Honeycrisp apples are best known for their sweet, juicy flavor.
Biting into an apple is crisp at first, but it typically has a softer interior.
Due to their sweet flavor and health benefits, Honeycrisp apples are quite popular.
However, despite being popular, you’ll find that these particular types of apples can be quite expensive.
Since there are plenty of other apples available at lower prices, you may wonder why Honeycrisp apples are so expensive.
Why Are Honeycrisp Apples So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of Honeycrisp apples is around $5.
Certain factors like the crispiness, production costs, and high demand can make Honeycrisp apples even more expensive.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Crunch Factor
One of the reasons Honeycrisp apples are so beloved is their crunch, or crisp, factor.
Before the Honeycrisp apple, most apples didn’t have a crispy skin.
They were very soft.
For example, biting into a Red Delicious apple doesn’t take much effort.
Its soft exterior allows your teeth to sink right into it.
There’s nothing wrong with a soft exterior, but it also isn’t the most exciting thing to eat.
That’s especially true when you’re biting into something that also has a soft interior like most apples.
It’s just softness on top of softness.
Honeycrisp apples offer a different experience.
When you bite into it, you initially get crunch or crispiness from the skin.
This makes eating Honeycrisp apples a bit more enjoyable than other varieties.
They offer an additional layer of texture instead of just softness.
It’s a more satisfying experience.
The problem with the crisp factor is that Honeycrisp apples are the only type of apple that have this characteristic.
If people come to favor the Honeycrisp apple over other types of apples, then it means the demand for the apple is higher.
With high demand and low supply, the price of the product rises.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because they offer a satisfying crisp texture that few if any other apples offer.
2. Not That Hardy
A major problem that affects Honeycrisp apples is the fact that they’re not very hardy.
In fact, the reason that the Honeycrisp apple exists at all is because of a failed experiment.
Researchers were trying to breed a new species of apple that was hardy against hot and cold temperatures.
Apples are often susceptible to frost damage or damage from the sun.
An apple that could resist both temperatures better would be easier for farmers to grow.
The Honeycrisp apple failed.
It was not able to resist colder temperatures very well.
Later, someone else tested the species of apple and discovered its unique crispy exterior.
They marketed it for its crisp factor, and it took off from there.
That said, the Honeycrisp apple doesn’t grow well in certain regions of the United States.
The two primary areas that grow Honeycrisp apples are the west and the northeast.
Western farmers are able to provide higher yields because they have more ideal temperatures for Honeycrisp apples.
Northeastern farmers struggle a bit more to grow Honeycrisp apples.
As a result, they have smaller yields than those in the west.
This impacts the price of Honeycrisp apples because it creates a shortage.
If there aren’t enough Honeycrisp apples in the northern and eastern parts of the United States, then grocery stores have to import more apples from the west.
Those apples are going to be more expensive since they’re going to have more costs associated with them.
Local apples tend to be cheaper.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because they don’t grow well in colder climates.
3. Requires Special Storage
Honeycrisp apples are also expensive because they require special storage.
This is due to how delicate they are.
They’re easy to bruise and damage.
As such, they require special storage crates that help keep them safe.
They also need to be stored at specific temperatures.
While most other apples do well at room temperature, Honeycrisp apples are a bit more finicky.
They can start to rot faster if they’re not stored at the right temperature.
As such, farmers end up needing to purchase more expensive crates to house the apples for transport.
That makes their costs a bit higher.
To cover those expenses, they need to sell their apples at higher prices.
This then impacts the rest of the supply chain, too.
Honeycrisp apple brands will face more expensive transportation costs.
Since it’s more expensive to transport the apples, they’ll put a higher price tag on them, too.
This cost is absorbed by the grocery store that faces higher costs to supply themselves with the apples.
To cover those expenses and earn a profit, they put an even higher price on the apples.
Consumers are the ones who end up paying the most for the apples.
It all comes back to how expensive they are to store.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because they require more expensive means of storage.
4. Fast Growth Inhibits Sunlight
Honeycrisp apples are not easy to grow.
One of the problems they face is that they grow too fast.
While this might seem like a great thing for farmers, it actually isn’t.
While fast growth does mean that it takes less time for the apples to form, it also creates a problem.
Because the apple tree grows so fast, the leaves end up blocking the sun.
This means that the apples that grow on the lower parts of the tree can’t get sunlight.
The result is that some of the apples grow well and healthy while others hardly grow at all.
They may take a longer time to reach their proper weight and shape.
They may never reach the appropriate level of maturity.
This impacts the price of Honeycrisp apples because it means farmers have fewer apples that they can sell.
If the tree grew at a normal pace, then all the apples would have a good chance to grow well and mature to the right level.
The farmer would be able to harvest and sell most of the apples that came from the tree.
Since farmers aren’t able to harvest all the apples from the tree, it creates a shortage.
They’re never getting their full investment back.
As such, they have to increase the price of the apples that they do have to make up the difference.
Farmers also take on expenses while trying to trim their trees to ensure that the apples at the bottom get access to sunlight.
This is a meticulous process that requires skill and experience.
If the farmer trims too much, then it leaves the apples vulnerable.
Some might get too much sunlight which presents its own host of problems.
Over-trimming might also damage the tree.
The tree might become unhealthy and start to die or become sick.
If the tree becomes ill, then there are not going to be any apples.
As such, farmers end up spending a lot of money to ensure that they’re trimming their trees the best they can.
This takes some time.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because of the shortage that occurs due to their fast-growing trees.
5. Susceptible To Brown Spots
Another problem that makes Honeycrisp apples expensive is the fact that they’re susceptible to brown spots.
Whether it’s due to a worm, mold, rot, or just discoloration, Honeycrisp apples tend to turn brown rather easily.
This is a problem because apples with brown spots usually don’t sell well in grocery stores.
Most customers will not buy an apple that has brown spots on it.
Not only does it indicate rot, but it makes the apple appear unappetizing.
As such, there’s a very small selection of Honeycrisp apples that are suitable for human consumption.
This means that there’s even more of a shortage of Honeycrisp apples than other types of apples.
If a farmer is growing a Honeycrisp tree, then there are some things he must watch out for.
He has to ensure that the apples on the lower part of the tree get enough sunlight.
Even if they do, and he puts the expenses into the tree to help ensure they grow, the apples might end up developing brown spots.
All that money ends up going to waste since he can’t sell the apples after all.
As such, farmers have to ensure that they’re selling their apples at high enough prices that they can still make a profit.
Their revenue needs to cover the apples that they’re unable to sell.
Otherwise, there’s a good chance that they’d be selling at a loss.
A farm won’t last very long if they don’t cover these potential losses.
Because of their susceptibility to brown spots, Honeycrisp apples are harder to find than most other apples.
This shortage impacts the price since the demand for Honeycrisp apples is still high.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because they’re susceptible to brown spots which makes the shortage of apples even worse.
6. Soft Skin
Soft skin is another problem with Honeycrisp apples.
While they have a satisfying, crisp texture when you bite into them, the skin on Honeycrisp apples is actually quite soft.
Unfortunately, the soft skin presents problems.
One of the main problems is that it makes the Honeycrisp apple susceptible to sunburn.
Plants, just like humans, can get sunburns if they’re exposed to too much sunlight.
This problem normally affects the apples at the top of the tree.
It also affects apples that are lower if the farmer trimmed the tree too much.
When an apple gets constant exposure to the sun, it can cause the apple to rot.
It usually occurs at the place where the sun is directing most of its heat.
A farmer could lose several apples this way.
Another reason the soft skin is problematic is that it means the apple is also more susceptible to disease.
The skin protects the vulnerable center of the apple.
Because the skin is soft, it’s also quite thin.
This makes it easier for diseases to penetrate the skin and get to the vulnerable core.
That also means the farmer might lose a few apples to disease.
These problems make a Honeycrisp apple shortage even worse.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because their soft skin makes them susceptible to diseases and sunburns.
7. Less Land For Orchards
Another problem that makes Honeycrisp apples expensive is the fact that there isn’t much land to plant orchards.
A lot of farmers prefer not to deal with Honeycrisp apples because they’re so difficult to grow.
Instead, they plant other apple orchards.
Since orchards tend to take up a lot of space, it usually means that other farmers have limited space for their own orchards.
As a result, farmers who would like to grow Honeycrisp apples may not be able to find the land to grow them.
This problem becomes even worse when considering the fact that Honeycrisp apples aren’t the hardiest of apples.
They require a specific range of temperatures to grow.
That further limits where farmers can plant their orchards.
When they do find a place to plant an orchard, you can be sure that it’s going to be quite expensive.
That’s because that land is likely valuable.
If it’s good enough for Honeycrisp apples, then it’s probably good enough for a lot of other types of vegetables and fruit, too.
As such, there’s a lot of demand for that specific plot of land.
Farmers may end up paying a lot of money just to get land to grow their apples.
That adds to their expenses as well.
It also adds to the shortage of Honeycrisp apples since it means there’s less land on which to grow those types of apples.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because there isn’t a lot of land available on which to grow them.
8. Calcium Deficits
Apple trees can experience calcium deficits.
They rely on calcium to grow strong.
The calcium also gets passed onto their apples when they start to grow.
If a tree doesn’t have enough calcium to supply its apples, then the apples won’t grow well.
There’s also a good chance that the apple tree will die or become ill.
It needs calcium to stay healthy.
Calcium deficits can happen when the soil gets stripped of nutrients.
It’s possible to fix the problem with supplements, but the farmer has to do a bit of testing to see if a calcium deficit is the problem in the first place.
Between tests and the supplements required, it can be expensive to ensure a tree remains healthy.
Since this makes Honeycrisp apple trees expensive to grow, farmers sell their apples at higher prices to make up for the cost.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because their trees can experience calcium deficits.
9. Bird Problems
Humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy Honeycrisp apples.
Birds like the fruit, too.
Honeycrisp apples are often under attack by birds.
Because of their soft flesh, they are easy for birds to eat.
To prevent their apples from getting destroyed, farmers have to invest in expensive netting.
They might also use other, expensive means of keeping birds from accessing their trees.
Since farmers already know they’re not going to be selling many of their apples, it becomes important to save as many as they can.
Otherwise, they’ll face an even worse shortage than usual.
Honeycrisp apples are expensive because birds are a major threat to them.
10. High Demand
A final reason why Honeycrisp apples are expensive is that they’re in high demand.
All the factors above essentially impact the supply of Honeycrisp apples.
The price for these apples wouldn’t be quite so high if the demand for them wasn’t also high.
However, because Honeycrisp apples provide an excellent flavor and a satisfying bite, a lot of people prefer them to other types of apples.
The demand for Honeycrisp apples hasn’t gone down, either.
Because they’re in such high demand, Honeycrisp apples are expensive.
Honeycrisp apples are a healthy, delicious snack.
However, they’re also very difficult to grow and keep in stock.
Since there’s usually always a shortage of Honeycrisp apples, their price ends up becoming expensive.