(Dec. 12) Chiquita Brands International Inc. is reporting double-digit increases in sales of its value-added salads.

The Cincinnati-based company released its price and volume data for October and November on Dec. 11, and Chiquita reported its salad volume had increased 11% from the same period in 2006. The company, which owns Salinas, Calif.-based salad maker Fresh Express LLC, also reported that its net revenue per case increased 1%.

Chiquita said in its report that the increased volume “reflects continuing recovery in the value-added salads category.” The company said it expects the year-over-year change in future periods to moderate as the bagged salad category moves beyond the anniversary of the September 2006 E. coli outbreak that was linked to fresh spinach.

Meanwhile, Chiquita said banana prices increased 8% during the period in both its North American and core European markets, and there was a 4% jump in Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern markets.

Chairman and chief executive officer Fernando Aguirre said in a news release that while he was encouraged by improved pricing, the company’s margins continue to be pressured by increased costs for fuel, shipping, paper and other items. He cautioned that the trend is expected to continue in 2008.