Going Bananas for Chiquita Banana!

This historical, century owned company has made it’s mark on the world. Chiquita Banana has it’s roots dug into the market of produce. From way back into the 1870’s where an American sailor named Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker sailed to Jamaica to pick up only 160 bunches of bananas. He then brought them back to Philadelphia to sell them. Captain Baker made a profit and discovered a new way to make money. With his new idea set in place he then partnered with Andrew Preston, a very famous businessman, to make the Boston Fruit Company in 1885. While Captain Baker and Preston were getting their company off the ground they came into contact with another businessman named Minor C. Keith. Keith was in Costa Rica building a national railroad system for transportation. Keith later joined the Boston Fruit Company to create the United Fruit company in 1899. The company set out to break new ground in distributing bananas and other fresh produce to all over the United States. While becoming the leader in distributing the company began to invent ways to keep the produce cool. The fleet of transporting ships were painted white to reflect the sun and keep the fruit inside at the coolest temperature possible. Continuing to invent new ways of transporting the United Fruit company invented refrigerated vessels that kept their cargo cool through transportation. The United Fruit company wanted to re-brain their company and in 1944 they introduced the name Chiquita. Along with the new name they also created a new character named Miss Chiquita with a jingle. The Terry twins sing about the importance’s of a banana health that gives a little Caribbean theme to it which shows the origins of their product. In 1947 “Chiquita” became registered as a trademark in the United States. Throughout the Chiquita Banana company they’ve taken many steps to revolutionize ocean transportation. In 1961 they began using cardboard that had pre-cut hands instead of bunches to prevent bruising. Chiquita began the biggest branding every undertaken by any marketing team. The campaign included a trademark blue sticker that said, “The seal outside means the best inside.” Again moving forward, in 1969 the company got their first patent for a modified atmosphere packaging that gave a low oxygen atmosphere that stopped ripening during transit. The company officially changed their name to Chiquita Brands International, Inc. in 1990. Chiquita began to become environmentally friendly in the 90’s when they built a state of the art banana processing plant in Costa Rica. They began working with the Rain forest Alliance Better Banana Project and their first farm became certified in 1994. Then in 2000, all Chiquita farms became certified by the Better Banana Project which has very strict environment and social standards. Chiquita Banana’s also became certified by the American Heart Association in 1997. Chiquita Banana took a turn for the worst in 2001 by filing for Chapter 11 debt reconstruction plan. They have came back and keep moving forward with their Fresh Rinse initiative. Chiquita Banana will never stop taking steps in the right direction when it comes to freshness and health safety. The company is over a century old and will continue to stick around for another century.

miss-chiquita_cartoon

Browne, Dik. Miss Chiquita. 1994. Medium. Charlotte, North Carolina.

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