Culture

Tuna Cartel Vying To Corner Market, Fears Walmart

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, begins on Sunday, April 9 and ends on Saturday, April 16. Much of Costa Rica shuts down towards the end of the week as Ticos gather their families and head to the beach. It’s a tradition here: the streets of San Jose will be nearly deserted for a week, but the roads to the beaches will be packed with vehicles. Many of those vehicles will be carrying tuna.

Ticos’ tuna consumption goes up around 20% during Semana Santa, according to a marketing study performed by Calvo, a tuna-canning company. After all, canned fish are a portable, nutritious snack that keeps well in a backpack on the beach. Along with sea breezes, crashing surf, and a week off, the sound of a tuna tin tearing back is symbolic of Semana Santa.

Are Savvy Tuna Sellers Trying To Corner The Market?

Walmart, however, fears that entrepreneurial tuna mongers are going to attempt to corner the market on the canned fish. They have limited purchases to twelve cans per person because, according to the daily La Nacion, “some people are taking all of the inventory in a single purchase to resell the product at a higher price.”

I like to imagine a swarthy figure lurking in the shadows scanning the crowds for hungry tourists. “Psst, hey buddy, you need some tuna?” he’d say, opening his trenchcoat to reveal hundreds of silver cans. “I got white albacore, in oil or water, with vegetables or not, even with lemon, man. Two-thousand colones a can.” Then a frustrated but jonesing beachcomber would fork out a premium, grab the can and scurry back under a palm tree where his family is anxiously waiting with soda crackers and orange Fanta.

We hope that you have a relaxing Semana Santa full of family and fun, relaxation and recreation, and all the market-priced tuna you can stand.

 

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