Tour of an insanely expensive supermarket in Barrow, Alaska where 1/2 a watermelon is $37


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/05/tour-of-an-insanely-expensive.html


#2

Next time I’m in Hawaii I promise not to complain (as much) about the price of milk and stuff in the grocery store.


#3

Screw it, I’m going.


#4

Which half ?


#5

And yet, they’re flying fresh fruit and veggies to my Toronto supermarket from China, Chile or wherever, at competitive prices.

Pure distance isn’t the problem.


#6

Sounds like a toilet paper factory in Alaska might be a good investment


#7

It’s pretty bad in impoverished Nunavut communities, too. Rather tragic.


#8

Distance from infrastructure, then.


#9

I lived in Kenai (south of Anchroage) and remember prices were high, but not like that. Worse was that fresh fruit and eggs were lousy. Ate a lot of salmon and elk, which was mostly wild caught or hunted.


#10

I sent my Mom a couple of rolls of these a few months ago; another good investment:


#11

I don’t think I’d want that around my ass.


#12

It’s a gag gift. The paper is DEFINITELY NOT the best quality for personal hygiene… to which I can imagine Trump saying, “So unfair!”


#13

people in Hawaii, as well as Puerto RIco and Alaska, are all being victimized by the Jones Act, which practically guarantees that all non-locally grown goods in those states will be much, much more expensive than they would be otherwise, for the benefit of a few American owned shipping conglomerates. Like Nunavut, Alaska has the added problem of massive internal transportation costs as well as the Jones Act-incurred costs of bringing food from places where it is grown and made.

eta: fixed link to point to something that actually explains what the act is.


#14

Are they? Or are they shipping it via ship and then maybe fly or use trucks to get it there.

Assuming it is flown, then there is also…

… Remoteness and volume. Only 4300 people live there.

Interesting videos on it:


#15

Sure it’s expensive - but you’re right on the beach.


#16

Not just shipping everything by air in small lots on small planes, but the cost of simply operating the store. The water pipes and sewers have to be run inside heated and insulated conduits, to prevent them from freezing and the permafrost that they are in from melting.


#17

Speaking as a “victim”, I prefer to keep the Jones act, together with the premium that it gives local companies (which thereby stay in business), rather than set up an all out competition, where companies from other countries can drive the cost down, put the local carriers out of business, then abandon our market on a whim. We’re dead without our container ship service.


#18

Thank goodness companies aren’t moving all their manufacturing to China. Oh, if only we had more regulations to protect the profits of business at the expense of consumers, then our nation would be a paradise.


#19

Seems like a big, underground hydroponics operation could be a profitable enterprise.


#20

Am from Alaska - they’re already at maximum production with a more profitable cash crop…