Chuck Robinson, Assistant Copy Chief
Chuck Robinson, Assistant Copy Chief

The idea of a competitive runner fueling himself by and large with only fruit seems a perfect fit for marketing fruits.

The runner in question is Michael Arnstein, who came into my consciousness because of a late August interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.

Arnstein consumes 25-30 pounds of fruit a day and little else. Of all the diet regimens he has tried, this one best fuels his marathon running, he said.

He eats up to 6,000 calories daily, mostly from fruits with a few vegetables thrown in, and he rarely eats nuts or seeds. He has barely any fat on his frame. He estimates it at 3% to 5%. He said he feels “almost superhuman” since following this diet and his marathon performance has continued to improve.

The interview with Gupta aired while the Woodstock Fruit Festival was taking place in upstate New York. It is a conclave of fruitarians, a term that Arnstein embraces for himself.

He is the second fruitarian to make a blip on my radar screen. The other was the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computers.

Floating on the Internet is a video of Arnstein filling the trunk of his Lamborghini while shopping for fruit in New York. He is really working it, promoting a fruitarian diet.

The Dole Nutrition Institute also has a video featuring an interview with Arnstein.

He said in that interview that the diet has given him great mental clarity and has helped him with his business.

“I was able to expand my business to a level I never thought possible because of my mental clarity,” he said.

He also hyped the convenience of eating fruit. You see an apple, pluck it from the tree and eat it. It comes in its own packaging and needs minimal refrigeration, he said, and there’s no prep time.

When I talked to Arnstein, he said he would love to work with sponsors to promote fruit-focused diets and he brought up the interview with the Dole Nutrition Institute.

Fruit companies know the way to the marathon course. Dole has supplied fresh fruit snacks to the April Big Sur International Marathon in Monterey, Calif.; the Boston Marathon; and other events, and plans to sponsor Charlotte, N.C.’s Nov. 16 Thunder Road Marathon. They don’t have the market cornered, though:


  • Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., has supported the Big Sur marathon too.

  • The National Watermelon Promotion Board was onboard as a sponsor for the June Marine Corps Marathon.

  • The National Mango Board has sent Jango Mango to the Marine Corps Marathon.

  • Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana Corp. last year sponsored the Montreal Marathon in September and the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

  • Cincinatti-based Total Quality Logistics has put its name on the Oct. 12 Total Quality Logistics Urban Race and has backed many other running events in recent years.

  • For a second year, Mann Packing has worked with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series at September race events in San Jose, Calif.; St. Louis; and Las Vegas, handing out sugar snap peas and having its mascot, Snappy, on hand for pictures and to distribute future-purchase coupons to more than 35,000 attendees at each race.


That is an incomplete list, but it’s all great. Still, I think the Lamborghini elevates the promotional appeal. A focal point like Arnstein could catch the attention of the broader consumer populace outside of marathon circles.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.