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The Weekly Blog

Cheaper by the Dozen

The World is going bananas. Or at least some of Tesco’s customers have gone bananas, having discovered that the retailer has started to charge 25p for each item of fruit, as opposed to 76p per kilogram.

The change, which means that a medium-sized banana has doubled in price, applies only to bananas sold from Tesco’s smaller Metro and Express stores. So if you’re buying bananas from Tesco’s – remember that they’re cheaper when you purchase them in a larger supermarket store or on the internet.

Angry customers have posted pointed questions on Twitter along the lines of: Why was I charged 25p per banana in store (Canary wharf), but yet on the Tesco website these are only 14p?

But, excuse me if I’ve missed something. Isn’t that the whole point about giant stores and online retailers? If you can stack the products high, then you can sell them cheap. If you’re obliged to stack them in small piles and service your customers face-to-face, selling them only two or three items at a time, the price inevitably gets higher.

It’s the same in almost every industry. So if you’re coming horseracing, you can choose to purchase your ticket on the day, from a person standing in a kiosk at the entrance – but if you want to save some money, you can purchase your ticket online in advance. And to encourage customers to commit earlier, most racecourses now offer the biggest discounts to the people that book earliest. At Kelso Racecourse, we’ve made 200 half-price tickets available for each fixture this year. There are just a few Early-Bird tickets, at the bargain price of £10, remaining for the first fixture on Wednesday 19th September. That’s the same price as 40 bananas (if you were purchasing them from the Tesco store in Canary Wharf).

According to website, 100 billion bananas are eaten every year. Most of them are of the Cavendish variety, which apparently has nothing to do with Lord Cavendish, Chairman of the Cartmel Steeplechase company, although I like to think there’s a connection there somewhere.

The Latin name for the banana plant is musa sapientum, which can be translated roughly as ‘fruit of the wise men’ – meaning that if you eat a lot of bananas, you’ll probably back a lot of winners. This week we’re going for Dear Sire, who holds alternative entries at Stratford on Saturday and Worcester on Tuesday. I’m planning to stake four bananas and hoping to win twenty – but it’s possible that the odds won’t be quite so favourable.

If Dear Sire doesn’t win, we shouldn’t get too disappointed. My advice would be to eat a few more bananas: they contain the amino acid tryptophan, as well as vitamin B6, which helps to produce Serotonin – important in developing the memory and enabling us to learn, while alleviating the depression caused by following too many duff tips.

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