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Banana Economics Forum Bananas are the number one exported fruit in the world, and the number one fruit eaten in nearly every country. This forum is for discussions of the economics of bananas involving producers, economists, consumers, transporters, wholesalers, and governments.


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Old 11-14-2011, 03:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My first foray into retailing

So I gave selling fruit at the Green Market a try. It was a moderate success. I sold 5 finger hands of Nam Wah for $1.00 and Plantains for $0.50/finger. I had no takers on the Kandrians which essentially look and taste like Platano Burro.

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Old 11-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Dont give up!
Its allways like that with "every first time"
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

This is so cool, don't give up. Once people get to know you I bet you'll be selling lots! I wish I was closer, I'd be your best customer!
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

I'd be buying from you too!

Hey Bob!
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Haaaa Well your on the right track. But try to remember the general public don’t know anything about bananas. It ‘s up to you to educate your customers as they purchase something from you .. Believe me I have been rite where your at . Not with Produce but live stock/reptiles . And ya need to bring a few potted plants with ya to sell so your customers can grow there own..
OH and dont give up ! Keep smiling at them ...
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Joy Re: My first foray into retailing

Yes, people should buy from local growers as often as they can. Good for you and I sure wish you well. If I was there I would buy lots from you too.


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Old 11-14-2011, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Wish we were closer. Right now the only thing available is store bought. Would certainly be a regular since I eat one every day and feed the peel to one of our cows. She got out a few days back and consumed a good part of our mystery banana.
Hang in there and educate the people.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Are you going to be there every saturdays? One of these saturdays I will try to show up there to buy bananas.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

congrats and good luck!
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

This sounds weird, but you might want to raise your prices a little.
It sounds counterintuitive, but if you sell things too cheaply and people don't know you in addition, they think what you have to sell is just not worth anything. So they don't buy it.
It also helps to move merchandise if you do price breaks to encourage more spending. Like your hands of 5 are 1.50 each, but if you purchase 3, it's only $4.00.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

There was actually someone else selling thai bananas as well, so the price was kind of set on those. I may make some plantain chips as a sample next week. I actually sold a lot of plantains, but only about 10 people bought them. One person bought 10 plantains. I think I am actually going to dig some peepers and sell peepers. Before I give up my current farm I may dig a bunch of suckers and pot them to sell at the market. It would be nice to get a good following for thai bananas in South Florida, and maybe a little public research into them because right now we are all blindly growing fruit with no real guidance as far as pest control and fertilization.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
There was actually someone else selling thai bananas as well, so the price was kind of set on those. I may make some plantain chips as a sample next week. I actually sold a lot of plantains, but only about 10 people bought them. One person bought 10 plantains. I think I am actually going to dig some peepers and sell peepers. Before I give up my current farm I may dig a bunch of suckers and pot them to sell at the market. It would be nice to get a good following for thai bananas in South Florida, and maybe a little public research into them because right now we are all blindly growing fruit with no real guidance as far as pest control and fertilization.
That's it bring a little of everything . And lots of Musa
I bet you will sell some pups . Craig s list might help you also ..
Where is it exactly this market is located? is it monthly or weekly
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

It's a weekly market in Wellington next to their village hall on Forest Hill. I'll be there this Saturday, but not the next two. I have no family in South Florida except my wife so I go out of town for Thanksgiving. And the next weekend I have had marked off for almost a year because I was able to get a cabin in Bahia Honda after years of trying.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

One of the most critical factors I have found in people buying banana fruit or not is ripeness. It's totally silly to the banana grower, of course we know they will ripen, but to the general public, it is extremely important that they know for sure they are "good", which means they are either totally ripe or part of the hand is ripe/ripening. I have tried everything, and all it comes down to is people want ripe bananas. Some people also are looking for snacks, so they want to be able to eat them right when they buy them. This is all basically because of how grocery stores work, they rarely but out totally green bananas, they keep those in the back and only display ripe ones, so people are trained to buy ripe bananas, green bananas are too weird or mysterious much of the time.

I would recommend holding onto to some and trying to get them timed so that they are ripe on the market day. The best way to do this though is not very easy, you need to keep them at about 57-60F. They won't be damaged at those temps, but they can be held green for a relatively long time. A few days before the market, you take them out and let them ripen. If you have access to a storage chamber or room of that temperature, you can put them in their right after harvesting and then figure out how long it takes each variety to ripen after you take it out. Alternatively, you can let them sit in normal temperatures until they just start to ripen and then put them in the fridge, and only take them out on the day of the market or a day or so before to finish up. They will still ripen in the cooler temps a little bit, but it is dramatically slower.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Yeah the ripe aspect is totally different than what I am use to with wholesale. Usually, the wholesale buyer wants them green. If I cut a bunch of Nam Wah on Tuesday they will usually start to turn by the end of the week. The Cavendish stay green forever it seems. The Hua Moa seem to have a lengthy green life as well. I suppose most places in the country selling plantains at a green market wouldn't go over well, but down here even the gringos know what to do with a plantain.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

I didn't even think of the ripeness factor. That was good advice.
It's like that here with the tomatoes in the summer too. They have to be ripe-ripe, or they have to be green with no hint of ripe for frying. Nothing in between.
And they have to be perfect. No spots cracks, etc. Even on heirlooms. Pretty hard to do.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

Samples can really help at open markets.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

I gave out samples of ripe Hua Moas, uncooked, and sold out. I'll have to admit they are pretty good. I actually had Gran Nains today and there were a few takers, but I traded most of them for two loaves of banana bread. Nam Wahs are the big movers.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

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Nam Wahs are the big movers.
People love the small dessert bananas. Were they ripe this time?
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: My first foray into retailing

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People love the small dessert bananas. Were they ripe this time?

I had some ripe ones and some green ones. Most people told me they would be using them over a few days so they preferred green. The Nam Wahs don't have much green life when harvested at mature green.
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