I Have Been Shopping (I)

I would envisage that there will be quite a few entries with that title this year….

Anyway, I went shopping today at my local supermarket and inevitably, came across the banana display. Inevitably?  Well, firstly, its difficult to avoid bananas even in the always colourful produce department and secondly, I am preconditioned to buy bananas whenever I end up in a supermarket.  $2.99 per kilo the ticket said. 


They don't come much better than that

My mind drifted back a few years – to the time of banana deregulation to be precise, 1990.  The Government prescribed retail price for bananas was $2.69 per kg.  Today, 21 years later, it has moved a whole 30 cents.  Sure, the price fluctuates a bit depending on the time of the year and the stock levels in the country but when did we last see standard bananas retailing at $3.49 or $3.99?  These price points seems to be reserved for organic fruit  or Fair Trade bananas.

So for 2.99 per kg, I can get a fairly consistent small bunch of bananas, the quality more often ok than it is not, and more or less predictable behaviour in the fruit bowl.  And when one gets accidentally squashed on the way home, the mess tends to remain contained within its own skin and does not leak all over my other shopping.

Who Goes The Extra Mile?

Plenty of incentive then to stick with bananas rather than buy summerfruit, particularly for prematurely picked, poorly handled peaches and nectarines at $5.49 per kg.  But even if the peaches were perfect – there is a correlation in the consumers’ mind between the consistent pricing of a staple fruit such as bananas and the price of seasonal fruit on display.

Our stores seem to have “unlearned” the ability to make it pallatible for shoppers to gladly hand over the extra money for the seasonal summerfruit experience.  Now why might that be the case?

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