Convenience banana offerings are growing in response to consumer demand for healthy options on the go.
“As consumers focus more on leading healthy lifestyles, they expect to find healthy options wherever they shop,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral Gables, Fla.
Christou said offering bananas to consumers in convenience stores and other nontraditional outlets is key to capturing this market.
“They are starting to become more accustomed to buying groceries and fresh products in nontraditional outlets, and as these categories grow, it is important that bananas are available in these venues,” he said.
Bil Goldfield, communications manager for Dole Fresh Fruit, Westlake Village, Calif., agrees.
“Convenience-oriented single banana purchases are steady. These outlets that offer bananas by the singles continue to be a market in which we would like to grow as demand increases,” he said.
Goldfield said single-serving convenience purchases don’t necessarily take away from traditional banana sales.
“The single-serving customer is typically a different customer, so any sales impact is incremental and not at the expense of traditional sales of banana hands,” he said.
Foodservice also makes up a portion of banana sales that has been increasing with the trend toward healthy eating.
“Bananas work very well for foodservice because consumers love the fruit and the price point makes them inexpensive relative to other fruits and vegetables,” Goldfield said.