Joester Loria Group explores brand extensions for the “world’s perfect food.”

Jane Neal, Content Editor

February 23, 2024

4 Min Read
Promotional image for Chiquita bananas.
Promotional image for Chiquita bananas.Chiquita

In the U.S., if you’re peeling a banana, chances are more than likely it’s a Chiquita, as Chiquita is the leading distributor of the fruit in the U.S. Chiquita Brands International’s history began in 1870, when a ship’s captain named Lorenzo Dow Baker purchased 160 bunches of bananas in Jamaica and resold them 11 days later in New Jersey. 

We are Bananas

As the company’s famous motto proclaims, Chiquita Brands is synonymous with bananas. The brand isn’t just well-known in America. This leading global banana company employs approximately 18,000 people across 23 countries, and has a presence in nearly 70 countries.

In October 2023, Joester Loria Group (JLG) announced its exclusive collaboration with Chiquita Brands. JLG will serve as the official licensing agency for Chiquita, working to expand the brand’s reach and create appealing brand extension opportunities. License Global recently spoke with James Slifer, managing director, JLG, about the new collaborations and plans to expand opportunities for the brand. 

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“We are thrilled to collaborate with Chiquita on this exciting journey to extend the brand through licensing,” says Slifer. “Chiquita’s global recognition and market leadership make it a prime candidate for licensing partnerships, and we are eager to leverage our expertise to bring their brand into new and innovative products.” 

Loved by kids, their parents and their parents’ parents, Chiquita is exploring new branding avenues through licensing and JLG. Working closely together, they will identify and secure licensing opportunities that align with the brand’s values and resonate with consumers. Some of the licensing categories to be explored include beverages, frozen novelties, nutritional products, dairy products and baked goods.

“Chiquita is excited to work with Joester Loria Group, as it marks a significant milestone in extending Chiquita’s beloved personality and products to even more consumers,” says Marco Volpi, chief marketing officer, Chiquita Brands. “As today’s consumer landscape continues to rapidly evolve, Chiquita understands the importance of expanding its presence beyond the fruit aisle.” 

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JLG has very specific ideas for growing the licensing for Chiquita. Slifer says that the plan is to start off in North America, primarily focusing on extensions in the consumables segment, collaborations and then eventually into lifestyle categories. Both Chiquita and JLG are committed to delivering premium licensed products that uphold the brand’s integrity and esteemed positioning. 

“Our objective is to extend Chiquita into consumable extensions outside of the produce into center of store, baking department and into the freezer through multiple food extensions,” says Slifer.

Growing a New Batch of Fans

The ubiquitous Chiquita brand is recognized worldwide; with millions of people having grown up eating Chiquita bananas, adding slices to their cereal or indulging in delicious sundaes. Along with a customer base that spans generations, Slifer says that one new focus will be cultivating a younger consumer. 

“Within collaborations and lifestyle, we will target a younger demographic, tying into Chiquita current marketing activations, as well as its iconic Blue Sticker program and Miss Chiquita,” says Slifer. 

Miss Chiquita, Chiquita’s Brand Ambassador, was drawn by cartoonist, Dik Browne, back in 1944 to give a fun, friendly face to the Chiquita brand. In 1963, Miss Chiquita was added to the distinctive Blue Stickers that adorn Chiquita bananas and other Chiquita products today. 

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JLG will be exploring several brand extension opportunities; while food is an obvious extension, there are other opportunities to be found beyond the consumable space. 

“We are targeting snacks (plantain chips, banana chips), desserts (frozen novelty, banana cream pie, pudding, etc.), beverages (smoothies, juices), nutritional and fruit snacks,” says Slifer. “As it relates to collaborations, we will look at apparel, beauty and health and beauty aids. For lifestyle opportunities, we will look at apparel, accessories, costumes and possible HBA.” 

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Chiquita differs from many other mainstream food and beverage brands in terms of licensing because it’s a natural, healthy food. 

“Chiquita is positioned as a better-for-you food option with a heavy focus on sustainability, making them stand out compared to other food and beverage brands that focus on indulgence and flavor profiles,” says Slifer.

That health-centered focus can be seen in the collaborations that Chiquita has already executed. Chiquita currently works with three licensees: 

  • Concord Foods – Banana bread mix, Banana Pop Kit 

  • Quirch Foods – Frozen fruit 

  • Fresh Express – Sliced apples and snack packs

In addition to those deals, Chiquita has had marketing collaborations with Chobani, Nutella and General Mills. It’s intriguing to imagine the various new directions the brand can take in the near future.

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

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