WATCH: The Sweet Reason Trader Joe's Bananas Are 19 Cents
There's actually an interesting story behind the retailer's pricing decision.
We're not pretending to be psychics, but we bet there's one thing you buy on almost every Trader Joe's run: Bananas. With conventional bananas priced oh-so-attractively at 19 cents a pop, it's no surprise that so many customers load up on the fruit. But somewhere between checkout and banana bread land, you've probably wondered how Trader Joe's keeps the price so affordable.
Trader Joe's CEO Dan Bane revealed the story behind the company's banana pricing on a recent podcast of Inside Trader Joe's, their new five-part series. While the brand used to sell bananas by the pound as most grocery stores do, they made the switch after Bane witnessed an incident at one of the stores, as CNBC reports. Prior to the update, Trader Joe's would weigh and pre-package four or five bananas together for customers to buy together since they didn't have scales at the store. "I was watching [shoppers] in Sun City, [Arizona], which was near a retirement complex," Bane explained. "Customer — nice little lady — customer comes up and she looks at all the packages but didn't put one in her cart. And so I asked her, I said, 'Ma'am, if you don't mind me asking, I saw you looking at the bananas but you didn't...put anything in your cart.'" The lady then told Bane, "Sonny, I may not live to that fourth banana." Hearing that was all the intel Bane needed to make a change: "And so we decided the next day we were going to sell individual bananas. And they've been 19 cents ever since," offered Bane.
Next time we pick up tasty staples like sweet tea or hot & sweet pepper jelly at TJ's, we'll be sure to think of this primo example of Southern hospitality in the Southwest.