From Wii games to grilled bananas, 2010 promises plenty of promotional opportunities.


Chiquita Brands International launched a partnership last month with San Francisco-based Sega of America Inc. to promote the Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll video game, designed to be used with the Wii balance board or remote. Proficeint gamers grab as many virtual Chiquita bananas as they can to help them refuel and rack up points.


“There’s a whole demographic out there in younger kids and families that we need to attract,” said Craig Stephen, Chiquita’s vice president of bananas for North America. “The Sega partnership is about trying promote a healthy family lifestyle.”


Stickers on more than 180 million Chiquita bananas will promote the game and encourage consumers to enter the Super Bananza Sweepstakes until May 1. The grand prize includes a 50-inch HDTV, a sofa and four gaming chairs.


Chiquita will continue its “fresh tastes best” TV ad campaign in selected markets, Stephen said. It’s the company’s first TV campaign in more than 20 years. And Chiquita has announced its support for first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce child obesity.


Adults haven’t been forgotten, Stephen said. The company has announced its sponsorship of two golf tournaments, including the Chiquita Classic in Cincinnati in July.


The banana experts at Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Food Co., meanwhile, are touting the Dole Banana Diet, (dolebananadiet.com), which recommends eating two bananas for breakfast along with more fruits and vegetables to help lose weight.


“We ran it in January and it was very successful in getting the message out,” said Bil Goldfield, communications manager.


“Convenience is of paramount concern to time-strapped consumers, and bananas are a consistent favorite — tasty, nutritious and very convenient,” Goldfield said.


Later this year, Dole plans to promote bananas as a great side dish or dessert with dinner.


“We will be sponsoring events and a demo tour across the Eastern and Central US centered on grilled bananas,” Goldfield said. 


“In addition to cross-promoting products, we’ll encourage retailers to put on in-store demos and put up signs informing consumers of new ways to prepare and use bananas.”


Turbana Corp., Coral Gables, Fla., plans to continue participating in the Disney Garden program, which features Disney characters on fresh produce.


“There’s a perception that kids don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables,” said Jean-Robin Duval, vice president sales for Canada, “but kids are our future. We believe it’s important for us to be involved in this program.”