Chiquita, an industry leader in the commodity banana category, was
looking for opportunities to grow in a mature market with limited expansion
potential in the Americas and tariff issues in Europe.
How we did it
established a vision for growing the business behind new consumption by going
outside the traditional grocery channel where the banana would be sold wherever
the Snickers bar was. Working with the
innovation team Valen recommended the use of a novel packaging technology to slow the ripening of
the fruit. This technology, originally designed as a cost
saving initiative, helped overcome the anticipated complex distribution challenge and created a
new opportunity for growth. Valen
designed a non-traditional, flexible, and iterative learning plan to quickly
vet the new business model by defining the lead concept, customer interest,
target price and distribution technology in a real, live food delivery system.
The market appeal and potential of the new business model, Chiquita to Go, was tested at Starbucks at a premium
price targeted at health-conscious consumers.
This led to a channel expansion program where a single banana was sold
for 75₵ a piece versus 39₵ per pound.
The growth platform became a beachhead to sell other fruit to Starbucks
and other convenience outlets.
Redefining and adding value to a commodity provided a significant long-term
impact on new revenue and margin, and created other high margin new
businesses. Introducing the banana as a
premium item was named among the “Top 10 Cool New Products for C-stores” by the
National Association for Convenience Stores.