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Bananas going bonkers at some local convenience stores

Stored under Caption This!GamesMiscellaneousNewsRecipesRelated EBay AuctionsReviewsVideosVisual Stimulation on May 24, 2006

The bananas sell for 69 cents a piece, right up there next to the lighters, the chocolate-covered cherries and countless candy bars at the Valero gas station on San Miguel Canyon Road.

You can pick up a few while you're filling your tank, getting your cup of coffee in the morning or even buying disposable razors.

Bananas are making a killing in somewhat of a surreal scene inside this gas station turned convenience store/de facto produce stand.

"At first people laughed," said Daryl Chang, the store's manager. "Now all the bananas are gone, and I keep having to order more."

Since Chang began selling the Chiquita bananas a month ago, customers have been peeling through them at a rapid rate, buying as many as 44 a week.

And the potassium keeps piling up along with the bottom lines of the seller, the packer, the distributor and the grower.

It's just the very beginning of a campaign launched last month by Chiquita International Brand Inc. to sell individual bananas at 3,000 convenient stores across the country, tapping into a market where the sight of a fruit isn't exactly commonplace.

"Sometimes people just don't have the time to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day, so we're bringing the bananas to them," says Mike Mitchell, spokesman for Chiquita in Cincinnati. "People have told us through our research that they would buy more bananas if they were more readily available, and we're doing just that: trying to make them more available."

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