Japan’s favourite cat is bringing cute back to melons this year — but how much will they cost?
Following the record 3 million yen (US$27,240) price tag for two cantaloupe melons sold at auction in Hokkaido last month, any type of fancy fruit on sale in Japan immediately begs the question: how much?
While the first auction of the harvest season inevitably brings out the big bids, the Yubari-grown melons that broke price records didn’t look at all out of the ordinary. They may have had exceptional netting and a superior texture and flavour, but they certainly didn’t have a picture of Sanrio’s most popular cat etched onto their rinds.
With that in mind, this year’s Hello Kitty Furano melons are an absolute steal at 5,500 yen (US$51.62) each. Grown in Furano, Hokkaido, one of the country’s best growing regions for the fruit, the special melon weighs roughly 1.8 kilograms (3.97 pounds), and stands out from its cheaper counterparts as the cutest in its field, with a distinctive Hello Kitty-shaped netting on its surface.
▼ The clean air and green hills of Furano are an ideal environment for growing some of the country’s best produce.
The Hello Kitty melons are created by carving the image on the surface of the fruit approximately one month before harvest. During the final weeks of growth, the hollow grooves take on the same colour and appearance as the fruit’s natural netting, creating a seamless, organic-looking image.
As in previous years, the Hello Kitty melons will be limited to a run of 300, available with free delivery within Japan from online gourmet food specialty shop, Belluna. And to add to the adorableness of the unusual gift, the melon will be packed in a specially marked green box featuring the cute character from Sanrio.