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Carrefour launches premium banana and supports Pink Ribbon

“Our premium bananas have shorter transit and longer ripening”

Supermarket chain Carrefour Belgium is launching a new premium banana in their assortment, which has more natural sugars and a shorter travel time from plantation to supermarket, according to the supermarket group.

Carrefour Belgium donates one euro per sold box of bananas to the Pink Ribbon foundation, which wants to raise breast cancer awareness. According to the supplier of the bananas, it’s the first time that a type of fruit in supermarkets and a charity can help each other in Europe. 

Jan Pollier (Manager e-commerce food for Carrefour), Bettina Geysen (Manager Pink Ribbon Belgium), Nicolas Vanderborght (PrimaMundo), Baptiste van Outryve (Communication Carrefour).

Staying on the trees
Carrefour, Pink Ribbon and banana supplier PrimaMundo presented the bananas to the public in Hypermarket Carrefour in Zemst. The fruit can be found in supermarkets under the brand Papillon. According to Jan Pollier, e-commerce food manager for Carrefour, the fruit has a few advantages. “The bananas grow in a volcanic microclimate in Southern Guatemala year-round,” he says. “Normally the bananas are in transit by boat for 30 to 40 days. For these bananas, travel time is ten days shorter. The fruit is in transit less long, and can therefore stay on the trees longer, so that it has more flesh and contains more natural sugars.” 

The bananas packed in a bag from the Pink Ribbon foundation, which raises breast cancer awareness.

According to Nicolas Vanderborght from PrimaMundo, the bananas have a shorter travel time than normal because of the agreements they’ve made with people on the boats. “Firstly, the bananas are harvested later,” says the man behind the banana brand. “The boats changed their route, so that their final port of call is with us to pick up the fruit. The bananas are then shipped to Rotterdam by boat, after which they enter the regular trajectory in the ripening chambers.”

The bananas from Papillon come from Guatemala. They can be found at Carrefour supermarkets in cooperation with Pink Ribbon.

Stable growth
By now the bananas have been in shops for a week. According to the e-commerce food manager the Papillon bananas do better than their predecessor. “For various types of bananas we saw demand increasing,” Jan says. “The organic bananas, loose bananas and the cheaper bananas are doing better and better, while the premium bananas from Chiquita remained stable in their growth. When people now buy the Papillon bananas, they naturally don’t yet know what to expect, but I think consumers are more likely to buy them because of the Pink Ribbon bag. The first time, customers can’t judge for flavour, because they haven’t tasted them yet. However, the volume of Papillon bananas reached the same level as its predecessor within a week, and we expect that volume to continue increasing.”

Various types of bananas in Carrefour. Organic bananas are pictured top right, beside the new premium bananas. Top left are the loose bananas, and the cheaper ones are at the bottom.

Pink Ribbon
The manager of Pink Ribbon indicates she’s happy with the cooperation. According to Bettina Geysen it’s important to raise awareness of breast cancer. “Healthy food can limit cancer,” she says. “Bananas contribute to a healthy lifestyle.” The e-commerce food manager responds to that. “It’s not the case that good things only have to be done in the country of origin,” he says. “We also have problems here. That’s why we thought it was important to do something for Pink Ribbon, and to dedicate ourselves to that in Belgium. It isn’t unthinkable that we expand on the cooperation with the foundation. We now sell the bananas in a bag, but we could also sell the fruit loose. But we’ll remain connected to Pink Ribbon in any case.”

For more information:
Nicolas Vanderborght
Werkhuizenkaai 112-154
1000 Brussels (Belgium)
T: +32 (0) 474 92 27 50

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