Why Costco's Pineapples Are So Huge, According To Reddit

Customers at Costco can expect to find eggs packaged in cartons of two dozen each or massive blocks of parmesan cheese, but Redditors were stumped over why pineapples sold in the retailer's warehouses are so much larger than those in grocery stores. Below a photo of two pineapples, one that looks about a third larger than the other, Reddit users sounded off in comments that addressed such matters as whether bigger is better, how to replant the tops of the fruit, along with possible explanations for why Costco's tend to be so jumbo-sized.

It is hardly unusual for there to be differences among the fruits sold in one grocery store or some variability between the selection offered week to week with the arrival of new shipments. As with all produce, pineapples vary in size depending on such factors as the location or the size of containers in which they are grown (via SFGATE). Much more befuddling, however, is why pineapples at Costco are consistently so much larger than those sold by other retailers. 

Costco gets bigger fruit from suppliers, but perhaps not for the reasons you might suspect

The pandemic has worsened existing problems in the supply chain for food and beverage products, raising the risk of shortages and bottlenecks as well as instances in which retail customers with more purchasing power are rewarded for bulk ordering with preferential treatment by suppliers, distributors and wholesalers according to the Federal Trade Commission, which launched a study of these matters last year. But the most-upvoted comment on the Reddit thread offers a serviceable and less sinister explanation, suggesting there is probably not some conspiracy or unsavory business practices at play.

"Wholesale pineapples are sold by the count" in boxes that usually accommodate seven to eight, but the smaller yield of extra-large pineapples are grouped and packaged together in boxes of five, the Redditor explained. Food service customers, looking to cut down on prep time for their chefs and cooks, generally prefer to buy boxes with fewer but larger pineapples while grocery stores and other food retailers tend to order packages of seven to eight smaller fruits, they said. 

In other words, Costco's pineapples appear extra-large when compared to those from a grocery store, but are likely to be roughly the same size as those used by restaurants. It would seem the mystery, now, is no longer why Costco's fruit is bigger — but rather why the retailer does not share its competitors' preference for ordering higher quantities of smaller pineapples.