Starbucks Put An End To Its Troubled History With Bananas

Although the Starbucks app shows a photo of a perfectly unblemished, slightly bent banana with the description, "Sweet, ripe bananas are like letting a ray of sunshine into your day — a wonderfully sweet, creamy, golden, favorite fruit for all ages," customers can't actually order one at a store. The coffee chain has quietly stopped selling bananas, and many of us getting our caffeine fix through the drive-thru window didn't notice.

In a statement to Food Republic, Starbucks addressed the discontinuation: " We removed fresh and frozen bananas from the menu in May 2022. As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate the items on our menu, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers and our business priorities." Apparently, plenty of customers noticed the change earlier than our reporting because multiple discussions on Reddit dating two years ago had people questioning if it was a temporary problem.

Responses to why customers couldn't find their $1.50 fresh bananas near the cash register anymore consistently said that bananas attracted fruit flies, so individual locations stopped carrying the fresh fruit long ago. Many Starbucks employees added that the fruit they received was often overripe and tossed in the garbage in a wasteful pattern.

Hearing this, home bakers are likely cringing thinking about the waste and how those bananas are perfect for bread — if only the chain sold banana bread. 

Starbucks' banana bread isn't made in-house

Although freshly baked banana bread would be good for ripe bananas, those who thought Starbucks baked anything on the premises will be disappointed to learn that they don't, despite selling a popular banana walnut and pecan loaf for about $4.23. 

According to another Reddit post, Starbucks doesn't bake or prepare any of its snacks or meals (outside using the microwave) at its locations, stating plainly, "ITS FROZEN YALL. Pre-made." While your barista may offer to warm the banana bread before serving, all the food is shipped frozen. In fact, those living near a Kroger grocery store can purchase Starbucks' banana nut loaf there, too. 

A Starbucks employee or partner, as the brand calls them, hypothesized that customers assume that they are purchasing homemade items because the company does a good job differentiating itself from other chains like McDonald's, especially with its premium pricing. So when a customer asks for more feta on her wrap or compliments the baker who decorated the adorable skull shortbread cookies, it comes from a genuine place.

While Starbucks has decided to stop carrying bananas, Americans still purchase them more than any other fruit. In 2021, 26.87 pounds of bananas were consumed per capita. Apples, which came in a distant second, can still be found at participating Starbucks locations, cut into convenient slices in its protein boxes. If you are still looking for a banana, Starbucks carries Peter Rabbit Organics Strawberry Banana, a squeezable drink for toddlers.