Grapes of Wrath; OUTRAGE AS HARVEY NICKS SELLS POSH BUNCH FOR Pounds 18

The Mirror (London, England), May 30, 2003 | Go to article overview

Grapes of Wrath; OUTRAGE AS HARVEY NICKS SELLS POSH BUNCH FOR Pounds 18


Byline: MAUREEN CULLEY

A BUNCH of designer grapes selling at pounds 18-a-kilo gave shoppers the pip yesterday.

The Italian Moscatel grapes are on sale in the plush foodmarket on the top floor of posh Edinburgh store Harvey Nichols at a whopping pounds 8 per pound.

And they're not even seedless grapes, which shoppers can buy anywhere in the capital for one sixth of the cost.

The mega price brought a mixture of mirth and wrath from some of the city's fruiterers for being more expensive than grapes once supplied to the Queen.

In a week where Irish rocker and humanitarian Bob Geldof made a high- profile visit to Ethiopia to urge Europe to help the country's starving millions, a spokeswoman for Unicef was outraged at the price of the grapes.

She said: "For pounds 18 you could immunise two children for life against six killer diseases - polio, tetanus, diptheria, measles, whooping cough and TB.

"Just pounds 15 could buy enough anaesthetic for an amputation to be carried out and enough iron and folic acid tablets for 300 expectant mothers.

"These facts really put things into perspective."

Defending the product Harvey Nic's spokeswoman Annabel McAvoy said: "If you're buying superb grapes, you have to expect to pay a superb price."

But many shoppers blasted the price as immoral. One said: "They'd have to have Brad Pitt attached to be worth that much."

City fruit shop traders were also aghast at the extravagant grapes.

TSE's Fruit Market in Argyle Place, Marchmont, sell their red grapes for pounds 2.19 a kilo and 99p a pound.

Owner Duncan Taylor Anderson said: "I am flabbergasted. It's a normal red grape."

TSE customer Deborah Hill added: "They must have pearls inside. It's wildly extortionate and immoral. If you think about it, pounds 18 is almost half a weekly shop. You could put together at least three meals for that price."

OAP Marie Anderson, of Edinburgh, said: "It's disgusting. …

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