(Dec. 14) Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village, Calif., is kicking off 2007 by joining Riviana Foods Inc., Houston, with a coupon promotion pairing pineapples with rice.

The promotion focuses on two food items rarely seen as common menu partners.

“We are trying to get consumers to think of new ways to use Dole Fresh Fruit products,” said Marianne Duong, communications manager for Dole.

Duong said beginning Jan. 1, each Dole tropical gold pineapple will carry a hang tag containing an instantly redeemable coupon good for $1 off any two Success Rice products. She said 4.5 million coupons have been produced for the monthlong promotion. The pineapples with coupons will be available nationwide.

Duong said the hang tags also contain a recipe for a pineapple rice dish, big island fried rice. She said the recipe weds the nutritional benefits of pineapples and rice.

Duong said the promotion is tied to the upcoming start of the lunar new year, Feb. 18. She said many Asian cultures combine rice and fruit.