Talk about Banana Republics

So I was about to blog about the Chiquita banana stickers, and how they really show a company that gets it and understands their customers, but like a good blogger, I check to see what’s out there already. Lo and behold, I find that they were fined $25 million for supporting known terrorist organizations. And this was announced today. Talk about timing. Here’s the CNN article about it.

Anyway, the original post was going to be about the blue stickers on their bananas. These originally served a functional purpose. All produce carries a sticker that identifies the PLU (price lookup) number for the cashiers. According to missourifamilies.org, “The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a trade group for the produce industry.”

For a long time, these blue stickers said Chiquita and 4011 (PLU#). Most cashiers actually don’t even need that number after a while. Bananas are just something they know because they key it in a lot. The stickers started having other messages, like A good source of potassium. Since these stickers no longer carried the 4011, this was a secondary sticker and placed on a bunch of bananas in addition to the traditional sticker. The opened the floodgates of creativity, and one of the stickers I have seen recently shows a strong connection with their customers (the reason for this post). Who would think that a company that sells bananas would so clearly understand secondary uses of their products. The sticker says, “Place Sticker on Forehead. Smile.”

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