Banana prices are increasing at Trader Joe's for the first time in more than 20 years



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One of the low-price staples of Trader Joe’s is about to become notably more expensive.

The boutique grocery chain has raised the price of bananas, which have seen prices hold steady at 19 cents per banana for more than 20 years. The fruit now costs 23 cents, a small bump in terms of actual dollars, but a price increase of 21%.

The Trader Joe’s banana was akin to the Costco hot dog—a low-priced food item that brought people into the store. It has been immune to inflation for so long, many customers thought it would never see a price increase. Store officials, however, say the move was necessary.

“We recently changed the price of a single banana to 23¢, which still represents a tremendous everyday value for bananas,” the company said in a statement. “We only change our prices when our costs change, and after holding our price for bananas at 19¢ each for more than two decades, we’ve now reached a point where this change is necessary.”

Banana prices, on the whole, have largely held steady over the past year, but the World Banana Forum has warned that prices could be on the rise soon due to climate change, as temperatures are increasing beyond the optimal level for growth in prime growing areas.

It’s not the first time a seemingly untouchable price point was adjusted at Trader Joe’s. Eleven years ago, the grocery was forced to increase the price of its house wine, affectionately known by customers as “Two Buck Chuck” at the time. The company has since increased the price of that wine several times and today a bottle of Charles Shaw wine is about $4.50—still significantly lower than other brands, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily.

While banana prices are on the rise, Trader Joe’s notes it has lowered the price of other items recently. Raw Almonds are now $3.99 a pound, a $1 price reduction. Romaine hearts are now 50 cents cheaper at $2.99, while organic tri-color bell peppers saw the same reduction to $4.49. And green onions are at their lowest price in at least a decade at 99 cents.

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