Gen X Moms sound off on apples: Loving the honeycrisp and other observations

04/20/2011 05:30:23 AM
Tom Karst

"Karen" – mom of one

Karen is not a huge apple fan; therefore, she doesn’t buy them that often (probably four at a time every third trip to the grocery store). When she was growing up, all she’d ever tasted were red delicious (“mealy and gross”) and only later discovered other varieties. She likes honeycrisp and granny smith now, and her husband just bought some Braeburns.

“He bought them because he thought I’d like them.” She mostly buys apples for her daughter and husband. Her daughter likes them sliced “if there’s caramel dip, all the better!” and packed in her lunch. She buys the little pre-cut packages (at Costco mostly). Her advice to the industry: she wants more signs that tell about each variety offered (e.g. sweet, crunchy, good for baking, etc.). “Whole Foods had this recently, and it was helpful. With me not being an apple fan, I like to be led or taught,” she said. “There are so many choices that it’s confusing and overwhelming.”

TK: Store-level education will sell more apples, Karen says. Take note, industry.

"Christy"
– mom of two boys

“We love them …buy them every week. We just like to always have apples in the house.” They buy red delicious (“have to be REALLY crispy tho”), granny smith (her younger son likes) and golden delicious (her high school boy likes these). Her husband eats any kind. They buy about 6 of each variety each trip to the store. Every day after school, her youngest has an apple as a snack. What doesn’t she like: mealiness. “I’m disappointed when I get home and two days later they’re not crisp anymore.” But that doesn’t mean she likes them pumped full of chemicals to sustain them. “I don’t want them to inject the apples with stuff – I’m all about natural.” (Still, she doesn’t solely buy organic.)

TK: The perception that apples are injected with chemicals to preserve quality is likely based on an educated guess that something must be done to apples to keep them on the shelves in July when they were harvested in October. Do consumers need to know more about the technology of fruit production and storage?

"Joei" – mom of one sixth grade boy

Joei is pretty enthusiastic about apples and buys about 20 a week for her family…granny smith, braeburn, gala and her faves, honeycrisp and golden delicious. She often buys what is on sale, and “if the organic ones look good and they’re on sale, even better.” Joei eats an apple a day, sometimes more. She’s a big believer in “an apple a day keeps the weight away.” “I swear by it!” she said.



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