The retail banana price war is over for Tesco - for the time being, at least - as it hiked prices by 25.5% this week.
Tesco increased its banana price from 55p/kg to 69p on Tuesday. Morrisons and Waitrose followed suit on Thursday morning, upping their prices from 55p/kg and 58p/kg respectively.
As The Grocer went to press, however, Asda and Sainsbury's were still selling bananas at 55p/kg. And while Asda said it could not confirm how long they would remain at that price, experts believe Sainsbury's is certain to follow suit by the weekend as it sells 100% Fairtrade bananas and is likely to have lost the most margin during the price war under its commitment to the higher-welfare stocks.
Waitrose also stocks 100% Fairtrade bananas and MD Mark Price has claimed the banana wars were costing £100,000 a week (The Grocer, 3 October 2009).
Asda initiated the price war in September as part of an offensive on staples after pledging to ban below-cost booze deals. The 55p price point was the lowest price for bananas since November last year.
Sainsbury’s bends in big four banana war (2 October 2010)
Bananas again take brunt of price war as Asda cuts to 55p/kg (25 September 2010)