Dealing with Winter Chilled Bananas


Bananas throughout much of the growing regions, from Mexico into South America, have been experiencing a very slow growing season due to unusually low temperatures. As the major sourcing areas for all US bananas, this has decreased supply of both conventionally grown and organically grown bananas.

Bananas need warm weather to grown and ripen properly. If the temperatures drop below 56F, the bananas will experience some damage, particularly in their appearance. Chilled bananas tend to be off color, and never ripen to the bright yellow that we normally see in the markets. While Organics Unlimited is picking the best of the production to ship to the US and Japan, it is often hard to tell prior to ripening what the appearance will be.

The good news is that chilled bananas may not look as good, but the fruit itself inside the peel continues to mature in the proper way, and the skin is actually acting as insulation. These bananas will taste the same and have the same consistency as consumers expect from the bananas they are accustomed to buying.

To counteract consumer perception to the chilled bananas, Organics Unlimited has developed signage for retailers to explain this phenomenon to their customers. The POP highlights that the fruit inside the banana peel is still good, and that these darker bananas are not a result of being overly ripe, but merely a phenomenon of nature based on a very cool season. Organics Unlimited is providing this additional information for retailers and consumers as part of an ongoing education program that will help retailers maximize their banana category.

This is also a good time for the produce manager to interact with customers, slicing into a chilled banana and offering the opportunity for people to see and taste for themselves. This educates the shopper and increases impulse sales, not to mention helping build closer relationships with customers.

Organics Unlimited, as a grower as well as an importer, is taking every precaution to ensure we are protecting the crops to the best of our ability. Until the cold season passes completely, we are paper bagging all of the new stalks to prevent any further damage.

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2 Responses to “Dealing with Winter Chilled Bananas”
  1. bill_lakey says:

    where can we get the pop?

  2. OsterGreen says:

    It's downloadable from the Organics Unlimited website. Please contact me directly if you have a problem getting it. Bev Oster – bevo@osterads.com.

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