It’s not always easy to create buzz around a commodity as ubiquitous as bananas. But innovative retailers and their supplier partners know what it takes to add excitement to this most established of categories.

Recent in-store banana merchandising efforts from Charlotte, N.C.-based Dole Food Co. include a partnership with The Walt Disney Company, Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble!, said Bil Goldfield, the company’s director of corporate communications.

The nine-month, empowered-living initiative includes four phases of original Dole Banana stickers inspired by Marvel Super Heroes, including Thor, Dr. Strange, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk and more.

The stickers led to dedicated Dole web and social programs that offered fans downloadable assets to encourage sticker collection, recipe-development and, ultimately, increased traffic and sales.

One highlight of the interactive social and digital assets, Goldfield said, was the Dole Banana Sticker Peel & Play Hero Book, a downloadable, printable digital piece available at that encouraged Marvel fans to collect all 23 stickers.

For the rest of 2022 and in 2023, Dole will continue the effort with new in-store sticker and merchandising programs with out-of-store digital extensions themed to other Disney-owned franchises.

As the world’s No. 1 banana supplier, Dole takes seriously the responsibility to lead the industry in marketing innovation and retailer support, Goldfield said.

In recent years, that’s often required a new way of thinking about merchandising.

“With limited sticker real estate on bananas and fewer retailers sharing POS signage, we’ve added increasing digital exposure,” Goldfield said. “We’re now more focused on integrated programs involving QR codes, web, social, content-development and PR to drive incremental store traffic, and we’re spending more time educating retailers about specific programs, from our partnership with Disney to seasonal use promotions.”

Dole has had great success with third-party partnerships and co-promotions, Goldfield added. The numerous healthy-living campaigns the company has implemented with Disney have helped Dole reach many groups of banana lovers – and, not surprisingly, all of these programs have prominently featured Dole bananas.