We were strangely fascinated by the article in Sunday's New York Times magazine about the business of creating the perfect pre-sliced apple that could be marketed as the perfect portable snack. You may be thinking the same thing we were thinking -- aren't apples pretty damn convenient the way they are? Apparently not, and apparently people are willing to pay extra for pre-sliced apples; Crunch Pak has surveyed the market:
Crunch Pak's first market research [was conducted by the company's marketing director] at Little League games. After dispensing samples, he would ask parents why they would pay extra for what effectively boils down to an apple-chopping service. He claims that the answer he heard most often was "Because I'd rather be here at the game watching my son play baseball than at home slicing apples."
Oddly, apple slicing was being denigrated as an unthinkably oppressive undertaking, a kind of punitive kitchen duty, evoking the G.I. obscured behind mounds of to-be-peeled potatoes.
Okay we'll admit to buying pre-washed bag salad, and we can see a certain logic in buying pre-peeled and/or chopped garlic (no stinky fingers), but we think this is taking things a bit too far. Slicing an apple takes all of 30 seconds, and a whole apple is pretty damn portable, but then again, time is money, especially in New York, it seems. What kinds of "convenience" foods are you willing to pay for?