A bananas deal: Fyffes is bought for €751m, so here's a few things about bananas industry you might not know

 
Oliver Gill
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Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles didn't have chance to finish this banana (Source: Getty)

Who would have thought bananas could be such a lucrative investment?

Shareholders in Irish banana giant Fyffes certainly found their investment into the firm rather a-peeling, netting a healthy 50 per cent plus return from today's share price uplift alone.

Read more: Sumitomo goes bananas for bananas

The rocketing share price was a result of the board of Fyffes accepting an offer from Japanese behemoth Sumitomo to buy up the business for €751m (£631m).

In celebration of this good news and for a bit of Friday fun, here are a few fun facts about the world's most popular fruit... that actually, er, isn't fruit but a "high herb".

1 – Growth: there won't be much on the emerald isle

The home of one of the world's best known banana brands isn't expecting any growth in the years to come according to research by Euromonitor. In fact aside from a small uptick next year, unlike a conforming EU banana, things have rather flattened out.

Size of market ('000 tonnes)

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Ireland

18.90

18.90

18.90

19.00

19.00

18.90

2 – The Japanese much prefer nar-nas compared with the Irish

In 2016, the Japanese nation wolfed down 755,900 tonnes of bananas. That's 5.9kg per year per person! This compares with the 4.1kg eaten per person each year over the Irish Sea.

Read more: Bananas buy mushrooms for the second time this year

3 – All banana roads lead to India

Not a complete surprise given how many people live in India, but sales are more than double the country's closest – and more populous – rival, China.


A solid 15th in the global rankings for the UK (Source: Euromonitor)

4 – Awright guvnor, it's organic

Us Brits love an organic banana. In fact organic bananas are most popular in Western Europe.

But just so we can be smug about it, us Brits chow down the most: 13 per cent of our bananas are organic, compared with four per cent in Germany, five per cent in Italy and nine per cent in Spain.

Read more: Banana drama as Fyffes knocks back hostile bid

5 – It's not that we don't want them

Annualised growth in banana demand over the last five years stands at 1.7 per cent. Hardly exponential and a fact which probably makes today's Fyffes buyout an even greater deal for shareholders.

Read more: Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan pledge to cure all disease

But the flagging growth isn't because people have lost the taste for them, according to Anastasia Alieva, Euromonitor's head of fresh food, rather it's disease and weather:

The greatest threat faced by the global banana industry is not flagging consumer interest, but, rather, banana disease and weather conditions.

So far there are no problems with banana supply in Europe and North America as all imports arrive from Latin America and the Caribbean. Retail prices per kg virtually haven’t changed in the last five years.

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