This weekend, a set of two Yubari melons fetched a record-breaking 3.2 million yen (£22,600) at auction in Hokkaido, Japan.
According to Mainichi News, these melons went for twice what the previous record-holding pair sold for in 2016.
“I wanted to make a record-setting bid by all means,” said winning bidder Shinya Noda, a vegetable packaging company president.
Mainichi reports that the melons will be on display until the month’s end. After that, they will be sliced up and given to Noda’s customers, free of charge.
Late spring is when people in Japan begin buying natsu no gifuto (summer gift) for customers and clients. Typical summer gifts include beer, cookies and expensive fruit, the last of which might reach as high as a couple hundred pounds for mangoes and cherries. The Hokkaido melon auction is at the ultra-premium end of the scale, with the purchase not only reflecting the excellent fruit quality, but also the health of the Japanese economy.