During the war
, when the United Fruit Company
adopted the brand name Chiquita
s were still an exotic
and largely unfamiliar delicacy in the USA. The new name brought with it a new cartoon
mascot, Miss Chiquita
. She debuted in 1944
singing the Chiquita banana song, which was intended to demystify bananas for daily consumption
. It worked
. The mascot
were hugely successful; according to chiquita.com, "at its peak the jingle was played 376 times a day on radio stations
across the United States."
"I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say,
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue
Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It's impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator."
"The First Lady of Fruit"
Initially, Miss Chiquita was a cartoon only, an anthropomorphic banana in Central American / Carmen Miranda costume drawn by artist Dik Browne. In the 1940s she was a frequent guest on popular radio shows, and the company hired a real woman for public appearances. From 1963 on, a cartoon Miss Chiquita appeared on the Chiquita banana stickers; in 1989 the cartoon image was changed from a smiling banana to a smiling woman with a fruit hat.
More info at www.chiquita.com. Lyrics copyright 1945 Shawnee Press.