After 15 Years in the Making, You Can Finally Buy Del Monte’s Pink Pineapple

updated Feb 24, 2021
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pink pineapples
Credit: Leanne Durand / EyeEm

Breeding or genetically modifying fruit to fit the consumer’s ideal is hardly a new concept — humans have been looking to perfect their crops pretty much since the invention of agriculture. But while crops have previously been designed for the highest yield, best taste, or, most recently, the widest supermarket appeal, the latest trend, particularly in fruits, has been for the kind of stuff that will grab eyeballs on Instagram. Which is why you can now purchase an actual pink pineapple.

Sure, Instagram wasn’t quite invented yet when Del Monte Fresh Produce first started designing the fruit back in 2005 — by playing around with its genes to create a sweeter, pinker pineapple — but it’s hard to deny that’s what they’re marketing it as right now. While it was originally called the rosé pineapple during development — hopping on that bandwagon — the Pinkglow Pineapple plays better into today’s Instagram trends. Per the website, “Don’t worry about a Filter. We grew it.” In fact, they even allude to the ever-changing social media landscape, saying, “Pinkglow will look phenomenal on whatever social media platform is en vogue by the time you read this.”

The color on the pineapples comes from tinkering with the enzymes, as we explained when we first wrote about them getting FDA clearance back in 2017: “Essentially, pineapples contain pink pigment (lycopene) and yellow pigment (beta carotene). The natural process turns the pink into yellow, but changing enzymes keep the pinkness in the fruit.” In doing that, though, Del Monte also sweetened the fruit, describing the flavor as unique, “with notes of candy,” and less sour.

The pineapples, which don’t come cheap — they cost $49 each — can be purchased from boutique produce vendors Melissa’s and Tropical Fruit Box. While the Pinkglow site suggests Melissa’s for the West Coast and Tropical Fruit Box for the East, note that the former doesn’t include shipping fees while the latter does.

Sticker shock? Food & Wine reports that the high price is in part due to how long it takes to grow a pink pineapple — an incredible 24 months. The fruit is apparently “hand-picked in ‘ultra-limited harvests’ on a select farm in Costa Rica”. As production scales up, the price should start to come down.