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Honey Crisp Apple Racket

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I love Honey Crisp apples just as much as the next guy, but what's with the $3/lb.+ price tag? Does anybody a sense of why they are priced so high? Are they hard to grow, are there few trees of that variety, etc.? I'll keep buying them, but I was just wondering. All of this being said I found them at Russo's for $1.50/lb., but they are $3.99/lb. at Whole Foods (from Oregon no less, when there are perfectly delicious ones here in MA).

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  1. I've been wondering the same- incredibly frustrating! I found them two weeks ago at Trader Joes though- a 3lb bag for $3.99 I believe. Even better-they were a much more manageable size than Whole Foods has been carrying which are outrageously large.

    1. i got them on sale at shaw's last week, i think $1.79 a pound.

      and yeah, when did apples become the size of grapefruits?

      1. I can't remember exactly but I know they were less than $3 lb at the farmers markets.

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

        12 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          At the farmer's markets I frequent (Dewey Square downtown and Union Sq Somerville), they were priced at $3/lb at most stands, while some other varieties were priced at $2/lb. I don't know anything about growing conditions, but demand can drive price just as much as cost factors. Perhaps Honey Crisp are just the most popular apple, and many people are willing to pay more for them because they prefer them to other varieties. Case in point, both me and the OP are willing to keep buying them despite the higher price tag. That said, why not ask one of the growers at the farmer's market about the pricing? I might do just that this week.

          1. re: bella_sarda

            I thought farmer's market prices were supposed to be generally less than retail, because of the direct to market, cut-out-the-middle-man, low overhead deal. I realize there is a cost associated with picking the apples, but even at $2/lb., seems really high.
            I got a bag of Macouns at Russo's this weekend for $.89/lb!

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Macouns are poor keepers which were at their crunchy best about 6 weeks ago - the ones sold now are more like Macintosh in both flavor and texture than the peak ones are. The price drops as the season progresses, and more supermarkets carry them than carry Honeycrisps. Also, the latter are excellent storage apples and hold their shape when cooked, which increases their desirability.

              1. re: greygarious

                The moment where I felt like the dumbest dumbshit in a long time was when, on my recent apple-picking expedition, I realized that Macoun is properly pronounced muh-COW-an, not muh-COON. I bet I've picked that variety of apples a good dozen times over the years. Duh-oh.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  According to one of the Nicewicz brothers, who represent the 4th generation of the apple growing family, there is no single proper way to pronounce macoun. Some people even call them magowans.

                  1. re: Velda Mae

                    I agree, with regard to the lack of agreement ;-).

                    I have heard die hard New Englanders call them muh-COW-an, muh-COON, magowan, you name it. It's all good.

              2. re: Bob Dobalina

                I used to think that too. But now it seems farmers at the markets set their prices so as not to undercut anyone else at the market. Produce costs pretty much the same from who ever it's bought. There isn't any cost savings to the consumer from buyin direct from the farmer as far as I can see.

                1. re: chowmel

                  i don't see a direct savings, but feel better supporting local farmers rather than stop & shop, and not having my apples shipped 3000 miles.

                  1. re: chowmel

                    At the Belmont farmer's market prices vary rather widely from stand to stand.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      And I find that quality varies as well as the prices at the market. I tried some less expensive Cortlands to make a crisp and they had brown spots throughout their flesh and one was rotted completely. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll give a vote again to the Nicewicz farm because apples are their specialty. They charge a bit more but they are worth it. Mr. Nicewicz dropped his prices last week so it will be more affordable to stock up.

                  2. re: Bob Dobalina

                    In Seattle, I expect to pay more at farmers markets & am happy to do so, because I know the produce was either picked the same day or at the latest, the day before. Can't get anything that fresh in a grocery store. In addition, our farmers markets tend to have a greater variety of types of apples, pears, berries, veggies, etc., including varieties that would never be sold at a commercial grocery store. This also makes them more expensive.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      here in the d.c. metro area, farmer's market prices are almost always higher than retail groceries.

                2. Trader Joe's has 4 lbs for 5.99.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: frankmcs

                    I believe HC's come in earlier in the season as well, so you might be seeing prices rise as supply dries up.. but yes, they are trendy, and I am sure that drives part of the price.

                    But there ARE a lot of nice varieties out there.. its is not just HC's for eating and then everything else into the apple pie pans... hit up a local orchard, pick 5-6 types, and see what else works..

                  2. Wilson's Farm has them listed on their website at $1.99/lb. I haven't confirmed that in person as I couldn't get near the place yesterday (I have a low tolerance for crowds).

                    1. I generally see them for $3/lb at farmer's markets, when most other apples sell for $2/lb. I think the Honey Crisp is a pretty new variety, and from what I can tell it was under patent until recently, so maybe that has something to do with the higher cost. But I suspect most of it is just higher demand. At the farmer's market in Ithaca, where I used to live, several orchards instituted a lb-per-person limit to keep from selling out of Honey Crisps early in the day. Although I haven't seen that around here, I suspect the demand is still high enough to support the higher price.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: greenzebra

                        My understanding on the generalized higher price of Honey Crisps is that each tree yeilds less fruit than other kinds of apple trees. And, truth be told I think they are worth every penny.

                        1. re: naughtywaitress

                          Along those lines, this article says honeycrisp trees have low vigour and are categorized as a weak-growing tree. So, fewer apples for more work/space equals higher prices.

                          http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/c...

                      2. Got a bunch I picked at an orchard on Columbus Day, where they were just at their peak. It was all by the bag, so the same price for every one of the six or so varieties we hauled in that day. If I were a more discerning apple consumer, I might be able to tell you they were awesomer than the others, but I'm not, so I can't. Have to admit: it's a great name.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. Bought two at HMart for 1.35/lb. I don't know if it's a honey crisp racket so much as the "high-end food store" racket. I love Whole Foods as much as the next granola, but some of their stuff is outrageously priced with not the proportional amount of increased quality.

                          1. Honey Crisps are always on the large side compared to other varieties and all the rain we had over the summer made them grow even bigger than usual. My favorite farmer, Nicewicz Family Farm, has dropped its prices for the last week of the markets. Nicewicz goes to Newton, Lexington, Arlington, Belmont, and Brookine and will be at Davis Sq. through Thanksgiving. The Nicewicz apples always cost a bit more but I think they are better than other farms'. Keep in mind that the farms are more careful about storing their apples than lots of resellers. I've had horrible luck with local apples at Whole Foods and I'm sure that it's in large part because of how they're stored.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Velda Mae

                              I love Nicewicz's apples too. They're the same price as Kimball's at the Farmer's market though- $2 for most, $3 for Honey Crisp. Did you see the gigantic apple he had on display at the register last week? It must have been 3 lbs!

                            2. I've been getting them all month for 99 cents/lb. All other apples are 69 cents. They're from upstate NY and I'm on Long Island, don't know where yours comes from. On the other hand, the local farm stand was selling them for $1.75 each, and it's about 1/2 mile away from the grocery I get them at, so I guess shop around!

                              1. BJ's in Woburn has 8lb bags of Small to Medium sized Honeycrisps in the produce aisle for $7.99. Best deal I have ever seen on them outside a PYO farm. Not sure where they are sourced from, however they are packed and distributed out of Natick, MA.

                                Gonna have to stock up on some more as they were excellent quality too. They hold for a few months in the fridge.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: mjg0725

                                  Thanks mjg. Does BJ's still do a free trial membership? ;) I'd love to grab a bag of HC's at that price!

                                  1. re: mcel215

                                    15% Surcharge, so tack on about $1.20
                                    http://www.bjs.com/join/one_day_pass....

                                    1. re: mjg0725

                                      I haven't opened the blue junk mail coupon envelope in a long time, but from time to time they used to include a free 90-day pass. I don't recall if there was a surcharge on that. The one-day pass used to be a 5% surcharge, which was negligible and I'm assuming they increased it to persuade more people to go for the full membership rather than just going a couple of times a year at 5%. The envelope is light blue, business-size, from Advo, sent to every residence (I know this as a former postal worker).

                                2. I bought honey crisp in Albertson's (Southern Cal) for .99 lb. last week. They were medium to small and they were DELICIOUS

                                  1. I'm in WA and paid $1.79/lb yesterday for giant ones, that were quite delicious. That was slightly higher than what I have been paying for them, so maybe there is a regional reason? I love Honeycrisp and Fuji so I'm pretty aware of the prices and they've been consistently under $2.00/lb here this fall.

                                    1. I was going to get one at the Big Y in North Branford, but luckily had the girl weigh it before checking out. I'm sorry but is it really worth $1.50 for one apple?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: mrsbuffer

                                        I paid $1.75 each for a few at the farm stand before I found the 99 cents deal, and it was worth it to me.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Well I guess I,ll let this cat out the bag. I hope it does,nt bite me in the butt.
                                          Honeycrisp Apples .69cents a pound at ALDI Food Stores. UOME.

                                      2. Try Costco.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Costco $9.99/dozen.

                                          1. re: monku

                                            The apples at COSTCO are just too large. Godd for cooking (fewer to peel), bu too large to eat.

                                        2. I'll let you know if they're hard to grow in about a year... :-) My semi-dwarf tree should be bearing by then. All i *can* tell you is that his "sister"--Honey Gold--was the most prolific bearer of my seven trees, this first year for a crop. (Admittedly, all the rest are "antique" apples and if they're anything like heirloom tomatoes, you sacrifice quantity for quality). Honey Gold are incredible: sweet like a Yellow Delicious, but spicy and juicy and much, much more flavorful. We had to harvest early because of a hard freeze, and even the slightly GREEN apples were better than almost anything in the stores, and so juicy that we had to eat them with napkins in hand!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Beckyleach

                                            It was originally thought that Honeygold was one of the parents of Honeycrisp; however, according to this, genetic testing showed this is not the case. One parent is Keepsake, and the other is unknown.

                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeycrisp