Honeycrisp or Red Delicious?
No matter what brand of apple you like, Americans are crazy for this juicy fruit
Ask any American to name their favorite apple, and the answer is likely to come quickly and with capital letters. Maybe Granny Smith or Fuji. Perhaps a hipper Pink Lady or even a SnapDragon.
Pose the same question about, say, bananas and you might get a, “Um, yellow?” in response.
The lunchbox staple, as all- American as the pie that bears its name, is more than a simple fruit. It’s a marketing marvel, the result of a decades- long campaign to transform preferences with the goal of making money grow on trees.
Today, with various shades of red, green and yellow and different sizes and tastes from sugary sweet to puckery tart, apples have become the most heavily branded produce on Earth.
The turning point for apple branding was the debut of the Honeycrisp, which turns 20 years old this year. The variety created by the University of Minnesota’s acclaimed apple breeding program proved that the 99- cents- per- pound that most supermarkets didn’t exceed could be lifted and that the days of pricing as high as $ 3.99 a pound had arrived. Now, hipster apples such as the Sekai- ichi sell for as much as $ 21 per pound.
“It’s not just that they charge more. It also encourages the sale of apples,” said Bob Killian, CEO of Chicago- based firm Killian Branding.