Going bananas?

Well that’s what I think of the practice at Cold Storage outlets where customers are allowed to tear off only the number of bananas they want from the bunches displayed for sale.

I began to notice customers tearing off one or two or three bananas only in recent weeks at the two outlets I visit regularly — Great World City and Chancery Court.

Actually what I first noticed were solitary or pairs of bananas among the larger bunches which usually have about five to six bananas each.

Then the mystery cleared when I saw the cause. Shoppers were just ripping off the bananas they wanted, leaving the rest.

Initially I thought the shoppers were picky or selfish selecting only the perfect bananas as those they discarded were bruised or fully ripened.

A couple of days ago, at the GWC outlet and seeing the same scene again at the banana stand right at the entrance, I collared a supervisor passing by and in a whisper drew her attention to what shoppers were doing, in the belief that I was doing the supermarket a favour.

But no.

The supervisor looked at me and said it’s OK to break up the bunches, as the bananas were being sold by weight. Only the smaller bunches which were wrapped up had to be bought as a bunch.

I was left feeling a bit stupid for being a kay poh.

But on further reflection, I think Cold Storage’s “generosity” towards its customers merely encourages waste and selfishness and could ultimately raise the price of the bananas sold if the supermarket needs to recover cost.

Sure, we can pick individual oranges, pears, avocados etc from the piles displayed but they are all individual fruits, unlike bananas which come in hands or bunches, and should be bought as such in my view. 

Who will buy the discarded bananas?

Not me. And I’m sure not many other shoppers.

Fairprice supermarkets’ bananas are all pre-weighed and priced, though not wrapped. I think that’s a better practice because shoppers will think twice before doing what I’ve seen done at Cold Storage, apparently with the supermarket’s encouragement!


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