“It was sad to realise that bananas, which are just reaching their peak in terms of flavour will not end up in customers’ shopping baskets because their skins have gone a little brown. They are instead at risk of ending up as biowaste,” says Teemu Tikkala. “So, we called Suomen Jäätelö to find out whether they had any use for these bananas. And they did,” Teemu says.
Petri Laukontaus from Suomen Jäätelö explains that Teemu’s question set off a process, which was like “a match made in heaven”. “We had not been able to find any sufficiently ripe bananas on sale that would make the perfect banana ice cream, so this type of opportunity was like a gift from above,” Petri concludes. After multiple test batches, the banana ice cream was ready for production. The bananas are collected with a biogas truck from K-food stores in the greater Helsinki area and peeled by hand at the ice cream factory in Vantaa, while Harry Belafonte’s ‘Banana Boat Song’ plays in the background. After peeling, the bananas are cooked and processed into ice cream for 400 gram cartons.
With the BANANASAJÄÄMÄ banana ice cream Suomen Jäätelö and K-food stores want to help promote the minimisation of food waste and do their bit for the sustainable grocery trade.
“At K-food stores, we are constantly thinking of ways to use edible waste. Ice cream is an excellent new idea – a product like this has not been available until now. As both bananas and ice cream are very popular with Finns, I’m sure that in addition to making people feel good, this is going to be a huge hit this summer,” says Timo Jäske, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at K Group’s grocery trade division.
The product is vegan, and free of milk, lactose and gluten, and does not contain any artificial flavours or colourings, and it is also handmade. As there is limited availability of the raw material, the amounts manufactured may vary.
BANANASAJÄÄMÄ’s banana suppliers are: K-Supermarket Redi, K-Supermarket Lasihytti, K-Market Honkatori, K-Supermarket Kamppi, K-Supermarket Myllypuro, K-Supermarket Mankkaa, K-Citymarket Jumbo, K-Supermarket Hertta, K-Supermarket Tripla and K-Market Otaniemi.