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Trader Joe’s increases banana price for the first time in over 20 years

The retailer cites inflation

Trader Joe’s has done something it’s never done to date in the company’s history — raise the price of its 19-cent banana to 23 cents, a more than 20% increase.

The grocer first gave the update to CNN on Monday. 

“We only change our prices when our costs change, and after holding our price for bananas at 19 cents each for more than two decades, we’ve now reached a point where this change is necessary,” a Trader Joe’s spokesperson told CNN.

The 19-cent banana is a known deal at Trader Joe’s — enough so that it’s ranked as the favorite piece of produce by the company’s customers. This year marked the fifth time that bananas landed the top produce spot in the Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards.

TJ’s pricing of bananas is additionally unique because the retailer prices the fruit by the piece, rather than by the pound — a change made in 2001, according to CNBC.

Many grocers distinguish themselves with low-cost deals (i.e.: Costco’s $1.50 hot dog and soda combo). And though the pace of overall food inflation has slowed recently, Americans are still feeling the pinch in many grocery categories.

Bananas are one of  the items that have remained affordable for most Americans — largely due to intense grocery store competition and the banana’s role as a loss leader, an item purposefully priced lower to attract customers and encourage them to buy more expensive products.

The average price of bananas in the U.S. has remained steady from February 2023 to February 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at 62 to 64 cents a pound throughout the year.

Trader Joe’s did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication of this story.

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