail:
1. Importation Costs
The cost of transportation, storage, and handling add significantly to the final price of the fruit. Shipping costs themselves vary, depending on where the fruit originated.
Because dragon fruit is primarily grown in tropical regions, including Southeast Asia and South America, rather than in the United States, importation costs are higher than if the fruits were homegrown.
2. Limited Supply
Dragon fruit is still not widely grown in the United States, so there is limited domestic supply.
Luckily, due to the popularity of the fruits, more growers based in the US are appearing, which should help to bring prices down in time.
For now, it is generally quite expensive when compared to the more widely available fruits.
3. Seasonal Availability
Dragon fruit is seasonal, and availability is often limited, especially in certain regions. This may drive up the price, especially during peak season.
4. High Demand
The popularity of dragon fruit has increased in recent years, leading to higher demand and higher prices. As more people become aware of its health benefits, the demand will likely continue to increase, causing prices to rise further.
As more of the fruit is farmed in the US, the hope is that prices will level off and even start to fall.
5. Cost of Production
Growing dragon fruit can be labor-intensive and requires special care and attention. The high cost of fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs contributes to the high price of the fruit.
6. Markup by Retailers
Finally, retailers often add their own markup to the price in order to cover their own costs and make a profit. Depending on the percentage of markup they use, this contributes to the inflated price of these fruits in the United States.
It is worth noting that the cost of dragon fruit can vary depending on the region and time of year and can also be influenced by other factors such as weather conditions and supply and demand.
The statistics for average wholesale prices of dragon fruit have varied over the past six years, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
Here are the average wholesale prices of dragon fruit per pound:
- 2022: $2.39
- 2021: $2.68
- 2020: $2.24
- 2019: $2.35
- 2018: $2.14
- 2017: $2.11
You can access the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Specialty Crops Program website for more information on the price trends of dragon fruit in the US.
Please note that these prices are average wholesale prices and do not necessarily reflect the prices at the retail level. Prices vary depending on the location, season, quality, and availability of dragon fruit.
In this video, you can see how dragon fruit is farmed commercially in Asia, you’ll see how all the fruit is carefully hand picked another clue as to why it is so expensive:
What Is So Special About Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is considered special for several reasons:
- Nutritional Profile: Dragon fruit is low in calories and contains fiber, which helps with digestion and could be beneficial for weight management. It is also a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to a healthy diet.
- Unique Appearance: Dragon fruit has a unique and eye-catching appearance. Its bright pink or yellow skin and flesh speckled with black seeds make it a popular choice for use in smoothies, fruit salads, and other visually appealing dishes.
- Versatility: Dragon fruit can be used in various dishes, from sweet to savory, fresh, frozen, or dried. This versatility makes it a popular ingredient for a range of recipes and cooking styles.
- Cultural Significance: In some cultures, dragon fruit is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity, making it an important part of traditional celebrations and ceremonies.
What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Dragon fruit has a distinct, fairly sweet taste, with a slightly crunchy texture similar to that of kiwi fruit. The flavor is often described as a combination of a pear and a kiwi, with a mild sweetness that is not overpowering.
There are several different varieties of dragon fruit, each with slightly different flavors and textures. Some of the most common types include:
- Hylocereus undatus: This is the most common type of dragon fruit, and it has bright pink skin with white or red flesh. The flavor of this variety is considered mild and slightly sweet.
- Hylocereus Costaricensis: This type of dragon fruit is similar in appearance to Hylocereus Undatus, but it has a more intense flavor and a slightly sweeter taste.
- Selenicereus Megalanthus: This is a rarer type of dragon fruit with yellow skin and sweet, juicy flesh.
- Hylocereus Polyrhizus: This variety has a sweeter and more intense flavor than other types.
In addition to these common varieties, there are also several hybrid cultivars of dragon fruit available, each with its own unique flavor and texture.
Overall, dragon fruit’s taste varies depending on variety, but it is generally considered to have a sweet and mild flavor that is perfect for use in a wide range of dishes.
Are Dragon Fruits Difficult To Grow In Your Yard? What Are The Advantages?
Growing dragon fruit may be challenging, but it is possible to cultivate them in your yard with proper care and attention if the climate and soil type is right.
Here are some advantages of growing your own dragon fruit:
- Freshness: When you grow your own dragon fruit, you can enjoy the freshest and most delicious fruit possible straight from the tree! The taste of freshly picked dragon fruit is unparalleled compared to the store-bought type.
- Cost Savings: Growing your own fruit will save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to purchase the fruit from the store.
- Variety: By growing your own dragon fruit, you can choose from a wide range of varieties and find the one that best fits your personal taste preferences.
- Control over growing conditions: By growing your own fruit in your own yard, you’ll have complete control over the growing conditions, including the amount of water, sunlight, and fertilizers used. This allows you to ensure that your plants grow in the best possible environment.
- Environmental Benefits: Another great advantage is that growing your own is an environmentally friendly practice. It reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting the fruit from other countries.
To successfully grow dragon fruit, it is important to have a warm, sunny location, well-draining soil, and proper irrigation.
Additionally, dragon fruit plants need support, such as a trellis or a pergola, as they can grow quite large.
Overall, growing dragon fruit requires patience, but the end result can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your home garden.
There are many university and scientific articles about growing dragon fruit successfully. Here are a few high-quality sources that might be helpful:
“Dragon fruit: A review on its botany, traditional uses, nutraceutical properties, and conservation,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
“Cultivation of Dragon Fruit” published by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“Dragon Fruit Production and Postharvest Management” published by the USDA:.
“Economic and Technological Assessment of Dragon Fruit Cultivation and Export in Vietnam” https://www.fspublishers.org/published_papers/107689.pdf.
These sources contain detailed information on the botany, traditional uses, cultivation, postharvest management, and economics of dragon fruit production.
They can provide valuable information for anyone interested in growing dragon fruit successfully. You can also read articles about growing your own dragon fruit on our website.
Dragon fruit is still a fairly high-priced commodity in the United States, and its seasonality, high production costs, transportation, and demand all inflate retail prices.
Overall, dragon fruit is considered special due to its unique combination of nutritional value, visual appeal, versatility, health benefits, and cultural significance.
It’s not only nutritious but delicious, with a mild sweet flavor similar to a cross between a pear and a kiwi fruit.
You can grow your own dragon fruit if you live in a suitable location.
For more dragon fruit articles, take a closer look at our site.