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Oct 26, 2009 08:33 AM

Honey Crisp Apple Racket

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.


        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.


                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).