My client and I were discussing the healthy properties of bananas and I said that I was surprised by the number of brands of bananas and he said he'd never noticed. I asked, "Haven't you ever noticed all the different kind of stickers on bananas?" He said that he thought there were only two banana producers: Dole and The United Fruit Company. I asked, "What about Chiquita?"
I told him that wherever I had worked, from producing corrugated containers to building bombers, there were numerous men in the plants who collected the stickers and put them on the inside of their lunch boxes. I laughed and said, "If I can find Gerald's lunch box he used before he retired, I can show you dozens of different banana stickers."
I supposed that this was a particular hobby for guys in manufacturing, but once I went in to to see the Director of Engineering; it was lunch time and he had his lunch box open, and yes, even that professional engineer had banana stickers inside his lunch box! When I remarked, he laughed and said, "What else can I do with them?"
Looking at the photos from Gerald's lunch box, you might be able to see some of the brand names: Dole, Del Monte, Bananza, Consul, Turbana, San Carlos, Onaya, Bonita, Pretty Liza, Lambada, Ecuador Gold, Suntop, and of course, the queen of all and with the most plentiful stickers, the lovely Chiquita. I learned that Chiquita is the main brand for The United Fruit Company, although they have several other brands of bananas. The character on Dole bananas is called "Bobby Banana".
The United Fruit Company began placing stickers on bananas in 1963. The other companies soon followed suit. I wasn't surprised to learn that there are, of course, serious banana sticker collectors. I went on one of their websites to ask if the "50th Anniversary of Chiquita" sticker--from 1974--is "valuable". Yes, Gerald has a "50th Anniversary of Chiquita" sticker from 1974 in his lunch box!