“I buy them because it’s the one fruit all my kids will eat. And it doesn’t go bad.” “I never worry about them spoiling because they last a long time.” Apples are always a kid pleaser, so she knows she can always put out sliced apples for an after-school playdate or for dinner, and they will always get eaten.
TK: Of course, Shannon's sentiment about red delicious is not all that uncommon or laughable, even though I believe reds have improved in recent years.
"Courtney" – mom of one
Courtney's family always have apples on hand (buying 3-4 at a time) “To me, they’re just very easy and well liked.” She wants them in her house all the time because: everyone likes them, they last a long time and they’re easy to serve with peanut butter, Nutella or caramel. For eating, she buys honeycrisp and fuji only. A few times a year she buys granny smith to use in recipes, like chicken salad. She tends to buy regular, not organic, and price doesn’t matter because she buys what she wants.
Here’s her complaint: apples these days are so big! “I don’t understand why we need apples the size of your head!?” She says they are hard to put in lunches (she buys smaller apples for this purpose). She isn’t a fan of the pre-packaged sliced apples, siting the off-putting taste of the chemical they put on them to prevent browning.
TK: Sarah noted that almost every mom mentioned loving honeycrisp apples. Is there any doubt that the love of honeycrisp is a consumer-driven sensation and not industry-driven? On the other hand, Courtney's comments about big-sized apples may indicate that the preference for eye-catching huge fruit may be driven by retailers and shippers more than moms.
"Beth" - mom of two girls
“We always have apples in the house,” Beth says. She’ll buy them at each shopping trip, specifically if they look good and are on sale, in which case she’ll buy more. “I get excited for honeycrisp season in the fall.” She will often buy 15 if they go on sale. Sometimes she buys organic. She buys honeycrisp and fuji and bakes with granny smith.
Her kids love to eat the peel off the apples when she makes apple pie. She doesn’t tend to buy the tote bag of apples because the quality doesn’t always seem as good. How does she serve them? Always slice them! “It seems like they don’t get eaten all the way, so that’s why I slice them.” Sometimes, if she has small apples, she’ll let her girls have it whole.
TK: Is Beth a little cautious about the "tote bag" for good reason? Retailers can't burn consumers with lower quality fruit in "tote" bags or they will pay the price.