An episode of Inside Trader Joe’s revealed that TJ's used to sell bananas by the pound back in the day. They were packaged in bags of four or five, so if you wanted less than that, you were out of luck.
But 13 years ago, company CEO Dan Bane was visiting a TJ's — and he saw a much older woman buying fruit. “I asked her, ‘Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, I saw you looking at the bananas but you didn’t put anything in your cart,'” Bane said. “And she says to me, ‘Sonny, I may not live to that fourth banana.'”
Bane said they decided the very next day that Trader Joe’s would sell individual bananas. They priced them at 19 cents each, and they’ve been that way ever since.