This is way earlier than last year! 

By Caitlin Petreycik
March 06, 2019
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Sara Tane

UPDATE: The hugely popular Cotton Candy Grapes that took last summer by storm are already starting to show back up on shelves! According to this Instagram post from a TJ's in Plantation, Florida, which was posted yesterday, March 5, they're back on some shelves.

Typically, the super-sweet grapes aren't available until August. However, last year they came out in June, fully two months early. We're not sure what the story is, or how they're managing to now appear on shelves a full five months before their typical season, but it seems like it won't be long before they're available coast to coast again. 

The company that grows and markets them, The Grapery, still posts just a two month late summer availability on their website, but cheekily notes "availability times are approximate and can vary." 

Indeed! If you're in Florida, get them now!

The original story, from June 27, 2018, continues below: 

Everyone has their own personal marker that signifies summer is here. Maybe, for you, the season begins as soon as you switch from hot coffee to iced, or on the first beach trip of the year, or when you notice the fireflies are out one evening and something just clicks. But, you know what, forget all of that — summer doesn't truly start until people begin losing their damn minds over cotton candy grapes on social media.

Here's the deal. Cotton candy grapes are...exactly what they sound like: grapes that, through some mad scientist-style cross-breeding, taste like they're straight out of a carnival. They're more sugary than typical varieties (by about 12 percent, according to NPR), and a lot harder to come by (their harvest time is frustratingly short).

But while The Grapery, the fruit's main distributor, lists cotton candy grapes as typically available between August 10 and September 10, this year they've hit shelves nearly two months early, upending our lives as we know them. Here's a quick rundown of some grocery store chains where they've been spotted in the past day (according to very enthusiastic Instagram posts), in alphabetical order.

  • Costco
  • Fred Meyer
  • Giant
  • Harmons
  • Kroger
  • Lowes Foods
  • Lucky's Market
  • Meijer
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Publix
  • Ruler Foods
  • Sam's Club
  • ShopRite
  • Sprouts
  • Target
  • Trader Joes
  • Walmart
  • Wegmans
  • Whole Foods
  • WinCo
  • Winn-Dixie

Heads up: Trader Joe's, Publix, and Costco were the most frequently tagged stores in today's #cottoncandygrapes photos by far, while Kroger boasted the lowest prices, at $2.99 per pound. That being said, you might want to call ahead and check on their availability before heading to your local store. If you do strike status fruit gold, stock up — cotton candy grapes taste amazing frozen, anyway.