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Spring Freeze Causes Slim Pickings in Local Area Apple Crops

A state-wide apple shortage has caused some companies like Biggby Coffee to raise prices on cider.

A sign that reads "No U-Pick Apples" hangs on the wall at Erwin Orchards and Cider Mill in South Lyon for all potential customers to see.

The orchard is just one of many that have had to tell customers something similar. Farmers lost more than 90 percent of this year's crop because of the extreme spring weather, leaving cider mills, businesses and local markets to scavenge for local fruit in the Upper Peninsula and out-of-state orchards.

Consumers can expect fresh apple prices to be about 30 percent to 50 percent higher than last year, Bob Tritten, Michigan State University Extension Service fruit educator for southeast Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. Cider prices are up about 50 percent as well.

Orchards are not the only businesses suffering from the apple crop decimation.

has raised prices on its Caramel Apple Cider about a dollar at all of its franchise locations. Biggby spokesperson Katie Koerner said that Biggby's cost to purchase the product have doubled.

Koerner said Biggby buys a majority of its apple crops from the Mid-Michigan area, but with the decimation of the crops the company has had to moved to out-of-state sources. So not only do the apples cost more because of the shortage, but the company must now pay transportation costs to get them to its stores as well.

"We felt that we could stop offering it, but we felt that fall is synonymous with Biggby Caramel Apple Cider, so we didn't want to not offer it," she said. "We want to make our customers happy. So we decided if we were going to do that, we were going to have to go ahead and raise the price."

In order to keep customers happy, Biggby has also introduced its new S'more Latte as another option for those who do not wish to spend the extra money on cider.

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