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Dole celebrates the 125th year of its banana

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 1, 2024) — The year was 1899 when three Sicilian brothers and their brother-in-law in New Orleans pooled their life savings and began importing bananas from Honduras to give Americans their first taste of an exotic new fruit from South America.

Without knowing it, Joseph, Felix and Lucca Vaccaro, and Salvador D’Antoni, had laid the foundation for one of the world’s largest providers of fresh fruits and vegetables. Standard Fruit, which would become part of Dole Food Company BB #:124463 and the ubiquitous DOLE Banana – the world’s most popular banana and one of the most-purchased grocery items in history – had been born.

Before long, the four produce entrepreneurs were operating steamships, growing their own fruit and competing for the ice needed to ship bananas to a hungry and curious world.

Dole proudly marks 125 years of farming, shipping and selling bananas in 2024 with a year-long celebration featuring contests, partnerships, proclamations, recipes and special appearances by Bobby Banana, the produce leader’s 7-foot mascot committed to inspiring healthier living.

The Dole 125th Banana-versry ( officially kick-offs today with the first of “125 Ways to Be Bananas,” part of an extensive web and social media series of banana tips and recipes, digital downloads, engagement opportunities and ways to share banana memories.

“From humble beginnings, Dole has become synonymous with bananas, forever changing the way we experience this delicious and nutritious fruit,” said William Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole. “As we celebrate 125 years of growth, innovation, and our commitment to grow, process and distribute our produce responsibly, we invite the world to join us on a journey that traces the deep roots of Dole’s past and paves the way for a brighter future.”

Banana lovers visiting the Dole 125th Banana-versry landing page ( will find a constantly expanding list of ways to satisfy their passion for the ubiquitous yellow fruit in 2024. New opportunities to join in on the banana fun will be added throughout the year.

• Bunches of banana-focused breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack and smoothie recipes created exclusively by Dole over the decades.
• A series of free digital downloads and hands-on DIY activities celebrating all things DOLE® Banana throughout 2024.
• A showcase of “125 Ways to Be Bananas,” that includes fun, actionable banana tips, tricks and engagements being shared on Dole’s Facebook and Instagram stories pages all year long.
• Creation of a Dole Banana Hall of Fame that welcome inductees – including restaurants, people and places who continue to have a lasting appeal on the iconic nature and universal appeal of the fruit.
• A growing calendar of Dole 125th Banana-versry contests, events, proclamations and partnerships including appearances by Bobby Banana and Dole’s largest celebration of April 17’s National Banana Day in its history.
• Opportunities to join in on the Banana-versry conversation and share Dole and banana memories through #DoleBananaVersary.

To mark the occasion at the store level, Dole will launch a series of commemorative Dole 125th Banana-versary stickers on millions of DOLE® Bananas in multiple waves across the U.S. and Canada throughout 2024 celebrating the journey, the people, the earth, the flavors and the heritage Dole has cultivated over a century and a quarter.

The company is working with retailers throughout North America to bring the Dole 125th Banana-versary to shoppers through dedicated displays, point-of-purchase materials and other in-store activations.

According to Goldfield, the Dole 125th Banana-versry will also showcase the countless ways that Dole has helped shape a brighter future for the banana and produce industry, consumers and the planet since 1899 – ranging from the building of infrastructures and other important social support in communities for banana workers to advances in in research for conventional and organic farming and finally The Dole Way, the company’s three-pronged global sustainability initiative.

“As the global banana and produce industry has grown because of Dole, so too has our obligation to lead in the protection of people, food and nature for future generations,” he said. “Our programs in water management, climate change, waste reduction, employee social equity and health and nutrition are helping to ensure another 125 years of DOLE® Bananas and a happy, healthy global fanbase.”

For continually updated information on the Dole 125th Banana-versary, go to Use hashtags #DoleBananaVersary, #DoleBananas125, #BananasForTheFuture, #BananaVersary and #Fresh4Future to join in on the conversation.

About Dole plc
Dole plc, is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education. For more information, please visit