Pamela Riemenschneider, Aisle Wandering
Pamela Riemenschneider, Aisle Wandering

Even for an apple snob like me, $4 a pound is a bit dear for Honeycrisp.

Sure, Honeycrisp is the apple that seemingly everyone looks forward to. I’ve seen it talked about on my Facebook feed several times already this season. Many consumers are celebrating their favorite apple’s return to the produce department.

But when I found them at H.E. Butt’s Central Market this week, I nearly choked on my samples when I noticed them selling for $3.99 a pound.

Honeycrisp is the darling of the apple category. The variety’s rapid rise to top 10 has been nothing short of miraculous when you consider its average retail price last season was $2.21 a pound, according to Nielsen Perishables Group, Chicago. Compare that to red delicious, which sold for an average of $1.36 a pound in the same time period.

I’m willing to pay a premium for a really great apple, but $4 a pound? For a Honeycrisp? And it’s early in the season, too. I know a lot of retailers want to be the first one to have it back in their store. It’s a great point of differentiation, but let’s face it, super-early does not always equal super-tasty.

Fool me once…

That strategy, especially with the high price, might make those early purchasers think twice next time they hit the store. They, like me, could have gotten burned paying $4 a pound for a less-than-stellar apple and don’t want to do it again. I know I’ll be waiting a few weeks before I try them again.

This reminds me of when I hit the stores back in May and saw more than one retailer in Austin, Texas, selling first-of-the-season cherries for $10 a pound.

I love cherries, but seriously? I’m not that eager for them, especially considering they were $1.77 a pound on ad just a few weeks later.

pamelar@thepacker.com

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