Are Yellow Bananas Green?

'Cavendish' bananas are the main commercial cu...

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“Our customers want yellow bananas — not brown,” ~7-11 CEO Joseph DePinto

[tweetmeme]Del Monte is wrapping individual bananas as a test at some Dallas area 7-11 Convenience Stores. They claim that the shelf life of the banana is extended by about 4-5 days. They also expect that this will reduce the carbon footprint because if less banana spoil, less have to be delivered by truck.

While the idea must have some merit from the perspective of 7-11 and Del Monte Foods, there are those who don’t think it’s a great idea. Blogs and TV seem to be missing the point. Many don’t believe that adding a layer of packaging to bananas is really green.

So here are my questions for you as a consumer: Next time you are in 7-11 and want a banana, will you reach for the one in a wrapper or one that is not in a wrapper (assuming they are the same prince)? Do you buy that this wrapper is in fact green and good for the environment?

[tweetmeme]Let’s assume that this wrapper does increase the shelf life and reduce spoilage which naturally would be waste or yield loss in Lean terms.  Would you agree to test the wrapped bananas if you were the 7-11 CEO?  How would you decide whether or not put wrapped bananas on your store shelves?

Please join the discussion on Facebook.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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4 Responses to Are Yellow Bananas Green?

  1. Gerhard W. Kessler says:

    Chris
    My very german ignorant opinion ?
    If somebofy can give me a garantee, that every fruit and vegetable will be single wrapped in plastic one day, I go to my bank and ask for some bucks to open a new facility manufacturing single bean and potato foil wrapping machines.
    Other than bananas, cherries are favorite fruits which does not last long. Every cherry in a wrapper – 10 of each in a small pouch ( indivigualized per person at home) 5 pouches in a family pouch size and 10 of those in a nice carton……….
    This seems to be an uneployment project !

    Man, we have enough plastic in our today´s world – get these people to plan that shopping tours in a different way. They should buy what they need – install FiFo at home, start thinking about JIT or ………….should continue to dump their food

    Gerhard

    • Gerhard,

      I saw some wrapped bananas for sale prior to seeing the article. My reaction certainly was not “they must be going green.” It does seem wasteful and is going to be perceived that way without a PR campaign of some sort. I wonder if they actually did an analysis to see if the reduced waste would really reduce the carbon footprint or if that was an of the cuff comment to justify the plastic. Thanks for your comments.

      Chris

  2. Kim Smith says:

    Chris,
    I agree with you. It doesn’t seem so green, wrapping something organic like bananas into plastic that will never break down in the land fills. Just seems like added waste. Maybe 7-11 should try a better way to manage there inventory or banana marketing efforts, so not as many bananas are going bad.

    • Thanks, Kim. I appreciate your comments. One point has me wondering though. Would the banana harvest be more sustainable if there is less inventory loss? It still seems like it nets out negatively…..

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