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Trader Joe’s raises the price of bananas

trader joe's bananas
Will bananas remain at the top of the Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards with a 20% higher price?

Monrovia, CA-based Trader Joe’s BB #:162286 customer-favorite is getting a rate hike. The company has increased the price about 20%, from 19 cents each to 23 cents each.

The company told CNBC that despite the increase, the new price “still represents a tremendous everyday value for bananas.”

Trader Joe’s has sold bananas by the each since 2001, according to the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast.

In the inaugural episode of the podcast, which aired May 1, 2018, then-CEO Dan Bane explained the change. Bananas by the pound were a challenge for Trader Joe’s, which sells everything by unit price.

“We used to sell bananas by the pound, like everybody else, but that meant because we don’t have scales in the store, that we had to weigh them and package them in little plastic bags in the warehouse before they got shipped out,” he said. “Usually in the smallest bag you could buy, it was like four or five bananas.”

At a store near a retirement community, a customer passed on buying bananas. Bane asked why, and she said, “Sonny, I may not live to that fourth banana.”

“And so we decided the next day we were going to sell individual bananas and they’ve been 19 cents ever since,” he said.

Time will tell if the price hike will affect bananas’ popularity with customers. Bananas were the No. 1 fresh produce item in the 15th annual Customer Choice Awards, beating Teeny Tiny Avocados, Honeycrisp apples, Persian cucumbers, and Lemony Arugula Basil Complete Salad Kits.  


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.