The company behind the $50 strawberries now sells berries for $20 a tray – businesstraverse.com

Oishii made a splash last year with its wildly expensive strawberries, fetching $50 for a box of eight to 11 berries. Based in Kearny, New Jersey, the bastion of vertical farming, the company began supplying fruit to Michelin-starred restaurants (whose chefs clearly believed the product was worth the price).

Since then, they’ve rolled out to select stores in Manhattan and Los Angeles and have become something of a sensation among social media influencers looking for clout by munching on a box of $50 berries.

This week, the company announced the opening of a new 74,000-square-foot farm in nearby Jersey City that will be devoted entirely to growing strawberries. Along with that news comes news that the company will offer a more affordable alternative to the First Flower Berries from $50 – $20 gets you a tray of eight to 11 berries, $11 gets you six, and $6 gets you three.

“We’ve worked hard to pioneer advanced technology that unlocks a significantly more efficient way to grow our unrivaled strawberries,” said co-founder and CEO Hiroki Koga in a release. “Our largest farm to date combines the next frontier of innovation in domestic farming with the care and precision of ancient Japanese farming techniques.”

It is true that vertical farming has a number of benefits, including drastically reduced water needs, no pesticides, smaller footprint and access to urban areas. But for true scale, prices should be comparable to traditionally grown supermarket alternatives. Of course it isn’t, but it causes the company to shut down.

Still, despite (or perhaps because of) the price, the news has come out and the company says demand has reached “an all-time high.” That’s why it’s expanding to other locations in New York and selling the berries online.