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Indian brands are going bananas over JW Marriott’s $6-a-pair bananas

Labourer carries bananas at wholesale fruit market in Siliguri
Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri
How many bananas can you buy for Rs442.50?
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Rahul Bose’s misery is making corporate India merry.

On July 22, the actor shared a video on Twitter showing how JW Marriott in Chandigarh charged him a ridiculous Rs442.50 ($6.42) for just two bananas. (For context, I buy two bananas from my local fruit vendor in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, for only Rs13.)

Soon after, the tweet went viral and #RahulBoseMoment started trending on Twitter with people sharing stories of when and where they were overcharged. Then, brands began having a field day, designing marketing campaigns around it.

Grocery vendors like Nature’s Basket and Reliance SMART got literal with how much bananas should actually cost.

Pizza Hut compared the Rs442 banana to its Rs99 pizzas. And restaurant aggregator and food-delivery site Zomato said you could get a banana milkshake and banana split in less than the amount the 52-year-old actor paid for his bananas.

The marketing gimmicks didn’t stop at food-related businesses. Streaming platform Amazon Prime Video, insurance services aggregator Policybazaar and even the Western Railways cashed in on the joke to show just how cheap their offerings are.

While the internet is having a gala time, Marriott is facing the wrath of the authorities.

The five-star hotel has been fined Rs25,000 by the excise and taxation department, Chandigarh, for violation of section 11 of CGST—illegal collection of tax on an exempted item. Fresh fruits are tax-free items.

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