The Reason For 19-cent Bananas At Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s sells its bananas individually rather than by the pound like most grocery stores do.

When first entering the store I always notice the banana stand and have always wondered why they sell them this way.

In a podcast where Trader Joe’s employees reveal company secrets, CEO Dan Bane explained the unusual reason why.

Like most other grocery stores, Trader Joe’s used to sell bunches of bananas by the pound. There were no scales in stores, so bananas were weighed before leaving the warehouse and packaged in little plastic bags of four or five bananas.

In an episode of the Trader Joe’s podcast where the grocery chain’s employees reveal company secrets, CEO Dan Bane explained that years ago, he was at a store located not too far from a retirement complex. A woman walked up to the bananas, looked at all of the packages, and walked away without putting one in her cart, Bane said.

He described their interaction in the podcast: “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, you didn’t put anything in your cart.’ And she says to me, ‘Sonny … I may not live to that fourth banana.‘”

Makes sense to me.

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