Dole and other banana growers have turned the creation of a banana into a science, in part to manipulate perceptions of freshness. In fact, they’ve issued a banana guide to greengrocers, illustrating the various color stages a banana can attain during its life cycle. Each color represents the sales potential for the banana in question. For example, sales records show that bananas with Pantone color 13-0858 (otherwise known as Vibrant Yellow) are less likely to sell than bananas with Pantone color 12-0752 (also called Buttercup), which is one grade warmer, visually, and seems to imply a riper, fresher fruit. Companies like Dole have analyzed the sales effects of all varieties of color and, as a result, plant their crops under conditions most ideal to creating the right “color.”
Not that anyone is going to buy Banana Crepe (Pantone color 13-0815).
Perhaps I just don’t understand the system, because I buy bananas on the basis of greenness: I buy once a week, on Saturday, and if I have one left by Friday, I’d just as soon it didn’t vaguely resemble a mahogany machete handle. (They are stored in a bowl on the breakfast bar.) To this end, I buy organics when they’re offered; in my experience, they hold up better. And if everything in the store is yellow, regardless of specific Pantone shade, I end up buying fewer. Simple as that.
(Via American Digest. Due to differences in hardware, colors specified may not appear exactly as intended or as on official Pantone samples.)