Organic claim gives Dole bananas consumer appeal

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA: With the USDA's new regulations on organic foods barely in the public domain, Dole Fresh Fruit has begun publicizing its new organic bananas.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA: With the USDA's new regulations on organic foods barely in the public domain, Dole Fresh Fruit has begun publicizing its new organic bananas.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA: With the USDA's new regulations on organic foods barely in the public domain, Dole Fresh Fruit has begun publicizing its new organic bananas.

The company, a subsidiary of giant Dole Food, issued a release on its new organic bananas at the start of January and already has gained coverage from Reuters, the Associated Press and the food trade press, said Marta Maitles, the company's director of communications.

The stories have generated calls from mainstream supermarkets interested in carrying the organic bananas, which Dole said will be available on the West Coast in February and eventually across the country.

'We decided that organics' growing popularity among consumers was just the next step Dole wanted to take,' Maitles said. The timing of the announcement - just after the USDA's December 2000 approval of organic regulations - was coincidental, she added.

But one food industry veteran said Dole's timing ensured maximum PR exposure for the bananas. 'I think you can expect to see more and more organic products and more and more companies getting into organic.'



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