Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2010 05:00 PM
Some people stick them all over the refrigerator. Others stick them in the trash. But nearly everyone recognizes the iconic blue and gold Chiquita logo stickers found on bananas. In fact, the Chiquita logo is likely the most famous banana brand in history, going back to the Disney-produced Chiquita banana cartoon from the 1940s. So it's shocking that Chiquita is going to change the logo.
Chiquita was founded in 1871 under the United Fruit Company, which formally adopted the Chiquita name in 1985. Despite the fruit's cheery appearance, it has been the source of vicious international political battles and violence. The term "banana republic" exists thanks to the banana trade. Branding the banana to make it more attractive to consumers was absolutely necessary.
In 1944, Chiquita was the first to brand bananas by wrapping them in paper bearing the Miss Chiquita logo. How exactly to brand an individual item of produce was solved in 1963 when stickers were placed on the bananas. Several stickers have existed over the years, including promotional ones for the Olympics and those reading "Chiquita. Quite Possibly, The World's Perfect Food." Strikingly blue on a yellow banana, Chiquita's logo was perfect, identifiable from across a produce isle.
Come November, Chiquita will be changing those stickers. The finalists in a logo design contest have been chosen (some are above). As part of the crowd-sourced effort, Chiquita created a logo generator website.
Chiquita is pushing the new logo in an attempt to modernize its product and appeal to a younger generation. Once an exotic fruit, bananas now take a backseat to the immense branding noise found in a supermarket, where it's vying for attention with the likes of packaged goods and also baby carrots in the produce section.
But is a change in the classic Chiquita logo a mistake? While the brand is sure to maintain the distinctive blue-on-yellow color scheme, it would be wise to also maintain the "Chiquita" name to assure that brand recognition levels do not slip, even if sales have been.