A bunch of grapes in Japan has sold for $14,600 at auction, a record price for the variety in the fruit-obsessed nation where the produce can be a huge status symbol.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers to “ooh and ahh” over the high-end edibles.
The buyer of Thursday’s bunch of about 30 Ruby Romans, who paid about $480 per grape, said he would display them at his store before giving customers a sample.
“These are truly Ruby Roman gems,” said bidder Takamaru Konishi from western Japan.
The super-sweet grapes which are about as large as a ping pong ball stand above their more affordable relatives available in supermarkets elsewhere in the world.
The sale kicked off the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Other fruits, from apples to watermelons, can also fetch jaw-dropping sums under the hammer.
Fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $4.
The king of fruits in the country is the melon, which serves as a status symbol akin to a vintage wine, and is given as a high-ranking gift.
A single pair of melons fetched $16,590 at an auction last year.