America’s Most Popular Fruit Gets a Makeover

Last Update: February 5, 2024

How do we love thee, banana? Let us count the ways.

Fresh out of the peel and blended in smoothies. Frozen and dipped in chocolate and baked into bread. Sliced on top of yogurt and slathered in peanut butter. And that’s the the beginning.

Most of Americans find the average person consuming a whopping 10.4 pounds of it each year.

What’s funny is that almost everyone loves them a different way, as Nik Ingersoll, co-founder and CMO of Barnana, explains.

“People with bananas are so funny,” he says. “Some people think they have to be pure yellow, some people want them a little green, some people want a couple of spots on them.”

Ingersoll’s something of an expert on the banana, what he calls “nature’s original energy bar.” And Ingersoll and his co-founders, Caue Suplicy and Matt Clifford, wanted to make some improvements. For one thing, as Ingersoll puts it, “nature makes a bad package for [the banana] and it expires quickly.” For another, most shoppers can be pretty discriminatory when it comes to bananas. If the fruit isn’t perfectly curved, or has an ugly bruise, most people won’t eat it.

That means that as much as 15 to 20 percent of bananas never even make it to the grocery store and go to waste. In banana-exporting countries like Brazil, the local markets are flooded with these imperfect fruits.

Suplicy grew up in Brazil, where his father came up with a unique way to eat these rejected bananas. Dehydrating bananas turns them into chewy, brown nuggets—a delicious snack that’s as economical as it is healthy. Though this process takes 85 percent of the water out of each fruit, all the potassium and other nutrients get concentrated into the now much smaller package.

This makes it much easier to eat bananas—and to get your daily dose of potassium, a nutrient of which nearly 98 percent of us don’t get enough.

“Normally, eating four or five bananas would fill you up really quickly, but you can eat—or at least I can eat—almost a whole bag at once,” Ingersoll jokes.

With Barnana, you can pop little nuggets of dehydrated organic bananas anywhere: on your morning commute, at your desk, even on a run or a hike. And with yummy flavor options like peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut, the taste will never get old.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Annalise Mantz

Annalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.

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