Still Bananas: latest Nielsen research

The latest Nielsen research shows Aussies are still bananas for their favourite fruit. 

Associate director of Analytics at Nielsen, Chanel Day reports.

Bananas are nature’s non-stop energy snack, and despite higher prices shoppers are still enjoying their sweetness.

Since January last year, prices across many fruits have increased, driving dollar sales for the category up 3.9%.

Bananas are a key fruit driving this rise, with a healthy 4.6% increase in dollar sales.

This is way ahead of total grocery sales growth of just 1.9% over the same period.

Higher average retail prices for bananas have helped increase dollar sales despite lower sales volume (kg), with prices up a substantial 17% on average versus the year prior.

Despite these price rises, the majority of Australian households are still buying bananas and they continue to be ranked first in the fruit category in terms of total volumes sold.

Over nine in ten Aussie households purchased bananas over the course of the year, however this is down slightly and households bought bananas slightly less frequently on average with some shoppers showing sensitivity to these higher prices.


There are slight variances in how different shopper groups adapted their purchasing habits as prices rose over the past year.

Young families are continuing to buy bananas, buying a little bit less frequently, but spending a lot more overall.

In contrast shoppers under 35 without children have reduced shopping trips, and spent a lot less on bananas.

Perhaps the young monkeys in the family simply must have their “nanas”, whatever the cost!


When we look at the different types of bananas, it is no surprise that Cavendish is the clear winner.

In the second half of 2017, Cavendish bananas accounted for 89% of retail dollar sales while other banana types such as Lady Finger and Red Tipped accounted  for just 11%.

What is slightly more surprising, is that although Aussies primarily buy Cavendish, there are a significant number of shoppers who are not buying them exclusively.

In fact, over the second half of 2017, 38% of Aussie households purchased two or more banana types.

The group most likely to buy multiple types are senior couples and 45% of this group purchased two or more banana types over the same period, much more than the national average.

In contrast, households under 35 years with no children not only reduced their spend on the category over the past year, but they are less likely to buy multiple types with just 28% of this group purchasing more than one banana type over the past six months.

Families and senior couples in particular are banana devotees and are the groups most likely to buy across both Cavendish and other types.


The major supermarkets account for 74.4% of dollar share for bananas and are driving growth with dollar sales up 9.3% over the year.

In contrast, independents and greengrocers are struggling to capture growth, with banana sales lower in both channels over the same period.

Looking at the majors further, we see that pre-pack bananas hold a relatively small share of sales at just 4.7% of banana sales and pre-packs growing at about the same rate as loose bananas.

Despite rising prices, bananas continue to be a well-loved fruit that is a staple for most households.

Families and senior couples in particular are banana devotees and are the groups most likely to buy across both Cavendish and other types.

But in fact, almost all Aussies love bananas, and they buy more of them than any other fruit. Now that’s bananas!