Chiquita to Go: Innovative New Business Model Behind New Technologies.


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

Valen 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.