This is the best time of year to enjoy apples - Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious, and the local favorite Honeycrisp (which were developed at the University of Minnesota). An article in the StarTribune explained why they are more expensive than other apples:
The simple answer to the apple’s high price lies in its prickly, finicky nature. “It’s one of the most difficult apples to grow,” said Mark Seetin, director of Regulatory and Industry Affairs at the U.S. Apple Association in Virginia. “It tends to like to bear fruit every other year and to achieve annual production requires significant additional labor.”So yesterday at Target I paid more attention to the details. The close-cut stem of the Honeycrisp -
Its thin skin creates a delectable crunch that fans love but growers curse. Most apples produce a “pack out” rate of 80 to 90%, indicating that nearly 90% of the harvested crop can be sold as fresh. But Honeycrisp’s pack out rate is between 60 and 65%. “That means that 35% of your crop is going as juice,” Bedford said. “And juice only captures one-tenth the value of a fresh apple.”
Labor costs for Honeycrisp are higher than other apples because it’s one of the only apples that has to have its stem clipped so it doesn’t puncture the skin of neighboring apples when packed. “Apples pickers are used to picking with two hands, but with Honeycrisp you have to pick with one hand and clip with the other,” Bedford said. “With more labor costs and a 60% pack out, you have to charge more.”
- versus the standard-length stem of a Granny Smith:
You learn something every day.