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Pineapples are one of the most iconic fruits associated with Hawaiian cuisine and culture. Their sweet taste and unique appearance make them a highly sought-after treat for visitors and locals alike. If you’re wondering when you can indulge in fresh Hawaiian pineapple at its peak ripeness, read on.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Hawaii’s main pineapple harvest season is from March through July, with peak season typically hitting in June.

Background on Pineapple Farming in Hawaii

History of Pineapple Production in Hawaii

Pineapples have been grown commercially in Hawaii since the early 19th century. James Drummond Dole, also known as the ‘Pineapple King’, established the Hawaii Pineapple Company in 1901 which helped transform Hawaii into a leading pineapple producer.

By 1940, nearly 75% of the world’s pineapple output came from Hawaii.

Pineapple cultivation played an important economic role in the history of Hawaii. Thousands of acres were dedicated to pineapple plantations across the islands. At its peak in the 1950s, there were over 80,000 acres of pineapple fields in production.

Various pineapple varieties like Smooth Cayenne were specifically developed for Hawaii’s climate.

However, rising production costs led to a decline of the pineapple industry in Hawaii from the 1960s onwards. Most pineapple operations moved overseas, though some small farms remain active today, often selling directly to the tourism market.

These farms help preserve Hawaii’s pineapple growing heritage.

Ideal Climate Conditions for Growing Pineapples

Hawaii’s tropical climate provides near-perfect growing conditions for pineapples. Pineapples require warm weather with average temperatures between 70-95°F (21-35°C) and do not tolerate frost or freezing conditions.

They also need consistent moisture and rainfall, though good drainage is essential to prevent root rot.

Hawaii has mild, mostly frost-free weather year-round. Trade winds moderate temperatures across the islands. Hawaii’s precipitation pattern also suits pineapples, with cloud forests on windward mountain slopes providing abundant moisture.

To thrive, pineapples need high light intensity which Hawaii delivers thanks to a sunny, sub-tropical climate and minimal cloudiness during key growing periods.

In terms of soil, pineapples prefer slightly acidic, well-aerated soil. Much of Hawaii consists of volcanic soils that drain readily while providing key nutrients. With plentiful sunshine, rainfall, rich volcanic earth and stable warm weather, Hawaii offers prime pineapple-growing terrain across large swathes of its land area.

Hawaii Pineapple Harvest Seasons

Main Harvest Season

The primary pineapple harvest season in Hawaii runs from March through July. This peak season sees Hawaiian pineapple farms operating at full capacity to keep up with high demand. Favorable weather conditions during these months with plenty of sunshine and rainfall create ideal growing conditions.

As a result, pineapples mature rapidly and reach peak ripeness for harvesting.

During the main harvest months, fresh Hawaiian pineapples are abundant in local markets and farms stands across the islands. Many farms open up their fields to allow visitors to pick their own ripe pineapples straight from the plant.

This offers a uniquely Hawaiian experience for tourists and locals to get involved in the harvest. According to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, over 200,000 tons of pineapples are harvested annually throughout the state.

Off-Season Harvests

Although smaller in volume compared to spring and summer harvests, Hawaiian pineapple farms continue producing pineapples year-round. Advancements in sustainable farming techniques allow farmers to manipulate growing conditions to yield fruit over an extended season.

Off-season harvests primarily supply canned pineapple production facilities. Dole Food Company, for example, operates a large pineapple cannery on the island of Oahu near its plantation. Canned products help provide a consistent supply of Hawaiian pineapple globally while fresh pineapples are out of season.

Del Monte Foods also cans pineapples from its Hawaiian farm which produces over 20 million pounds yearly.

While most pineapple production shifts focus to processing from fall through winter, many farms still cater to local markets. Some smaller, diversified operations strategically stagger planting schedules to make sure fresh pineapples are always available.

Though yields may dip slightly during off-peak months, passionate growers help Hawaiian communities enjoy locally grown pineapple straight from the field year-round.

When to Find the Sweetest, Freshest Pineapples

Pineapples are a beloved fruit in Hawaii and available year-round, but there are certain times of year when you’re most likely to find the sweetest, juiciest pineapples:

Spring and Early Summer

Pineapples mature during the spring and early summer months in Hawaii (typically March through July). This sun-filled season brings warm temperatures that help develop the pineapple’s sweetness. The early summer harvest produces some incredibly sweet, vibrant gold pineapples that locals eagerly await each year.

Rainy Season

Though counterintuitive, the rainy season from November through March is also an exceptional time for sweet Hawaiian pineapples. The rain and tropical climate create ideal growing conditions. The extra moisture often produces large, juicy pineapples with a candy-like flavor.

Peak Availability

While fresh Hawaiian pineapples are harvested year-round, April through July is often considered peak season when their availability and sweetness shine. During these sunny months, you’ll typically find abundant quantities of premium pineapples direct from Hawaiian farms at local markets and fruit stands.

So when planning your fruit-filled Hawaiian getaway, be sure to coordinate your travels with pineapple season – especially spring and early summer – to enjoy the state’s most flavorful pineapples. Just looking at those vibrant golden crowns is enough to make your mouth water in anticipation of the tropical treat awaiting inside.

Where to Buy Pineapples in Hawaii

Farmers Markets

One of the best places to buy fresh, locally grown pineapples in Hawaii is at farmers markets across the islands. Popular farmers markets like the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market in Honolulu and Waimea Town Market on the Big Island offer a wide selection of produce straight from local farms, including sweet, juicy pineapples.

You can expect to pay around $3-5 per pineapple at farmers markets depending on size and variety. Prices tend to be cheaper than grocery stores since you’re buying direct from the growers. Farmers markets also give you a chance to try different pineapple varieties beyond the common Smooth Cayenne, like Gold, Sugarloaf, and Red Spanish.

Fruit Stands

Roadside fruit stands are ubiquitous in Hawaii, taking advantage of sunshine and rainfall to grow tropical produce. Many stands sell pineapples sourced from their own small farms or neighboring growers.

Prices are usually cheaper than grocery stores but can vary wildly depending on quality and location.

Some notable fruit stands to check out include Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa, Oahu which sells pineapples for around $2-4 each. There’s also the Aloha Fruit Stand in Kula, Maui which is located right on the slopes of Haleakala alongside pineapple fields.

Grocery Stores

Of course, all major grocery store chains in Hawaii like Foodland, Times, Safeway stock pineapples grown locally as well as imported from overseas. While selection and quality is hit-or-miss, prices tend to be steady year-round at around $3.99/lb or $2-4 per whole pineapple, depending on size.

For the widest selection of locally grown Hawaiian pineapple varieties, check out KTA Super Stores and Sack N Save on Hawaii Island. Both carry hard-to-find options like Sugarloaf, Gold, and Red Spanish in addition to the ubiquitous Smooth Cayenne.

Just be aware that shelf life can be limited to 1-2 days max.

Pineapple Source Price Range Benefits
Farmers Markets $3-5 each Fresh, direct from growers
Fruit Stands $2-4 each Cheap, grown locally
Grocery Stores $2-4 each Reliably stocked

Enjoying Pineapples During Your Hawaii Vacation

Pineapples are an iconic part of Hawaiian culture and cuisine. If you’re visiting Hawaii, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy fresh, delicious pineapples. Here are some tips for indulging in this sweet tropical fruit during your vacation:

Visit a Pineapple Plantation

One of the best ways to learn about Hawaii’s pineapple industry is to tour a working pineapple plantation. On Maui, the sprawling fields and processing facilities of Maui Gold Pineapple Company are open for educational tours.

On Oahu, Dole Plantation offers train rides through the pineapple fields as well as exhibits on the history and cultivation of pineapples. At both locations, you can sample juicy pineapple treats like ice cream, candy, and fresh-cut fruit.

Look for Roadside Pineapple Stands

As you drive around the Hawaiian islands, keep an eye out for small roadside fruit stands selling freshly picked pineapples. The sweetness and flavor of a just-harvested pineapple from a local farm can’t be beat.

Chat with the grower to learn when and where the pineapple was harvested to ensure peak ripeness and sweetness.

Try Pineapple Dishes at Restaurants

From appetizers to desserts to cocktails, pineapples are featured on menus across Hawaii. Signature dishes include pineapple fried rice, kalua pork with grilled pineapple, pineapple macadamia nut pancakes, and the famous pineapple upside-down cake.

And of course, no Hawaiian meal would be complete without a frosty pina colada!

Pick Your Own Pineapple

For the ultimate hands-on pineapple experience, visit a “U-Pick” farm on Maui, the Big Island, Molokai or Lanai during harvest season (March through July). After receiving a brief tutorial on choosing ripe pineapples, you’ll be let loose in the fields to pick your own fresh fruit right off the plants.

Nothing beats the flavor of a pineapple picked at its peak!

With a little planning, you can time your Hawaiian getaway to enjoy pineapple season. Mahalo plenty for supporting Hawaii’s iconic farms and products. Now get out there and relish some pineapple perfection!


Now that you know when pineapple season happens in Hawaii, you can plan your vacation to coincide with the harvest for the freshest, sweetest pineapples. While the main season is March to July, with a peak in June, you may also luck out with tasty off-season fruits too.

Partaking in this iconic Hawaiian crop straight from the source makes for memorable travels. Just don’t forget the napkins for the juice!

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