Discontinued items are nothing unusual at grocery stores and even certain chain restaurants, but beyond seasonal menu changes, Starbucks is not normally a place where you see items come and go. While Starbucks provides a pretty wide range of baked goods and hot breakfast food, fresh fruit has also long been an option in the coffee shop. It was a familiar sight to see a small bowl of bananas at the register next to takeaway treats like cookies and fruit bars, but look today and you'll find the bananas at Starbucks are gone. And though it seems safe to assume some meaningful proportion of customers would appreciate a fresh option for breakfast, they simply didn't sell.
Starbucks gave Food Republic a pretty stock response when they asked about the chain's motivation to ditch the ubiquitous tropical fruit. A representative explained, "We continually evaluate the items on our menu, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers." While that's pretty vague corporate-speak, not meeting customers' needs seems to imply a lack of sales. Bananas still show up on Starbucks' menu online, but trying to order them just results in an error stating that they are unavailable. What's most unusual is that bananas have not been sold since May of 2022, but few people seemed to notice until this year. Maybe they really weren't that popular.
Bananas Were Seemingly Not A Big Item For Starbucks
While Starbucks proper isn't dishing too much on the lack of bananas, that hasn't stopped the inquisitive folks over at Reddit from trying to get to the bottom of this. The Starbucks forum is a popular place for employees to unofficially answer questions about behind-the-scenes issues at the chain, and some users seem to confirm the theory that bananas just were not that popular. One claims their store would "get 24, sell 1 or 2, then throw out the rest when they get gross and then repeat." Another user says they stopped ordering bananas entirely even before they were discontinued "due to their poor sales and fruit fly issues that develop[ed] from them."
While bananas may not have been popular enough at Starbucks to keep them on the shelves, customers may miss them in one specific capacity. The coffee chain has a pretty extensive secret menu, and one popular customization option allows people to blend fresh fruit into drinks. This has been the basis of some popular creations like the banana Frappuccino, which simply involved adding a fresh banana to a normal vanilla Frappuccino. With fresh bananas gone, that customization option has been lost. The option for a fresh snack may not have been enticing enough to keep bananas on the shelf at Starbucks, but maybe the loss of some tasty blending drinks could be the basis for an eventual comeback.
Static Media owns and operates both Food Republic and Tasting Table.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.