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Dragonfruit gets a boost from Nike, and I’m here for it

Nike dragonfruit af1 air force 1

I have a 14-year-old son, so I’m more plugged in to sneaker culture than I ever cared to be. So, when I caught a glimpse of the Dragonfruit Nike AF1s, I knew it was a strong possibility that I would have to get a pair.

This isn’t the first time I’ve wanted a produce-related sneaker. I have a pair of Saucony’s Avocado Toast shoes, though I bought the wrong size and haven’t been able to wear them. (Reselling is definitely a possibility, especially given the lucrative sneaker resell market lately)

produce with pamela

I also really thought hard about the Frieda Caplan “Low Hanging Fruit” kiwifruit New Balance, but they were definitely too pricey for my budget.  

But these AF1s? They were on sale. And they were so pretty. They’re the latest in a series of fresh produce-themed clothing that mainstream brands have put out. Remember a few years ago when Old Navy had bananas, avocados, and watermelons on everything?

For Christmas, I treated myself to this sweet Adidas hoodie. My son bought himself Nike’s fruit swoosh t-shirt. He insisted I own these AF1s, and he’s already bragged to all his friends about them.

When they arrived, these sneakers exceeded every expectation I could ever have. Not only are they gorgeous, they’re practically a commercial for dragonfruit.

The Nike swoosh has the pink, white, and black inside of a dragonfruit. There’s a little logo and PLU for (organic) dragonfruit on the heel. Inside there’s a little fruit sticker-like detail on the sole, and the tag on the tongue is actually the real dragonfruit nutrition facts.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a hang tag on the side with a recipe for a tasty-sounding drink.

And, just because these shoes are so extra, they came with a handy net bag for all your fresh produce purchases (while wearing the shoes, of course).

WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?!

I love it, and I love the incidental boost I’m sure dragonfruit gets from having it plastered all over one of the hottest pairs of shoes of the past few years.

Have you set foot in a middle school or high school lately? The halls are an army of duck-walking kids (you don’t want them to crease!) with shoes I never imagined owning when I was that age. And here’s one endorsing a fruit category that not too many people have actually tried.

Marketing on this scale has been a massive undertaking few organizations in the produce industry have attempted. This is Avocados from Mexico and The Wonderful Co., kind of dollars.

I can’t see too many dragonfruit shippers with a Nike kind of marketing budget.  

So, next time you see me rollin’ at a trade show, I’ll be like the cool kids with my AF1s, though I am not nearly cool enough for these shoes.

Pamela Riemenschneider is Retail Editor for Blue Book Services