- Trader Joe’s sells its bananas individually rather than by the pound like most grocery stores do.
- In a podcast where Trader Joe’s employees reveal company secrets, CEO Dan Bane explained the unusual reason why.
- Here’s the full story that explains why Trader Joe’s decided to sell bananas individually.
Unlike most other grocery stores, Trader Joe’s sells its bananas for 19 cents each instead of by the pound.
But that wasn’t always the case. 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.'”
The day after that conversation, the chain decided it would only sell bananas individually, according to Bane. They have cost just 19 cents ever since.
The Trader Joe’s podcast is hosted by Marketing Director Tara Miller and Vice President of Marketing Product Matt Sloan, who cover topics like the retailer’s products and values, the history of the chain, why it calls its employees “crew members,” and its famously cheap wines.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.