Single-serve bananas from Del Monte and Chiquita are showing up in a bunch of new venues.
Distribution of Chiquita To Go single bananas continues across North America, and is expected to be up about 25% in volume year on year, said Craig Stephen, vice president North America for Chiquita Brands International Inc.
“Our focus is on quick-service restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks, where people are looking to bring healthy products to their menu,” Stephen said.
Another focus is convenience stores in gas stations, he said, where men 18-25 years old, considered banana “under consumers,” are likely to stop for a snack or for something to eat.
Stephen said the program is also perfect for schools, and is “right on the mark” with the Obama administration’s quest to create better nutrition for kids and fight obesity.
The ripe fingers come in a proprietary Stay-Fresh pack that extends shelf life up to seven days.
Retailers can sell Chiquita To Go from a merchandising unit that holds 10 ripe fingers.
Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., said the company’s Controlled Ripening Technology and its recently announced deal to distribute whole bananas and other fresh fruits through vending machines have brought new opportunities to increase consumption.
“There has definitely been an increase in demand for Del Monte bananas in the convenience store, vending and foodservice channels,” Christou said.