Aldi always stocks a variety of apples in the produce aisle, but during a shopping trip last week in my St. Louis-area store, I was happy to see Aldi is selling regionally grown apples for the fall season. While apples grown a few states north of my home may not fit the exact definition of locally grown food, it was nice to see the store offering fruit that hadn’t been shipped in from across the country or farther.
The apples come from the Mississippi Valley Fruit Company and are distributed by Honeybear Brands, and the bags state the fruit is “Midwest Grown.” My store offered Honeycrisps, Fujis, Galas, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. There may have been more varieties from the Mississippi Valley Fruit Company, but once I found a bag of Honeycrisps and a bag of Fujis, I was satisfied and looked no further.
The Mississippi Valley Fruit Company is based in Elgin, Minnesota. Honeybear Brands states the Mississippi Valley Fruit Company is “a collective (including the original Wescott Orchards) of more than 30 local orchards up and down the Mississippi River Valley. From September through December these family-run growers produce 15 premium Midwest varieties, grown locally, harvested within days of maturity and shipped fresh to retailers.”
Fred Westcott of Mississippi Valley Fruit Company says by consolidating several growers “under one regionally recognized label and controlling the packing and quality of the finished product,” they can offer good products to chain retailers. The company focuses less on trying to get an edge in the year-round apple market, instead focusing on a seasonal window.
The Mississippi Valley Fruit Company also has supplied Walmart with apples.
I’m not sure whether all Aldi stores in the U.S. are selling apples from the Mississippi Valley Fruit Company or if it’s limited to stores in the Midwest, and I’m not sure how long these apples will be available, but it is nice to see some semi-local produce on Aldi’s shelves.
The varieties I bought were good simply as plain old eating apples. I ate some of them sliced with Aldi’s Special Buy PB Crave peanut butter. They also would make great applesauce, pie, crisp, or other treats.
Aldi’s apples from the Mississippi Valley Fruit Company are grown in the Midwest, and the Honeycrisps and Fujis I sampled were good. I especially like the Fujis. Recommended.