Apples are expensive. They generally cost more than fruits like bananas or citrus fruits. Furthermore, specific varieties of apples like Granny Smith are more expensive than others. So, why are Granny Smith apples so expensive?
Granny Smith apples are expensive because their transportation cost is high as their trees grow well only in select zones with specific soil and weather. The demand for these apples is high as they store well and are all-purpose apples that work in numerous recipes. This also affects their pricing.
Let’s explore each of these factors in closer detail.
What Makes Granny Smith Apples So Popular?
Apple lovers know that every type of apple is distinct. Each variety has its characteristic flavor, color, and physical traits.
Granny Smith apples are one of the most popular varieties of green apples. You can identify them by their bright green color.
They’re firm and juicy. They’re also very sour, and this characteristic sourness makes them stand out from other types of apples.
These apples are in season from September to November. However, you will be able to find them in supermarkets throughout the year.
Stores like to stock them because they’re always in demand. So, why is there such demand for these apples? Let’s find out.
The following characteristic traits of Granny Smith apples make them very attractive to buyers.
1. Distinct Flavor
Granny Smith apples are extremely tart. Although they have natural sugars, their acidity is stronger. It overshadows their natural sweetness, and they taste sour.
Their distinct sourness sets them apart from other apples. It also increases their demand because this flavor makes them good for cooking and baking.
2. Attractive Color
Granny Smith apples are good-looking green apples. They have a stunning vibrant green color with white specks.
They look healthy and appealing, and it makes them sell.
3. Hold Up Well
The high acid levels in Granny Smith apples not only create a distinct flavor but also increase their shelf-life.
Sweet apples generally don’t hold up well because the sugar in their flesh will break down quickly and hasten the spoiling.
Although Granny Smith apples contain sugar, it’s not too high. Additionally, the high acid content compensates for their sweetness.
The presence of acid prevents rapid spoiling and helps these apples to hold up longer than their sugary counterparts.
4. Easy To Store And Transport
Apple sellers love Granny Smith apples because this variety is resilient and holds up well during transportation and storage.
Their firm flesh and thick skin don’t bruise easily. Unlike other delicate varieties of apples, they don’t need careful handling. They remain fresh for longer.
5. Wide Range Of Uses
Granny Smith apples are barely sweet and hence not a great choice for snacking. However, they’re excellent all-purpose apples.
They’re particularly good for cooking and baking. The sourness of these apples reduces during cooking while their sweetness develops.
This works beautifully in various dishes like apple pies, crumble, cakes, bread, and other apple-based desserts.
They hold their shape well when exposed to high temperatures. Unlike other sweet apples that disintegrate and turn into mush during cooking, these apples remain intact and add just the right amount of moisture to a dish.
Granny Smith apples also work in salads and sandwiches, where their distinct tart flavor enhances the complex flavors of a dish.
6. Nutritional Value
Granny Smith apples have less sugar than other apples. They’re also loaded with various beneficial nutrients like fiber and phytonutrients. Hence, they’re a great choice.
Each Granny Smith apple provides 3g of fiber. They’re not high in calories, and eating one apple only adds 70 calories to a diet.
So these apples are a good choice when you’re controlling your calorie intake or are on a diet.
3 Factors That Make Granny Smith Apples So Expensive
Granny Smith apples are very popular for the reasons we discussed earlier. However, these apples don’t come cheap. They’re costlier than most other varieties in the market.
So, what is the reason for their high price? Let’s find out.
1. Limited Availability Due To Growth Requirements
Granny Smith apple trees don’t grow just anywhere. They need a lot of sunshine and warmth to thrive.
The apple trees also need well-draining soil to grow well. In the initial months of planting, they require close maintenance and good care.
Regular watering is essential for the tree to establish itself. It also needs regular pruning to grow well.
These specific requirements contribute to the scarcity of Granny Smith apples. Although the demand is high, there may not be enough apples for supply.
In the USA, zones 5 to 8 meet their growth requirements. Apart from these regions, they also grow in other parts of the world in areas with similar soil and temperature conditions.
2. High Labor And Transportation Costs
Since Granny Smith apples grow only in select regions of the world, they have to travel a lot to reach different supermarkets where they’re sold. It leads to higher labor and transportation cost.
The apples must be transported intact from apple orchards to supermarkets for sale. Depending on the distance, it can take time.
Although Granny Smith apples are not delicate, they must be properly stored to prevent damage during transit.
The costs incurred during storage and transportation will also reflect in the final cost of the produce.
3. Long Ripening Season
Granny Smith apples are a late autumn variety. They’re usually ready for harvesting in mid-October. Depending on when you planted the apples, it may take even longer for the harvest.
Granny Smith apples have a long ripening season. It takes 170 to 180 days from bloom to harvest. Additionally, they don’t grow all through the year or in just any location.
The limited growing season and geographical requirements reduce their availability and increase the cost.
Are Granny Smith Apples Worth It?
Despite their cost, Granny Smith apples are very popular. This is because of two main reasons: their versatility and nutritional benefits.
Granny Smith apples are all-purpose apples. You can eat them raw or use them for cooking and baking.
They’re excellent cooking apples because they don’t disintegrate and turn into a sloppy mess when exposed to heat.
Hence, you can use them in pies, cakes, bread, and various desserts. When cooked, they add a great depth of flavor to most dishes.
Although these apples are generally too sour to be eaten raw, some people enjoy the taste. They’re even used in salads and gratins in raw form.
These apples also promise more nutritional benefits than other types of apples. They’re full of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
They also have good moisture and fiber content. However, the most attractive factor is that they’re not high in sugar. Although Granny Smith apples contain natural sugars, it’s not as high as many other fruits.
So, if you are looking for a healthy apple loaded with nutrients and full of flavor, Granny Smith apples are an excellent choice.