Why supermarkets are selling pineapples without crowns

The Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn and Belgium's Colruyt are selling pineapples without their green, leafy crowns. As De Standaard reported on Monday, this change isn't just about sustainability.

Removing the crowns from the pineapples, done in their country of origin, makes them easier to stack and allows 5,000 more pineapples to fit into a shipping container. According to Albert Heijn, this translates into 28 fewer shipping containers needed for transport each year.

Sustainable agriculture

Colruyt had already started removing the crowns. The retailer calculated seven pineapples instead of five would fit in a carton. In addition, local farmers can reuse the crowns "for more sustainable agriculture".

Journalist Lex Boon, who has written a book about pineapples, says these arguments are a bit of a fallacy. "A pineapple without a crown isn't suddenly sustainable. It's a luxury product. If you want to eat sustainably, choose local, seasonal fruit," he says.

"Removing the crown helps a little bit, sure, but it's mostly a cost-saving measure. I also find it annoying that they are presenting it to the market as an innovation when wholesalers have been doing this for years."

Regardless, the question remains whether consumers want crownless pineapples. "We have known for a long time that the crown gets in the way during transport, but it plays an important role in the pineapple's image and marketing as the king of fruits," says Boon.



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