The Rising Cost of Bananas

Trader Joe’s has increased the price of its iconic 19-cent bananas to 23 cents. After more than two decades of price stability, this 20% hike reflects rising costs that are being felt across the nation.

While food inflation has been somewhat moderated, the impact on household grocery bills remains tangible. Trader Joe’s 19-cent banana has long stood as a testament to the store’s commitment to affordability, earning it the title of customers’ favorite produce item. Bananas, in general, have been an economical choice for Americans, thanks to competitive market dynamics and their role as a “loss leader” to attract shoppers.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that banana prices have remained fairly consistent at 62 to 64 cents a pound from February 2023 to February 2024, the World Banana Forum has issued warnings about potential price increases due to climate change. Nonetheless, Trader Joe’s has managed to reduce prices for other products, like almonds and bell peppers, showcasing its effort to balance affordability with cost pressures.

On his podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, former CEO Dan Bane recounted the conversation that inspired him to sell individual bananas. Bane asked an elderly customer why she decided not to purchase a bag of bananas, and she responded, “Sonny… I may not live to that fourth banana.” The store has sold bananas individually from that day on.

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]