Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's with these apple prices?

I was in a Big-Y 'World Class' Market here in Amherst, MA this afternoon, and was quite taken aback by the pricing on some of these apples I saw (click on the link for a picture):

Fresh sweet Jazz apples, $3.69/lb.

Organically grown sweet crisp Fuji apples, $3.99/lb.

Organic Royal Gala apples, $5.99/lb.

Organically grown Gold Delicious apples, $3.99/lb.

New Zealand Braeburn apples, $1.88/lb. (regular price $2.49/lb.)

Organic Red Delicious apples, $3.49/lb.

Granny Smith apples, $2.29/lb.

$5.99/lb. for Organic Royal Gala apples???!!! Is anyone buying these things? (To be honest, it looks like the most popular item was the NZ Braeburn for $1.88/lb.) And we sell direct-market, locally grown, 'world class' quality apples for about an average of $1.00/lb. There is a disconnect here, and I am sure there are many reasons and opinions for and about it, so I'd like to hear them. I have to ask again -- Organic Royal Gala apples, $5.99/lb., is anyone buying these? Oh, and notice Big-Y is pretty good about adding value to some of the apple variety descriptions. Ciao.


Russell said...

The entire marketing of fresh fruit has been rocked by high energy prices and inflation.

Only 20 or 25% of the energy spent making a grocery store apple is used on the orchard.

The modern sophisticated distribution systems have the downside effect of articulating inflation. There are a lot of middlemen between the grower and the eater. All of them need 30% more to stay in business. The cumulative effect is a 200% or 300% price increase at the grocery store.

Orchards should be able to handily undercut grocery stores and make better money at the same time. Like in the olden days when people went to the farm because the food was cheaper.

Direct fresh fruit marketers would do well to forget the whole "pay a little more for better quality" and make adjustments to their plans due to facts on the ground.

Ben said...

I agree with Russell- with prices like this, the up side is that we should be seeing increased farm stand purchasing.

We sold our first peaches at the Farmers' Market last saturday, and heard the annual complaints from customers about the poor quality of those bought at the supermarket.

No one said a word about our increase in price from last year, either.

FarmerMo said...


Have you a new edition of Photoshop that you used for these shots?

Jon Clements said...

No Photoshop, real pictures...