How North Carolina farmers are selling their grapes for more than a dollar per grape

Muscadine Grapes Fruit Growing Naturally on the Vine in a Vineyard.
Muscadine Grapes Fruit Growing Naturally on the Vine in a Vineyard.

Grapes born and raised in North Carolina are going for around $55 a box in China.

Muscadine grapes, a southern delicacy, can typically be bought at a grocery store for about $3.49 for a 20-ounce bag, but in Hong Kong they are being sold for $1.37 per grape, according to reporting done by 9News.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture shared an Instagram post Tuesday with a special assortment of 40 Muscadine grapes in a box.

“Last week, our International Marketing Director Cathy Ma was promoting muscadine grapes at Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong. These grapes are currently selling for $55 in China! That's almost $1.37 per grape. Thank you to all of our hard working muscadine farmers in NC for providing these grapes to people around the world,” the post reads.

The price of the grapes changing abroad isn’t too big of a surprise. Especially since North Carolina agriculture is a $100 billion industry, assistant agriculture commissioner Sandy Stewart shared with 9News.

The state’s Department of Agriculture actively looks for products that are made locally and can be bought from buyers around the world.

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Food shows like Fruit Logistica, one of the largest and most prestigious events for fresh produce business in Europe, helps farmers and local companies with product exposure.

“From the department of agriculture standpoint, we don't have the products to sell, but what we try to do is facilitate those business-to-business interactions on the front end by making the connection, and once they strike a deal, we have specialists that can help with the export requirements,” Stewart shared with 9News.

Officials with North Carolina agriculture department attend food shows like Fruit Logistica every year. They tend to promote the best of what North Carolina farmers have to offer.

“You have sweet potatoes and peanuts, cotton, Texas Pete is all over the globe, literally. We've had a gelato maker from Carteret County export their gelato to some of the Nordic countries. It really is a global market and we're trying to help North Carolina farmers and businesses participate in that global market.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: North Carolina grapes go for $55 a bag in China. How it happened.