Russell features over 20 varieties of apples in his Wesminster orchard, but says that at least half his pick-your-own customers ask for Honeycrisp. As an added bonus, he doesn't charge any more for his self-pick Honeycrisps than he does for his other self-pick varities.
In an American industry in danger from foreign growers and varieties - the Gala from New Zealand and the Fuji from Japan, for example - the Honeycrisp has been a huge boon. In fact, Russell said, there is some concern that it may be over-produced.
Vermont and other northern states have the perfect climate for producing excellent Honeycrisps, but the demand is so great that they are being grown even down into the mid-Atlantic states. Russell said that the warmer climate affects the color, but not the taste and texture of the Honeycrisp.
The University of Minnesota just recently announced that they have developed the Sweet Tango variety, created from, and supposedly combining the best features of, the Honeycrisp and the Zestar. It has just started to appear on the market this fall.
Perhaps learning from what happened when the Honeycrisp hit the market, the University has limited the number of growers, and growers have to buy into the group to have access to the variety. It's yet to be seen if the Sweet Tango Will have the impact on the American market that its parent had, but there is little doubt that American growers will be watching it carefully.