Photo courtesy of Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s set to unveil ‘crownless’ pineapples in stores this week

Produce Business report

It is remarkable what you’ll see when walking down a produce aisle in 2023. You might spot a dragon fruit, star fruit or herbs sprouting from little buckets.

Even with all the unusual items popping up every season, some fresh twists still cause shoppers to pause. The latest one from Sainsbury’s promises to catch some eyes.

On Wednesday, the supermarket chain will unveil pineapples with the tops chopped off. Removing those crowns is not being done to save space or provide a better way of stacking the oblong fruit – although that probably would work – but rather a nod to sustainability.

Crowns are often tossed into the bin when they could be recycled or, better yet, replanted or used for animal feed.

“We’re passionate about reducing our impact on the planet wherever we can, and we’re always looking for new and unique ways to make bold changes with sustainability in mind,” Claire Hughes, the chain’s Director of Product and Innovation, said. “Our new crownless pineapples may look a little out of the ordinary, but they offer very clear benefits in reducing waste and packaging. We hope that our customers will embrace the change with the knowledge that this quirky fruit is helping us to repurpose waste within our supply chain, as well as helping to reduce waste in their homes too.”

They have a very distinct look, a similar shape as summer holiday drinks from the islands with a straw coming out. But the presentation is secondary to the purpose – going crownless can spare the environment of 700 tonnes of waste annually, not to mention that replanting 25-50% of those leaves can reproduce more pineapples.

In addition, by lopping off the tops, additional packaging can be removed and retailers like Sainsbury’s can save some 2,500 boxes during transport annually.

Of course, the trend and look may take some time for consumers to get used to. The other Big Three supermarkets don’t currently offer them in this form. Even Sainsbury’s is keeping around some traditional pineapples for those who can’t fathom buying them without the greens.



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