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The FruitGuys: Fresh fruit delivered to your door

Posted by | March 4, 2009 .

Fruit to your door. Doesn’t that sound nice? Well that’s just what we got to experience recently with a special delivery from The FruitGuys when they asked us to try out a case of their East Coast Organic Fruit Mix. How could we say no to a complimentary box of high-quality fruit sent right to us?

FruitGuys’ Offerings

I mentioned that the FruitGuys sent us the Organic mix, but they have a few other options. Plus the fruit is different depending on your location. For example, while the East Coast currently gets green grapes and blood oranges, the Midwest gets red grapes and honey tangerines. Also, the selection changes weekly. It’s not quite a “fruit of the month” club, though. Instead, the fruit changes based on what’s available and seasonal in your section of the country.

Below is from the FruitGuys’ website:

Harvest Flyer

Our widest variety of seasonal fruit delivered in easy to display FruitGuys FruitTrays™ – apples, oranges, pears, peaches, grapes, kiwi, blood oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, bananas, apricots, plums, and tangerines. This box offers the best of what’s in season.

Organic

For those who support organic agriculture. This seasonal mix is similar to the Harvest Flyer, but all the fruit is certified organic. Content varies by season, plus our FruitTrays™ make it easy for you to display this wonderful fruit.

BN: this is the sampler we got and will review in this article.

Staples

Includes a delicious mix of bananas, oranges, and apples delivered in easy to display FruitGuys FruitTrays™. We keep it interesting by offering a few different varieties of apples and citrus every week. Occasionally throughout the year when apples and oranges are not in season or available at the level of quality the FruitGuys require, we will substitute a seasonal fruit instead.

Our Delivery

So, let’s get to the review of our organic fruit shipment. We got the $42 Organic Fruitcase (see all prices here), which contains 25 different pieces of fruit. I’ll write about the value further down.

While I failed to make a detailed list of each fruit, I can say we got multiples of some and only one of others:

  • One kiwi
  • One avocado
  • One plum
  • One bunch of bananas
  • Multiple clementines
  • A “pineapple orange”
  • A red grapefruit
  • A navel orange or two
  • Red and green D’Anjou pears
  • Fuji, Gala and Granny Smith apples
  • A yellow peach

In all, it was definitely 25 pieces of fruit (the bunch of bananas counts as one), and we’re still chomping through them a week later!

As for delivery, The FruitGuys overnighted the shipment to us. It arrived without any extra cooling packs, but it was definitely cold enough outside to preserve the fruit until we arrived home. The box was an ordinary brown box, but the special “fruitguys”-branded box was tucked inside. The fruit was separated into sections as shown in the various photos in this article, and some sections had 2 pieces of fruit inside. I would assume the 50-serving box is just two of these crates stacked in a single brown cardboard box.

I’ll admit that this was the first time eating many of these fruits in organic form. Stacie has tried, and loved, organic Granny Smith apples, but was ho-hum on organic red grapes. As I found out from talking with friends, the one down-side of organic fruit is that, without the extra preservatives found in ordinary fruit, it tends to ripen and, of course, go bad more quickly. Knowing this, though, I just put most of the fruit in the fridge, except for the bananas and apples (and the fruit I ate right after I opened the box).

Taste Test

Again, this was the first time we’ve eaten organic versions of many of these fruits, so this taste review will also be a comparison to regular fruit options.

I (Mike) tried the bananas, oranges, clementines, avocado and grapefruit, while Stacie munched on the apples, pears, and plum. I’ll just do a quick review of some of the fruits:

  • Clementines: I think these were on the top of both our lists in terms of taste and texture. The skins peeled away with ease, leaving a juicy yet firm meat with an unbelievable flavor. Equally tart and sweet, the clementines were the best of fruits, but that’s just our preference (I’m a citrus guy).
  • Bananas: The bananas were a couple inches longer, and straighter, than their supermarket cousins. They arrived with just a hint of green left, which is when Stacie likes them. I let them age a few days since I like them more ripened. I found that they went soft a day or two faster than non-organic bananas, but still kept good flavor and had just a few mushy spots inside. I did notice they weren’t as grainy-tasting as non-organic bananas.
  • Avocado: This was my first time with a whole avocado in the house. Normally I just eat it in guacamole or in sushi rolls. Since I was hungry, I just peeled it and bit right into it. I ate the whole thing…and, not surprisingly, it tasted nothing like guacamole. I’ll guess that it tasted like any other raw avocado, neither good nor bad. Next time I’ll make something with it.
  • Grapefruit: Luckily enough, I had red grapefruits from Sam’s Club in the fridge at the same time, so I had a direct comparison at hand. While the organic fruit was smaller, it packed a lot more taste in each bite. Also, the pulp was more dense and firm than the non-organic grapefruit.
  • Apples: Stacie prefers Granny Smith apples and mentioned that they were pretty tasty (she likes them very tart). She’s not big on red apples, and I’m allergic to apples (long story), so I utilized my coworkers as tasters. Their response was that they preferred the organic apples to non-organic, mainly due to the taste and juiciness.
  • Oranges: I’m not sure which one the pineapple orange was, versus the Florida orange, so I’ll just group them together and say they were more tasty than the Sam’s Club and Safeway variety. They weren’t shockingly bright orange and flawless like you see in the store, but that’s the deal with organic fruit (no pesticides or preservatives). The pulp was firm, juicy and tasty, as expected, but the skin seemed to be attached more firmly than I expected when comparing to the clementines. It took a bit more work to peel the orange (I like them peeled, not sliced), but eventually I got it undressed.

Those are just some highlights. We still have some of the pears to try out (the red ones). I gave my boss the kiwi (another fruit I’m allergic to), but didn’t hear back on what she thought. It’s really hard to get a kiwi wrong though, so I expect the quality to be on par with the other fruits in the bunch.

The only problem we had was with the peach. I believe it got bruised during shipping, and once a peach is bruised it’s on the fast track to the compost pile. We didn’t notice the bruising until the next day. Therefore, we didn’t try the peach, but it looked and smelled delicious when we unpacked it!

Value of FruitGuys Deliveries

The FruitGuys are in business to supply fruit mostly to offices as a replacement for vending machines, but they’ll certainly ship to your home or as a gift. Since I’m not an office manager, I can’t quite comment on the value of $42 for 25 pieces of fruit except as a personal consumer. Of course $1.68 per unit is a very steep price and you’re much better off buying from the local organic store, if available. Chain supermarkets even have organic sections now.

But I’m not quite the target demographic, so keep that in mind when deciding if it’s worth it. They also have the “Staples Fruitcase” for $32 if you want the non-organic option.

So why would they send it to a non-office manager to review? Well, other than just getting their name out on the web, there is a value to personal consumers. You can send a case as a gift! My wife commented that the case of fruit costs about as much as a bunch of shipped flowers. While not as romantic, you can eat the fruit, but you might feel a little ill if you nibble on the flowers. It’s a great gift for your friend across the country when you want to give them something healthy, and may not want to give the wrong impression by sending flowers.

Oh, and I just noticed that they have a separate site where you can send smaller packages of fruit to your child in college (or to anyone for that matter): DormSnack.com. And if you live in the San Francisco area, you can try out local, organic produce (including veggies) by ordering their “HealthCase“.


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