Last night Benjamin asked me why Honey Crisp apples cost more than other apples. It's not everyday I get to use my degree in economics...so here it goes.
Second, the Honey Crisp is probably the best tasting apple. Their sweet and mild flavor and firm texture make them a joy to eat. Honey Crisp apples have the highest demand of any apple.
Intuition at this point tells us the Honey Crisp is going to cost more than other apples. The law of supply and demand graph confirms this intuition.
Two apples are compared on this chart. The Red Delicious are the red lines and the Honey Crisp are the green lines.
Note the supply of both varieties at $0. A grower will not harvest apples he or she has to give away. Note also the inelasticity of both supply curves: the price the buyer is willing to pay for the apples doesn't have a major effect on the quantity sold. The number of apple trees (and therefore apples) in a growing season is fixed. Just as it doesn't make sense to give the apples away, it doesn't make sense to let the apples rot. So regardless of price offered for the apples (assuming the price is above the cost of getting the apples to market), the quantity of apples supplied is not terribly dependent on price. Note as well the supply of Red Delicious apples is greater than the supply of Honey Crisp apples. A greater number of existing orchards and trees allow the growers to sell more units of Red Delicious apples at a lower price.
The demand of Honey Crisp apples is much greater than the demand for Red Delicious Apples. If given the choice, most apple eaters greatly prefer the taste of Honey Crisp apples to Red Delicious Apples. Look at two price points for each apple. At $2 the consumer is willing to purchase only 18 units of Red Delicious apples. The consumer is willing to purchase 60 units of Honey Crisp apples for $2. At $4 the consumer is willing to purchase only 10 units of Red Delicious apples. The consumer is willing to purchase 30 units of Honey Crisp apples for $4. So, the consumer wants Honey Crisp apples more than Red Delicious apples and is willing to pay the price. The demand for apples, especially Red Delicious, is pretty elastic. A change in price significantly effects the quantity demanded.
The price is determined by the intersection of supply and demand. A high supply and lower demand for Red Delicious apples means 2.4 units of apples will be sold at a price of $1.30. A low supply and higher demand for Honey Crisp apples means 4.8 units of Honey Crisp apples will be sold at a price of $2.80.
Price is determined by supply and demand. Honey Crisp apples will continue to cost more than other varieties of apples until more Honey Crisp apple trees can be planted and other varieties of apples are developed that rival the taste of Honey Crisp Apples.