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Sunday 20 June 2021

Letter from New York: the disproportionate cost of fruit and vegetables

New York: the disproportionate cost of fruit and vegetables

Author of the content

Di Sun Serafini

The cost of a small tomato at the well-stocked Italian-American Agata & Valentina shop on First Avevue and 79th Street in Manhattan: about six dollars (as shown in the photo).

The cost of four tomatoes from the fruit and vegetable cart on the nearby street, First Avenue and 76th Street: three dollars (the cart in the photo).

In addition to the difference in price, the six dollar tomato is odorless, that of the scented cart. In European terms, the cost of chic New York City tomatoes is 10 euros per kilo (compared to just one euro per kilo in Italy).

Manhattan's gourmet food shops such as Agata & Valentina, Cittarella, Grace's Marketplace and Eli's Market explain that, being real shops, they pay a lot of taxes, while the carts pay only a license, they also offer better product quality and scrap (unsold).

The speech holds up but there is a huge difference between six dollars for a tomato and three dollars for four.

Logic would say that if prices were more reasonable, there would be less unsold. 

Rather than discarding less fresh fruit and vegetables, why not put them on sale at a lower price? On the one hand, they could arrange fresh products at the usual exorbitant price, and on the other hand the products closest to maturity with discounted prices of at least 50%.

Let's not forget that weight estimation comes into play. On the shelves the price of tomatoes, for example, is indicated (as in the photo) per pound (453 grams), how can a customer estimate the weight of a single tomato? He can't, the surprise arrives at the cashier.

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