Trader Joe's upped the price of its bananas for the first time in decades. Here's why

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NEW YORK (AP) — It whitethorn not beryllium excessively “appeeling,” but nan value tags of immoderate bananas are rising by a fewer cents.

Trader Joe’s precocious upped nan value for a azygous banana to 23 cents, a 4-cent — aliases 21% — summation from nan grocer’s erstwhile going complaint for nan consequence that had remained unchanged for complete 20 years.

“We only alteration our prices erstwhile our costs change, and aft holding our value for Bananas astatine 19¢ each for much than 2 decades, we’ve now reached a constituent wherever this alteration is necessary,” a spokesperson for nan concatenation based successful Monrovia, California, said.

In opposition to different foods much heavily impacted by inflation, bananas person stayed comparatively affordable complete clip — pinch mean world prices ne'er exceeding much than astir 80 cents per lb (0.45 kilograms).

Still, banana prices person seen immoderate jumps successful caller years. And it’s not conscionable impacting Trader Joe’s shoppers.

In nan U.S., nan costs of a lb of bananas averaged astatine astir 63 cents past month. That’s only 3 cents much than it was a decade ago, authorities information shows, but astir 6 cents higher than prices reported astatine nan commencement of 2020, successful nan months earlier COVID-19 was declared a world pandemic.

Around nan world, banana prices saw their astir notable pandemic-era spikes successful 2022 — pinch nan world mean value per metric ton expanding by much than $520 complete nan people of that year, according to nan Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, citing International Monetary Fund numbers. Those prices drifted backmost down immoderate successful 2023, but still stay elevated.

“Bananas are a very celebrated consequence among consumers, truthful retailers effort to support prices low,” Neil Saunders, managing head astatine investigation patient GlobalData, notes. “However, prices cannot defy gravity everlastingly and (we are) now starting to spot retailers for illustration Trader Joe’s make adjustments.”

One of nan main reasons down these increases is nan rising costs of farming bananas, Saunders added, noting that fertilizer, pesticide and proscription prices person each gone up owed to wide inflation.

At nan aforesaid time, request for bananas has been growing, he said. That creates an imbalance pinch proviso arsenic exporters look pressures of higher costs, greater prevalence of disease impacting plants and unfavorable upwind conditions.

The World Banana Forum, portion of nan United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, has pointed to increasing effects of world warming, including higher instances of drought and earthy disasters, that make banana accumulation “increasingly difficult, uncertain and costly.”

Such concerns spell well-beyond bananas. Researchers expect nutrient prices and ostentation wide to emergence arsenic temperatures climb pinch ambiance change.