Trader Joe’s is raising the price of a single banana for the first time in the store’s history

(Nextstar) – Say Goodbye 19-cent art. The lunchbox staple just got a little more expensive at Trader Joe’s.

Bananas are now 23 cents apiece at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide. Several locations in California and New York confirmed that the price changes had already gone into effect on Monday.

The 19-cent banana has long been a point of pride for the grocer, which said — until now — it hasn’t raised prices on slices of fruit since they first began selling them individually.

“We only change our prices when our costs change, and after more than two decades of maintaining a price of 19¢ per banana, we have now reached a point where this change is necessary,” a company spokesperson told Nextstar.

Trader Joe’s banana prices are unusual – by the piece and not by the pound. The company made this change in 2001, CNBC Report

A handmade sign advertises the price of bananas outside a Trader Joe’s in Long Beach, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2005. (Jeff Gretchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register Photo via Getty Images)

In a 2018 edition “Inside Trader Joe’s” Podcast, Then-Chairman and CEO Dan Benn explained that Trader Joe’s used to sell bananas by the pound, even though the prepackaged baggies contained four or more bananas. In other words, you can’t just rip open the baggies and buy a banana or two because there are no scales in the store to determine the correct price.

One day, Ben said, he was working at one of the California locations when he saw a “pretty little lady”—probably from a nearby retirement community—who spent a few moments looking at the banana baggies before deciding she didn’t want any.

“So I asked her, I said, ‘Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, I saw you looking at bananas but you didn’t, you didn’t put anything in your cart,'” Bon recalled.

“And he tells me, ‘Sonny … Sonny, I can’t live on that fourth banana.’

Ben then claims that Trader Joe’s decided to switch to individually priced bananas “the next day”.

The price of an organic banana has not increased this week. Although they once sold for 25 cents a pop, they are now 29 cents each.

At the same time, Trader Joe’s is slashing prices on a few items. Raw almonds are a dollar cheaper per pound, a trio of romaine lettuce hearts and bell peppers are 50 cents less, and green onions are now 99 cents — “our lowest price in at least a decade,” a company spokeswoman said.

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