$85 For 5 Pounds Of Frozen Blueberries Delivered To Your Door

Here are some frozen blueberries, from Josh Pond, that cost $85 for 5 pounds, includes shipping:

They are being promoted by Oprah as part of her Holiday Favorite Things list:

My new definition of everyday luxury: a five-pound box of organic wild blueberries frozen within 24 hours of harvest from Josh Pond Farm in Maine. Add them to yogurt, pancakes, or salads, or turn them into sorbet, because (1) wild blueberries are sky-high in antioxidants and (2) they’re zero Weight Watchers points!
– Oprah

Who pays $17/pound to have blueberries delivered? Even upscale, organic, wild, frozen blueberries sold in grocery stores don’t cost this much. Where does their value come from? I’ve written about it. “Organic, wild, antioxidant-rich” have almost become brands, and status symbols at that. They are the new Veblen good:

Veblen goods are types of luxury goods for which the quantity demanded increases as the price increases, an apparent contradiction of the law of demand. Consumers actually prefer more of the good as its price rises, and the result is an upward sloping demand curve. For example, in the 1990s when “fashion” jeans became popular, one retailer found that he could sell more when he raised the price. Also functioning as positional goods, they include expensive wines, jewelry, fashion-designer handbags, and luxury cars which are in demand because of, rather than in spite of, the high prices asked for them. This makes them desirable as status symbols in the practices of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure.

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