Those are bananas. Trader Joe’s is raising the price of popular fruit for the first time in twenty years

(Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

Those are bananas. Trader Joe’s is raising the price of popular fruit for the first time in twenty years

California Politics

Hannah Wiley

March 25, 2024

Inflation has hit Trader Joe’s famously affordable bananas.

The Monrovia-based supermarket chain confirmed Monday that it had raised the individual cost of bananas for the first time in more than two decades, from 19 cents per piece to 23 cents, or a 21% price increase.

In a statement, Trader Joe’s spokesperson Nakia Rohde said the recent price change “still represents tremendous daily value for bananas.”

“We only change our prices when our costs change,” Rohde said, “and after keeping our price for bananas at 19 per piece for more than 20 years, we have now reached a point where this change is necessary.”

Although seemingly small, the price increase represents more than just four cents.

Trader Joe’s is considered one of the more affordable grocery chains in the country, and its one-price fruit is one of the company’s most beloved products. The 19-cent banana was named the best product at Trader Joe’s 15th Customer Choice Awards.

The change also reflects a broader national trend. While the U.S. economy is strong overall, groceries have become more expensive since the COVID-19 pandemic, when inflation rose and daily food prices suddenly soared.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food prices rose 11.4% in 2022. The war in Ukraine and bird flu have exacerbated the already skyrocketing costs of inflation.

The trend continued into 2023, when supermarket and grocery prices rose another 5%. Food price inflation is expected to slow in 2024, but will remain slightly higher than a year ago, according to the ministry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a pound of bananas was 58 cents in March 2020, but by February 2024 it had risen to 63 cents.

Rohde said that although Trader Joe’s bananas now cost more, the company was able to lower prices on other popular products.

That includes raw almonds, down a dollar to $3.99 per pound; Romaine hearts were reduced 50 cents to $2.99; and organic tri-color peppers were reduced 50 cents to $4.49. Green onions now cost 99 cents, “our lowest price in at least a decade,” Rohde said.

But change takes time. Early Monday evening, Trader Joe’s website still listed a banana for 19 cents.

“Heck, if you’re feeling really wild,” says the website, “you can buy a big bunch of five beautiful bananas for less than a dollar!”


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