Courtesy ChiquitaAffiliated Foods CEO Randy Arceneaux (from left), Miss Chiquita Banana, Firelake store director Richard Driskell and Chiquita regional customer manager Jim Warken show off the display.Chiquita Brands International Inc. unveiled what it claims is the world’s largest banana display, an array of 70,000 pounds of the fruit stacked nearly 6 feet high at a grocery store in Shawnee, Okla.
The promotion, at Firelake Discount Foods, surpasses what’s believed to be the previous record for a single-store banana display, Chiquita said in a Sept. 7 statement. The previous record was a 66,000-pound display featuring bananas from a Chiquita rival, Dole Food Co., at a Utah store in 2009, according to Chiquita spokesman Andrew Ciafardini.
As part of the promotion, which included an appearance by “Miss Chiquita,” customers at the Shawnee store can buy five pounds of Chiquita bananas for $1. The promotion runs through Sept. 11, Chiquita said.
Asked why Chiquita is having the promotion at the Shawnee store, Ciafardini said Firelake, along with Affiliated Foods Co., an independent grocer association based in Amarillo, Texas, “were both looking to do a unique promotion that further drove banana sales, and Chiquita was glad to develop and implement the idea with them at this location.”
Cincinnati-based Chiquita is one of the world’s biggest banana suppliers, with growing operations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
During the second quarter, Chiquita sold 16.6 million 40-pound boxes of bananas, generating sales of $555 million, according to a company statement. Bananas account for nearly two-thirds of Chiquita’s total sales.