Dole Food Co. plans to expand its Peel the Love banana tour this year, adding a second route to run the promotion concurrently in Eastern and Western cities starting Memorial Day weekend.
Blue Diamond Growers, makers of Almond Breeze almond milk, is again a cosponsor. Also dubbed Banana Cabana tours, the public events are expected to cover 26 cities in 21 states by Labor Day.
Two caravans will depart New York City and Dallas on May 26, according to a news release. Tour vehicles will offer banana recipes, recipe booklets, product samples, banana-themed children’s activity sheets and other giveaways.
A full tour schedule will be posted in April at www.dole.com/peelthelove.
Last year’s Peel the Love Tour handed out 107,703 recipe samples made from Dole bananas at 147 tour stops, including supermarkets and special events.
For the first time this year, visitors at each tour stop can present a grocery receipt showing a Dole Bananas purchase to receive a Dole hat, T-shirt or other branded item.
At some tour stops, visitors will be able to see demonstrations of peeling and cutting pineapples. Pineapple demos and sampling are another addition to the offering.
The eastern tour will include stops in New Jersey; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Virginia; Raleigh, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Alabama; Mississippi; St. Louis; Des Moines, Iowa; and Minneapolis.
The western tour will move on to Houston; San Antonio; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; San Diego; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Reno, Nev.; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.
“Last year, our Peel the Love Tour took the eating-healthy-can-be-fun message to banana lovers in 10 cities across the country,” Bil Goldfield, Dole Fresh Fruit Co. director of corporate communications, said in the release. “But almost from the start, consumers and retailers wanted more. So we’re doubling the love in 2014 to help meet untapped demand.”
Both tours will feature sampling of Peel the Love salad, sandwich, entrée, snack and dessert recipes designed by Dole. The recipes range from Caribbean jerk shrimp and banana kabobs and banana pudding pops to banana s’mores and Dole grilled bananas.
Some tour recipes also feature Almond Breeze. Those include a banana cabana smoothie; sticky banana spread; banana pineapple coconut smoothie; and chocolate monkey.
“Through the tour recipes that feature Almond Breeze, we hope to prove that almond milk is a convenient and nutritious alternative to traditional milk options, and it tastes great,” Suzanne Hagener, group marketing manager for Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, said in the release.