Masters of Merchandising: DOLE

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It’s easy to see why bananas continue to reign as America’s produce super hero and favorite fruit. Convenient, economical, nutrient-packed, naturally sweet, just the right size for kids’ lunches, and offering their own bio-degradable packaging, bananas are practically the perfect food. In fact, bananas are consistently one of the top-selling items sold across all items in grocery stores throughout North America with upwards of 90% household penetration.

What can retailers do to entice shoppers to buy more of the super hero fruit they already love?

With their ubiquity, bananas are the comfort food people turn to when times are uncertain. During COVID-19, banana purchase quantity spiked. Basket size has now returned to its pre-pandemic average of 2.5 to 3 pounds, but the love between consumers and bananas remains just as strong as ever. For a fruit this iconic, the opportunities remain ripe for retailers and produce managers looking to increase sales by leaning into the fruit’s satisfying connections.


  • Present Inspiration. Shoppers know everything about bananas – or do they? Offer unexpected usage ideas or recipe suggestions at the point of sale to create an impulse to buy a few more fingers.
  • Sell bananas at every stage. Bananas are versatile at all stages of ripeness. Consumer tastes vary widely so offering multiple-color stages appeals to broader shopper usage preferences and demographics, and may increase purchase size.
  • Go beyond the Cavendish. The yellow Cavendish is still America’s favorite banana, but other exotic varieties such as DOLE® red bananas, plantains and baby bananas are increasingly popular. Stocking these varieties can boost incremental banana sales.
  • Educate shoppers about their bananas. Most shoppers are eager to know where and how their bananas are grown and surprised to learn how many steps it takes to get those bananas from the farm to their smoothie, cereal bowl or favorite recipe. The more they know, the more they will appreciate their favorite fruit.
  • Offer Organic! Industry stats prove that organic produce is now a mainstream product. Your customers may be actively looking for organic bananas and will trade up for them, so it’s an important option to keep in-stock.
  • Don’t limit bananas to the produce section. Secondary displays near the cereal aisle, dairy section or check-out can promote bananas as an impulse purchase or single-serve snack option.
  • First impressions are everything. Keeping your displays fully stocked with bright, beautiful, unblemished DOLE® bananas is the key to attracting consumer attention.
  • Leverage the power of the world’s most heroic brands. Dole’s year-long, empowered-living alliance with Marvel in 2022 offers a universe of in-store, POP and other exclusive merchandising opportunities.


Dole has a mission to Make the World a Healthier Place. Achieving it requires commitment, perseverance and investment.

We have a broad definition of health at Dole. Yes, it includes nutrition and wellness, but it is more than that. It is a healthy planet with clean water and renewable energy; healthy farms with rich soils and quality products; healthy living with sustainable labor and wages; and healthy production with low emissions and smaller carbon footprints.

Shoppers continue to demand transparency and a commitment to environmental and social responsibility from their favorite brands – and a willingness and excitement to support organizations that make these values a priority. As a leader in the produce industry for over 150 years and one of the most trusted brands by Millennials, Dole in 2020 released The Dole Way, setting Dole’s first-ever enterprise-wide sustainability goals in water and carbon footprint management, soil conservation and sustainable packaging.

In 2021, Dole amplified its commitment to The Dole Way by announcing an integrated program aimed at strengthening sustainability, transparency, corporate responsibility and trust both as a global leader in produce and, ultimately, an actor and agent of change in creating products and services that society values. As the company’s largest and most prolific crop, bananas will continue to play a pivotal role in this bold path moving forward.

For retailers seeking a premium banana program—from a focused account team and reliably sourced and delivered supplies to the ability to convert this rising consumer passion for sustainability and authenticity into increased sales and customer loyalty—Dole stands ready to partner with you to make the world a healthier place.


Dole offers retailers access to the industry’s most powerful – and appealing! – third-party alliances.

Dole was proud to renew and expand our partnership with No Kid Hungry for 2022 to combat childhood hunger and ensure all children have access to three healthy meals a day. A highlight was our presenting sponsorship of Get Fit for No Kid Hungry, an integrated effort to leverage fitness, health and wellness influencers to ensure kids have the nutrition they need to thrive.

2022 is also the year of Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble!, a nine-month, empowered-living initiative inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe to recruit and recognize your shoppers in all walks of life and encourage them to continue their impactful leadership and passion projects in their homes, families, communities and in the world.

Kicking off in March, the program targets everyday heroes in four categories – mind, soul, heart and home – during six-week recruitment campaigns featuring new, Marvel character-inspired recipes, original DOLE® Banana stickers and DOLE® Pineapple tags, digital downloads, social activations and motivational prizes awarded to inspiring heroes at the end of each recruitment period.

To learn more about in-store POP, merchandising tips, recipes, nutrition education and the myriad other ways to leverage the heroic possibilities of DOLE® Bananas, contact your Dole representative.

200 South Tryon Street, Ste 600 Charlotte, NC 28202

Read the entire Masters of Merchandising supplement.