Move over avocados, a different fruit has a high price tag.

A New World customer snapped a photo of a watermelon, dubbed a "monster", at the supermarket with the eye-watering price of $46.68.

At the time, the fruit cost $3.99 per kg, with this particular watermelon weighing in at a whopping 11.7kg, whereas the average size for the fruit is between 3-5kg.

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Posting the picture on the New Zealand Reddit thread, the Kiwi asked: "Who is buying these watermelons?!"

Many were shocked about the prices, with some saying that it must have been an error.

"Seriously, that's ridiculous. Do watermelons not grow here? That's worse than avo prices," one person wrote.

Another said: "I'm guessing human error with the sticker."

However, there was no mistake made. Antoinette Laird, the head of corporate affairs at Foodstuffs, which owns New World, confirmed the high price was to due to low supply of watermelons.

"There has recently been a shortage of watermelon in New Zealand, this is due to dry weather conditions earlier in the season affecting supply," said Laird.

"The shortage has now eased and customers can expect to see this reflected in the price, with an average-sized watermelon priced at $7.99 this week."

The shortage from locally grown watermelon had been made worse when it was announced last Friday that Biosecurity New Zealand suspended fresh melon imports from Queensland after an unwanted fruit disease was detected at the border.


Biosecurity NZ plants and pathways director Peter Thomson told RNZ the suspension currently affected several melon consignments that had been placed on hold at the border.

Biosecurity officials were working with importers to determine whether or not their product would be able to enter the New Zealand market, he said.

The length of the suspension would depend on how quickly Australian authorities could investigate the situation and put measures in place to assure New Zealand their product was free from the disease, he said.

"The import season for water, honey, and rock melons from Australia ends shortly. This will reduce any impact of the suspension for New Zealand consumers."

- additional reporting RNZ