Score Rare and Tropical Fruit on Etsy
BROOKLYN, NY - As a child of the Hawaiian Islands, I grew up surrounded by a bounty of fresh, premium tropical fruit. Unfortunately, I no longer live in Hawaii (I’m not made of money, people), so my access to fresh tropical fruit is limited at best. I lie awake at night dreaming of mangos, lychee, starfruit, and mountain apples, with little to no relief in sight. But my entire perception of purchasing produce has been upended upon learning that the hottest new specialty produce market exists where I least suspected—Etsy.
Etsy is best known as an online marketplace of handcrafted goods—jewelry, art, furniture, you name it, they got it. But the site is gaining new momentum with its Food & Drink section that is full of baked goods, candy, coffee, and now, produce, according to Eater.
The news source investigated mangosteens as an example, and found that you can get a 2 to 2.5 pound shipment of the fruit for around $48 to $60 (minus the sometimes exorbitant shipping costs). After a cursory search on the website, I uncovered mangos, papayas, lychee, lilikoi (passion fruit to Mainlanders), and even an impressive looking tropical fruit sample box.
Online produce comes with its own set of problems, because unlike brick-and-mortar stores, customers must depend on the seller to curate quality fruits and veg for shipping. Eater found that the quality of the fruit purchased on Etsy varied wildly, indicating that Etsy may not be staging a produce takeover just yet.
With almost $4 billion in overall merchandise sales in 2018, the company is working its way up the ranks of retail heavy hitters. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods to expand its presence in the grocery retail sector—could Etsy be the next to follow in its footsteps?
While Eater’s reporter got her hands on her treasured mangosteens, I have, sadly, been unable to find my precious mountain apples on the site, but you can bet that I’ll keep scouring the search pages now that I know there’s a new source for the specialty fruits I can’t get enough of.
AndNowUKnow will keep you in the loop when investigating new and unexpected produce sources.