Health-conscious consumers bananas are a welcome part of a convenience store’s offering. That is, until they turn brown. Which is why Del Monte developed a new plastic wrap for bananas that promises to more than double their shelf life by keeping out air and moisture. 7-Eleven has been trialling the second skin in 27 of its Dallas-area stores. If the trial is successful, the bananas-in-bags could be stocked in the majority of the chain’s 5,787 shops by early 2010.
From the perspective of consumer health that’s a thumbs up, but some have criticized the extra packaging as environmentally unsound. After all, bananas come wrapped in their own protective layer. Del Monte is looking to develop biodegradable packaging, but also stresses that the new plastic wrapper reduces the overall carbon footprint by enabling a reduction in deliveries. The company is also introducing specially packaged bananas in vending machines, underlining the wider context of increased consumer demand for food that’s both healthy and convenient.