Chiquita Meets High Demand for Organic Bananas
- by Jordan Okumura
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - Chiquita is pulling back the curtain on the latest consumer shopping habits and connecting the dots between its findings and its major category growth. Specifically, the tropical fruit provider discovered that 31 percent of respondents in a recent survey said that one-quarter to one-half of their annual produce purchases are organic. With this statistic in mind, Chiquita is setting forth to lean into this rising demand for organic produce.
“The growth in organic bananas is mainly driven by increased distribution in response to consumer demand and their interest in transparency across the supply chain process, and free-form products,” said Jamie Postell, Director of Sales North America. “At Chiquita, we are happy that consumers today are increasingly food-conscious and aware and simply want more options in their eating.”
According to a press release, it used to be that approximately one in 20 containers of bananas were organic, and now that number has changed dramatically to one in 10. Chiquita attributes this change to the steady increase in demand led by young consumers, who are demonstrating that their buying habits when shopping for produce are steadily shifting in the direction of organics. In addition, more consumers are prescribing to healthy eating and supporting companies that care for the environment, workers, and the community.
In turn, Chiquita supports this consumer movement through a few different initiatives, one being to produce bananas in a carbon-footprint-reducing way. Before a product can be officially labeled 100-percent organic, a USDA-approved certifier must inspect the place where the food is grown to ensure that the grower is adhering to all the rules and requirements to meet USDA organic standards, as noted in a press release.
Another initiative of Chiquita’s is its Star Care containers, which are used for 100 percent of the organic loads shipped to the U.S. in order to ensure a fresher, more environmentally friendly banana with a longer shelf-life. The new ultra-efficient containers use software that automatically regulates the containers’ compressor to control the atmosphere. Chiquita implemented the new containers at the beginning of 2019, resulting in a positive environmental impact and a reduction of CO2 consumption by 17,000 tons per year.