Aldi Nord-owned supermarket changes price point after more than 20 years and says change is “necessary” due to recent increase in costs

Trader Joes bananas credit Aranami Flickr

Trader Joe’s made a big deal of its low banana price

Image: Aranami, Flickr (2015)

For more than two decades, US supermarket chain Trader Joe’s has sold individual bananas for just 19 cents each.

So the story goes, former chairman and CEO Dan Bane set that price point after speaking to a customer in store, and the company held it there ever since.

But now, less than a year after Bane retired, the Aldi Nord-owned retailer has apparently raised the price of its most popular produce item to 23 cents.

According to press reports, the 21 per cent rise is the first increase in almost a quarter century.

“We only change our prices when our costs change,” a spokesperson told CNN, “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.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average consumer price for bananas in the country has been fairly stable over the past year, at roughly US$1.37-US$1.41 per kilo (US$0.62-US$0.64/lb).

Prices paid to suppliers are not always made public, but Reefer Trends recently referred to unsubstantiated reports that the price paid by Aldi Süd (a different company to Aldi Nord) for green fruit in 2023 was in the region of €17 per box, up from €13.30 per box in 2022.

At the recent World Banana Forum meeting in Rome, United Nations economist Pascal Liu predicted price increases for consumers as temperature rises make it harder for the banana industry to protect existing production from plant diseases like Fusarium Wilt TR4.