BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If your morning routine involves eating a banana, get ready because it may start costing you more money. Gulf Coast Produce Distributors co-owner Mike Alise said mother nature is to blame.
Workers at the Gulf Coast Produce warehouse in Biloxi are busy cutting up vegetables and moving packages of fruit. But, the fruit that isn't seeing a whole of activity are the bananas.
"Typically, we'd have four to five pallets of bananas ready to ship out. Tonight, we're going to get half our allotment that we ordered," said Alise.
Alise received letters from his largest banana distributors stating that in Central America the fruit is primarily grown in cold weather. But, rainy conditions and mudslides have impacted not only the crop but access to the fruit and distribution of it.
"It very seldom happens that bananas go up in the shortages. So, they are telling us two to three weeks, and these are the big guys," said Alise.
At Walmart, I found regular bananas for 55 cents a pound and 68 cents a pound for organic ones. But Alise said those prices will likely rise due to the weather.
"Our costs are going up. Our cost Monday morning is going to be $17.50 a box. When normally it's like 15 something, and it's gonna be trickled down to the consumer," Alise explained.
If this news makes you bananas, don't worry. Alise has some recommendations for picking the best fruit now and extending its shelf life.
"When you buy a green or breaking banana with a green tip normally you can get two to three days on it at your home, but that's one of those things. They can make banana chips. They can cut them and put them on the sheet, and put them in the freezer," said Alise.
Don't expect the prices to stay high for long, though. They will likely peel back once the supply increases.
All this comes as a result of tomatoes rebounding after the crop in Florida was hit due to Hurricane Irma.
Alise said he will still carry bananas, but he will have much fewer of them. Again, this shortage is expected to last two to three weeks.