I was doing some grocery shopping on Sunday and came across these Bing cherries from Wenatchee, Washington at Foodland. I stopped and stared at the sign, mouth open, for probably 30 seconds, before I decided to take the picture. Having just read an article in the Seattle Times about how cherry growers are terrified that there won’t be enough help to harvest the cherry crop, I was shocked to see them in Kailua at this price.
When we moved to Hawaii, I expected everything that came from the mainland to be more expensive. Many items that I used to buy regularly are no longer on the shopping list because of the extra cost (sorry Cheddar Bunnies), and I assumed cherries would be one of those items. Turns out, I can buy them cheaper here than in the state from where they were grown. Even at Whole Foods, which was the 4th store I visited that day (grocery shopping here typically involves going to several grocery stores), I saw organic cherries for $6.99/lb.
When I got home, I told Scott about what I saw, and he said, “I wonder if Foodland is using cherries as this week’s loss leader. Maybe people come in for the cherries and buy other things impulsively?” Maybe that was Foodland’s theory, but in my experience, cherries are often what I’ll impulsively buy at full price. They are only in the store when they are in season, much like Copper River King Salmon, Frog Hollow Peaches, or Makaha Mangoes. To see these things on sale, means maybe a dollar or two is knocked off the per pound price, not $5.40.
If any Hawaiian readers are still not sure what the big deal is, this would be like seeing lychee on the Mainland for $2.50/lb. You’d take a picture too.