Fruit baskets are a popular gift choice during the holiday season, or to express your appreciation to the recipient any time of year. Contents can go way beyond simply fruit and can include chocolate, cookies, nuts or wine. In the United States, fruit baskets have been available through mail and catalog order for more than 70 years. Fruit baskets that come directly from orchards and fruit growers typically provide longer-lasting fruit and garnishes than other sources.
Traditionally, baskets were used to carry and store fruit for household use, as well as transporting fruit to sell. One company, the Fruit Company located in Oregon, has been delivering fresh fruit since 1942. Almost 70 years later, the company still supplies fruit baskets to the general public, as well as to more than 200 other companies that sell them under their own name. Another fruit supplier, Harry and David, has been growing fruit and selling fruit baskets since 1934.
Fruit has a limited shelf life. Fruit baskets that include fruit skewers or fruit flowers should be refrigerated immediately and consumed within two or three days. The most popular assortments of fruits include apples, pears and oranges since these fruits are not easily bruised, staying fresh for up to a week. Fruit baskets also often include green pears, since they will ripen within a week to ten days after delivery.
Size and Pricing
Size really does matter when it comes to fruit baskets. Only the largest, most attractive fruit gets chosen for the final arrangement. The basket size depends on how many pieces of fruit it will hold. A fruit basket can range in size from one you can easily hold in your hands to others that require both arms and a certain amount of strength to pick up. Expect to pay from $35 up to $350, depending on the size of the fruit basket and its contents.
Special Fruit Baskets
Specialty fruit baskets group together products and fruit from a certain region, which can make them a more meaningful gift than a generic grouping of fruit. A fruit basket that offers locally grown goods such as fruits, nuts, jams and jellies makes a distinctive gift. Other special fruit baskets focus on one sort of fruit. You could choose an arrangement of citrus fruits or a combination of pears, ranging from red to yellow, both large and small.
Selecting a Fruit Basket
Now that you have decided to send a fruit basket to a friend, relative or co-worker, you want it to be one she appreciates. The best sources for fruit baskets are directly from fruit growers and orchards. Since they grow, package and ship the fruit themselves, you are assured of the highest quality possible. Intermediaries such as florists, gift shops or drop shipping companies not only have higher prices, but also have less control over the final product. The fruit supplier should be able to tell you the exact fruits that go into the fruit basket and when it will be delivered. Reputable companies also offer guarantees on quality control and appearance.