Unsustainable Food Packaging Innovation: Shrink wrapped peeled bananas

When Billa Supermarkets in Austria
decided to unpeel bananas and shrink wrap them
there was enough consumer outrage against the German owned Billa supermarket to
withdraw the unsustainable food packaging innovation.  It also turns out
the Billa Supermarkets call themselves environmentally conscious and the
unpeeled bananas became a matter for Facebook protest right on the owners' Facebook

Naturally packaged
products are packaged for convenience in the developed markets (think of coconut water in paper cartons  or bananas in this case) and are not
packaged due to affordability reasons in developing markets. Consider the

  • Fruits and vegetables in developed country markets enjoy the cold chain after harvest right
    through distribution. There are some rare reports in the US of careless
    food truck drivers who do not maintain the right temperature but by and
    large maintaining the right temperature across the cold chain is a
    priority in the industry. And majority of consumers are able to afford
    fresh produce while the poorer bottom of the pyramid families have grocery
    store access problems according to the USDA map of access and proximity
    to a grocery store. This access problem leads to unhealthy fast food
    choices and obesity.
  • Fruits and vegetables in developing countries seem to suffer from entirely different challenges.
    Distributers and retailers are unwilling to pay for refrigerated trucks
    and would rather have slightly deteriorated produce sell at a lower price
    that hope to charge a consumer who has problems in affording the
    refrigeration cost. Unpeeling and shrink packaging bananas would be
    unthinkable in the India market, for example. In fact, if you observe the
    fruit and vegetable market visuals from most of Asia and Africa they
    resemble farmer's markets in the US and Canada.  By not processing or
    packaging fruits and vegetables, these markets provide better nutrition
    and are actually more environmentally friendly compared to the shrink
    wrapped peeled bananas tried out in Austria. Contact StratoServe.
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