Banana business update briefs - The Packer

Banana business update briefs

03/15/2013 01:58:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Del Monte promotes ripening product

Del Monte Fresh Produce NA, Coral Gables, Fla., is working with customers to expand its controlled-ripening technology and educate consumers on the benefits of the product.

“This patented technology adds three to five days of shelf life at a five-color stage, which is what consumers are looking for with their bananas. Del Monte CRT banana bags should help expand the banana category and help to increase consumption,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.


Dole Fresh Fruit plans FreshPack expansion

Dole Fresh Fruit, Westlake Village, Calif., completed a test of its FreshPack ripening technology last year in 10 Texas communities.

“In addition to generating significant consumer interest and awareness, the test helped convince retailers of the longterm viability of this special packaging innovation designed to extend the life of bananas for up to six days,” communications manager Bil Goldfield said.

The company plans to expand this program in other markets soon.

“We are eager to expand this success by sharing this innovation with banana lovers in other markets since it addresses the No. 1 consumer complaint, that bananas ripen quicker than they can be eaten,” Goldfield said.


Oke USA conducts March promotion

Oke USA, the banana importing arm of Equal Exchange, says March is the perfect month to focus on promoting Fair Trade bananas.

The West Bridgewater, Mass.-based company markets organic Fair Trade bananas grown by small-scale banana grower cooperatives under its Equal Exchange brand.

With less local produce available and usually no major holidays, March can be a quiet month for produce retailers, and Oke USA wants to take advantage of it.

“March seems to be a good month, when stores have the time and space and energy to highlight their banana program,” said Jessica Jones-Hughes, vice president.

During the month, employees from Oke USA will travel to retail locations throughout the East Coast and upper Midwest that have partnered with their program, providing staff training, impact reports and telling the story behind Equal Exchange bananas.

“We’re trying to share our message with face-to-face contacts,” Jones-Hughes said.

Other aspects of the promotion month include the company’s banana suits, as well as a taste-testing video that compares various kinds of bananas in an interactive method of teaching consumers about their product message, Jones-Hughes said.

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