The Best-Selling Grocery Item Is Bananas, According To Instacart

Bananas have a fight on their hands. To become the most popular fruit in America, they need to battle against the two mighty foes: strawberries and green grapes. According to data from YouGovAmerica, bananas are limping behind both of them, despite 82% of people holding bananas in high regard.

A major part of this fight-back stratagem seems to involve infiltrating grocery orders, particularly those fulfilled online. Information released by Instacart reveals that bananas are the grocery product it delivers the most, achieving an estimated 1 billion sales. As if that enormous figure wasn't bananas enough, Instacart believes that if all of those bananas were joined together they would circle the Earth five times — adding that Iowa is the state with the largest proportion of banana orders, edging out South Dakota and Minnesota.

The looming question is, of course, why are banana orders so high? Possible answers are provided by looking at the cost of bananas and how they are sold.

Bananas are more price competitive than other fruits

Though they may not be quite as popular as other fruits, the sheer quantity of orders means that bananas are clearly a staple of the American diet — either that or the country has a surprisingly large population of monkeys. A major reason for large order numbers could be that bananas are purposefully prominently displayed in grocery stores, suggesting that they stay in the minds of customers even during online shopping. The reliability of banana supplies throughout the year also helps to maintain this focus, with the U.S. importing over 4 million metric tons of bananas every year (per The Packer).

A further explanation for bananas' rampant sales figures could be price. Bananas are cheap. All banana brands (even typically more-expensive fair trade ones) rank among the most affordable fruits, which is especially important for consumers looking to save cash. According to the St. Louis Fed, banana prices remain relatively stable at $0.64 per pound, whereas grapes fluctuate at around $2 a pound, and 12 ounces of strawberries cost approximately $2.90.