Know when it’s time to move on, honey - The Packer

Know when it’s time to move on, honey

01/17/2014 09:57:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Pamela Riemenschneider, Retail EditorPamela Riemenschneider, Retail EditorHoneycrisp, we need to have a talk.

Actually, my neighborhood retailer and I need to have a talk about the $3.97 a pound Honeycrisp they’re trying to sucker me into buying in mid-January.

I am aware that Honeycrisp is the darling of the apple category, and I know it regularly retails for $3 and $4 a pound when we’re all ready for the first-of-the-season fruit in the fall. I even saw them as high as $5 a pound.

C’mon, really?

But this time of year, Honeycrisp can’t be worth $4 a pound retail — even organic, which these were. Convince me I’m wrong. I bought one for scientific purposes, and it did not taste like a $4 a pound apple.

Not even I, an apple aficionado willing to shell out some ridiculous money for good fruit, could justify this.

Realistically, how long can we trade on Honeycrisp’s reputation before the backlash happens?

Storage apples can be a beautiful thing. There are some apples that store fantastically hitting the shelves this time of year. I’m looking at you, Opal, and you, Junami, and you Piñata.

Jazz is regularly on my shopping list this time of year as well. I don’t want to leave anyone out — these are just a couple of examples I’ve tried in the past few weeks.

And in the produce department, there are plenty of other great things to eat even in deepest, darkest winter.

We’re not stuck with rutabagas and turnips anymore, folks.

Texas grapefruit is fantastic in January. Citrus in general really shines when the sun isn’t helping us out much.

I’ve been gorging myself on Halos or Cuties or whatever brand of clementine is in my store in a given week.

I checked up with my go-to retailer for in-season produce, New Seasons Market in Portland, Ore., and they’re doing some awesome citrus promotions.

H.E. Butt’s Central Market also has its Citrus Fest going on right now. Their radio commercials are hilarious.

“Do you like to show off your new wedges?”

“Do you faint at the sight of blood ... oranges?”

“Would you wave your Buddah’s hands in the air, and zest them like you just don’t care?”

They post the commercials on their Facebook page.

I highly recommend checking them out.

I guess my point is trying to get a consumer to go after a tired apple best eaten in October — for an outrageous $4 a pound — seems silly when there are so many other wonderful items begging for some shelf space.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.

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st paul  |  January, 20, 2014 at 04:21 PM

Ahh, the HoneyCrack. I agree, the only problem is that soooo many people are still buying them at that price. Especially after the apple season last year, when a freeze took out most of the Midwest and Northeast's apple crops. People in MN, where I am from, were paying $5 per pound for HoneyCrack, and not blinking an eye. Why you ask? Because they taste so much better than the $.99/lb red delicious. The stores are not spoiling them out, or else they would stop carrying them. If you want to get some outstanding flavors check out some of the Heirloom apples at co-ops across the nation. Much like the Honeycrisp was made to grow in MN, those trees grow best in those climates, which produce amazing fruit. Trust me, if you had a honeycrisp grown in MN, that is the only apple you would want to eat. They get to deal with farmers that larger retailers often refuse to, do to inconsistent supplies. But when you are dealing with varieties over 100 years old, you are at the mercy of mother nature.

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