Category Leadership

Progressive Grocer Honors Chiquita with 2018 Category Captain Award

1 Oct 2019
Category Captain Award

Chiquita Brands International, the world’s foremost banana purveyor, is honored to receive the 2018 Category Captain Award by the leading industry publication Progressive Grocer.

The Category Captains awards recognize the best examples of CPG-retailer partnerships of the past year.


“Our editorial team reviewed dozens of nominations for the most compelling examples of new programs, technologies, business systems, merchandising schemes and promotional tactics, which played a key role in driving sales through shopper-centric solutions,” said Jim Dudlicek, editorial director at Progressive Grocer. “We looked for collaborations that addressed retailer needs specific to regions and markets, effective leveraging of shopper insights, strategic adjacencies between store departments, and evidence of impact on overall category and sales growth.”

“On behalf of Chiquita Brands International, we are humbled by this continued recognition from one of the leading authorities in the produce space,” said Jamie Postell, Director of sales North America for Chiquita. “At Chiquita, we strive to create growth within the category through not only our continuous commitment and delivery of unique actionable programs and insights, but ultimately our continued dedication to our consumers. This award speaks volumes to our goal as a company.”


Through strategic thought leadership in category, shopper and consumer insights, Chiquita identifies successful and innovative ways to drive category sales. Chiquita employs a comprehensive and holistic category management approach that includes secondary display support, understanding the balancing act between organics and conventional bananas, and connecting with shoppers inside and outside the store.


Increasing Secondary Display Support

Chiquita utilizes shopper insights, which show that secondary displays offer an opportunity to build shopper baskets by driving incremental sales. A recent secondary display test showed that test stores increased five percent more in banana volume growth than non-test stores.

Complementing secondary displays with Chiquita’s programs is also a proven driver of growth. In 2017, Chiquita implemented the Despicable Me 3 DVD program in one of its retail partners nationwide which paired the promotion with secondary displays along with its online couponing and advertising. The results showed an additional 3 percent in banana volume growth compared to the prior period.


The Balancing Act Between Conventional and Organic Bananas

As organic produce continues to grow, understanding the balancing act between organics and conventional is vital. A cohesive category management plan is paramount to capitalize on this growing organic trend without cannibalizing conventional main-stays.


Connecting with Shoppers Inside and Outside the Store

Chiquita pioneered AR/VR expertise in fresh produce aisles across America, partnering with Shazam to engage with shoppers in an innovative journey to learn what lies behind the Blue Sticker.

By scanning the Chiquita sticker, shoppers accessed an AR experience via the Shazam app that transported them into the tropics. Shoppers followed the journey of a banana from Chiquita farms in Latin America, to the port facility, right across the Atlantic and all the way to their kitchen table via their favorite grocery store.

More than 16 percent of users scanned the Chiquita+Shazam sticker worldwide. In the U.S., the campaign captured the brand’s millennial audience – 69 percent of total users.

Chiquita engages in online conversations to inspire the path to purchase. For example, When IHOP revealed that it was flipping the “P” at the end of its name and turning it into a mysterious “b” to create “IHOb”, Chiquita joined the conversation and tweeted out that the “b” should definitely stand for “bananas.”

Additionally, when Mississippi State baseball team competed in the 2018 College World Series, the team rallied about bananas and Chiquita showed its support for by engaging on Twitter. These types of initiatives help to bring Chiquita top of mind and boost category relevancy.

This year marks Chiquita’s nineteenth recognition as the category captain by the publication. More than 70 years ago, Chiquita became the first company to brand a banana, and continues to be at the forefront of the banana pack creating value for business partners and consumers.